A New Beginning – 8/02/16

I am in a good place today.  The pain has subsided tremendously.  I am even planning to attend our annual sister camping trip in September.  We go in September because here in the south, it’s blazing hot in August and it’s too cold in October.  We range in age from 48 –  55.  We plan on a dvd movie night complete with buttery salted popcorn.  S’mores.  They will swim in the lake; but since my fungus nightmare; I have no desire to be in a lake.  I will be happy to watch.  I’m still sore.  After a shower; the scar dries and pulls tightly together causing me no little distress.  My hubby usually dabs a bit of Vaseline on it.  It releases the tightness.

I am truly grateful for this day.  My dr told me I was a miracle.  He said it’s very rare for a panel of experts to look at a ct scan and agree that it’s lung cancer to turn out wrong.  But God has the final say.  It did make me take out life insurance.  When my kids’ dad suddenly passed away; they were burdened with the funeral expenses, and I vowed not to do that to them.

I don’t lift much.  I have to be quite careful for awhile; but I’m on the mend.  Thank God.  God is still in the miracle business.

Yesterday marked 11 years since my mother and niece were killed in a car accident.  A man fell asleep and killed them both.  They were just going to an appointment.  Something millions of us do every day.  I wonder once in awhile if the dr ever found out why they didn’t show up.  Did he ever know?  I think about odd things like this once in awhile.  The man came away with two broken ribs by the way.  Michael Rockwell.  A name I wish I’d never heard of.  Two officers went to my parents’ house to tell dad.  He slumped over the porch rail.  I don’t know how long he stayed there.

Life is so strange.  And death is so capricious.

What has happened? 06/29/16

I have just been released from the hospital not too long ago. I was in for 12 days. I feel as if I have been sucked out of the world; and placed in a dark, isolated building.   I went into my doctors’office Friday;  and I was admitted straight into the hospital before the appointment was over.   My breathing was labored painful.  My doctor looked at me with eyes full of sympathy and helplessness. He seemed to be telling me that he didn’t know what else to do. I spent the weekend  grappling with what might be coming; and still having no idea. On Monday, the doctor came for me. I heard words like biopsy, incision,  but still; I had no idea.  I had no idea.

I woke up after the procedure in a state of confusion and delirium.   I was aware that I was rambling out of my head, but I couldn’t seem to stop.  I was transferred to ICU, where my husband was with me until very late in the evening. I was vaguely aware of doctors coming in and out… Nurse is checking my blood pressure, blood sugar, my heart beat.   And then finally, the doctor comes to sit next to me and I hear the words, there is no cancer. There are no signs of cancer.   Is so amazing. There was joy.   There was so much gratefulness to God. No cancer. This kept going around and around In my head.

And then the next question was, “what is wrong with me? Why am I gasping for breath?”  The pain set in from the incision.    Horrendous pain.   As a woman, I tend to compare pain to birth. Even when I had back surgery, I compared it to birth.   I now have a new threshold of pain to compare. There is nothing like this Pain.  The doctor tells me that I have  inhaled the spore  of some type of fungus. This fungus began to grow near my lungs.  It grew to the size of a fist.   And when he went in, to take the biopsy… pus oozed everywhere.   The doctor took quite a big  chunk of this fungus to send out for analyzation.

This  fungus put my heart out of rhythm;  put a strain on my lungs,  enlarged my spleen,  and was putting quite a strain on my organs. They got my heart back in rhythm.   But the aftermath is a painful cord that is knotted from under my arm and up around my back.   Trying to turn over is agony.   I can’t say enough  for the kindness of my husband.   He has taken over everything. He does laundry, shops, waits on me hand and foot, makEs I have my meds on time.

God Is surely a merciful God, or I would not be able to endure this.  My sisters stand by the phone  so they can hear my pitiful  complaints of pain.  And they don’t make me feel anything but loved. I will try to write more about this experience tomorrow. Please continue to pray for me.

This Cancer 06/11/2016

Well, where have I been?  I’m currently in the hospital. I developed complications from the biopsy;  and went to my doctor with extreme pain in my chest, back, and my abdomen. He immediately checked me into the hospital. I have been a ball of pain. I have been given morphine, and  delaudid for the pain.  It is very distressful. Today, I had a total pain meltdown complete with tears and pleading with God to give me peace.  The dr. tells me I have a mass the size of my fist that is causing my organs to be distressed.  Causing all this pain.

I can’t say pain enough.  A wall of pain.  I had no idea what pain can feel like.  I thought I did.  I’ve had back surgery.  I’ve had two kids.  Monday, the dr goes in to do a new biopsy.  He says if he can remove that mass; he will.  But if he can’t, he will biopsy.  I’ve had the gamut of problems.  The mass is causing my temp to stay elevated, my blood sugar to stay elevated, and the PAIN.  I’m praying for a total removal.  That I will no longer have this huge mass.  I’m not eating much because I can barely breathe without pain.  I’m on oxygen.  Let us pray and agree that the dr will be able to remove it all at once.

 

 

The Cancer Inside Me – 06/08/16

My husband and I went to the nature preserve today. It was really beautiful there, but was extremely hot.  The heat weighed me down tremendously.  I came there to take pictures. It is so lush. We didn’t stay long, because I just couldn’t. I was out of breath, I was aching, and hot.

We then went to the store, and bought something to soothe the ulcers.  Apparently, the doctor that did the endoscopy  found quite a lot of ulcers.

My husband’s friend purchased a CD for me to listen to.  It was very uplifting. And I’m going to speak positive things over my life every day in Jesus name. I’m going to say every day that I am healed. That I have no cancer. That I have no ulcers.  I will speak this over myself  in the name of Jesus;  until it manifests  in my body.

I am not a weak person. I’m not one to just lay down and say, “well this is it.” I am someone who wants to do something about what is going on around me. I believe strongly in the power of healing through Jesus CHrist.   I have been healed of cancer two times before in my life. I know that satan is a liar.   I may have times when I’m not feeling well; but I will never forget that I am healed.

I must take charge. I must put healing foods and beverages in my body. We are to take care of our temple, our bodies. Thank you for so much for stopping by.  I think this is all for today. And tomorrow is another day. God bless!

The Cancer Inside Me – 06/07/16

It has become a waiting game now. I won’t know anything more about this cancer until 20th of June.  I forced myself to stop looking up lung cancer on the Internet.   My chest hurts pretty badly,  and I’m thinking that’s not a good thing. So, I got on the Internet and looked up life insurance policies.  It turns out that it’s not a good idea to wait until you’re 55 and diagnosed with lung cancer to sign up for life insurance. But I signed up anyway. I’m not going to put my kids through the same thing they went through with their dad.

He had nothing when he was alive, and he had nothing when he died; not even a life insurance policy.  He and I were no longer married, and his girlfriend suddenly wanted nothing to do with the funeral arrangements. She was all about putting herself first and foremost  while the funeral was being planned; but she was nowhere to be found when it came time to pay for it. Well, anyway, regardless of that, I refuse to put the kids through the hell of wondering how they are going to come up with the money to pay for my funeral expenses.   I finally got the policy through Mutual of Omaha.

I felt accomplished after that. My hubby went out and got some Mexican food. It was really good. I went with a burrito.   I chatted with my daughter. We talked about life and death and expectations. We got real about life.   I’m not going to say it was easy, because it really wasn’t. I told her about the x-rays. About how I have severe oh what is the name? The word escapes me now.  Ulcers. That’s the word. Ulcers.

I went outside and shot pictures of the bamboo in the backyard. They are lush and green. Full of life. I would surely miss my family, if I should go  soon. Would I miss them? I don’t know. Because I don’t know how it works. My throat is so sore from yesterday. And my chest and stomach are sore too.   I feel like I’ve done 100  sit-ups.  The soreness without the exercise.

But, I laughed a lot with my old friend today. She called me to tell me that she had a ton of ink pens that she was dragging into work.  And how all of two people showed up at the Fennville Michigan works department. Fennville is a little tiny town that I graduated high school from.  I can’t believe they even have an employment office there. She had me laughing talking about how she was talked into driving around with a couple of her friends right out of high school  and how they were drunk, so she had to drive. A police officer stopped them…and that’s when Diane learned that her friend had taken the license plate from his dad’s vehicle and put it on the one they were driving. This was many years ago. When police just send kids home when they got into trouble and told them not to do it again. That’s exactly what they were told, and that’s exactly what they did.

We talked about working in the summer program at the Elementary school. We had so much fun. It was a program for the migrant workers. We were paid basically to babysit while the parents worked. And the government paid for it.  They paid our salaries, and they paid for the buses to go out and pick up the kids.  Everyone had to ride the bus.  Either in the early morning, or in the afternoon; everybody rode the bus.   I loved to ride in the afternoon. Because it meant I could sleep in.

It was a good talk. I enjoyed it very much, and it kept my mind off of other things.

After talking with her, I got in the shower; and I allowed the water to run as hot as I could stand it over my back.  It felt really good. And when I get out, I felt renewed.   I promised my daughter that I would not become morose;  and that I would seek counseling if I started having signs of deep depression.  She urged me to look for a support group for both myself and my husband to attend. I promised her I would look into it.

Well, that’s it for today. I look forward to writing more tomorrow… Til then, God bless.

The Cancer Inside Me 06/06/2016

I woke up early this morning. Got dressed, brushed my teeth, and gathered all the info that I’m supposed to bring with me to the biopsy. My husband is driving. We arrive to building 46 and get checked in.   I’m finally in a bed; and my husband is sitting across from me. I haven’t eaten since yesterday. I haven’t had anything to drink either. My husband suddenly decides to be Mr. Chatty Cathy. I want to smack him. I know this is unreasonable, but I just can’t help myself.   He seems to be chatting with everyone. I just want this to be over with.

The nurse inserts my IV. Everything seems a blur, and I just want it to be done. She’s trying to tell me what to expect; and I hear buzzing in my ears. It’s a very weird sensation. I feel as if I’m floating outside of myself. I don’t even remember the IV going in.   Finally, it’s time to go to the operating room; and I feel extremely anxious. Whenever I go under sedation, I feel like I’m dropping off a cliff. I say something to the nurse about this anxiety. The nurse assures me that I am in good hands.   I really feel as if I am in good hands. They roll me to my side, and put an  object in my mouth that looks hilariously like a baby’s pacifier.  Except that it has a hole in the bottom where the tube will go in.   The tube,  they explain, will be used to gather the cancer sample.   I’m struggling to cover my back with the sheet now that I’m on my side. The nurse assures me they will make sure my back is covered. I want to snap, “Thank you very much, because I would rather not have my ass hanging out.”   I swear, I’m not usually like this. Thank God I’m asleep before I can say anything.

I’m awake.   I am in  what I assume to be the recovery room.  I see the nurse sitting at her desk at the foot of my bed. She comes over and asked me how I feel. “I feel fine,”  I say, “except that I’m extremely thirsty.”

She says, “What would you like to drink? We have water, coffee, fruit juice, cranberry juice,  Sprite…” She trails off as if I should’ve chosen something by now.

I say, “Sprite sounds good. Do you have Sprite zero? ” She nods in the affirmative,  so I say again, “Sprite zero then, thank you.”

I’m wheeled into a waiting room where my husband is brought in. He leans to over to kiss me, and asks me how I’m doing. I want to say they pried my mouth open with a crowbar and cut out 50 tons of tissue how do you think I’m doing?

What is wrong with me? He’s just trying to be nice. I’m so irritated. I guess it’s just everything.   I say, ” I’m doing good, baby.”  I sit in silence sipping the sprite zero that was brought to me; I’m so afraid I’m going to say something ridiculous.

On the way home, I quickly pick up my phone and aiming the camera; I take a picture of a duck family waddling across the grass. I do this for the seven day nature challenge I’ve been nominated for on Facebook. I silently dare my husband to ask me what I’m doing;  but thankfully, he does not. I’m afraid I would have blurted out something like, “Didn’t  you know that taking pictures of ducks cures cancer?!”  I’m so grateful that he didn’t ask.  My poor husband.

I am now at home and resting.    I have updated my sisters. I’ve told them about the two large masses. There is one on my lung and one on my chest.   Also, there are ulcers. The doctor currently wrote me out a prescription which I will not be able to fill because my insurance won’t cover it. $145 I do not have.

Well, that’s about it for today. I’m going to get some more rest.

Until tomorrow…God bless

The Cancer Inside Me 06/05/2016

When I opened my eyes this morning; the  first thing I saw was the ceiling. I remembered how I painted it about five years ago. It’s a peach color. I know I have to get up for church, but I don’t feel like it. But, I know I’m going to do it anyway.   My stomach feels heavy. It’s like, I don’t know how to explain it… It’s like a weight has been added to it. Even when I breathe, there’s a heaviness.  I’m so glad that I don’t have small children at home anymore.  I don’t know how I would take care of them.

I have a grandson in Hawaii. His dad has custody of him. My daughter and I are not allowed to speak to him. Hurts, but there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s a long, drawn out story.   My other grandson lives in Michigan.  At least I can speak to him. And I did get to see him when I went to pick up my son in Michigan.  My son stayed with me for a little while, but he has now gone back to Michigan. I know he is happier there.  He grew up there, and that is his home.

In church, I can tell the ones who know that I have cancer.  There’s an extra smile, an extra long hug.  A sincere, “How do you feel?”   I wish I knew how to really answer that.

I don’t want you to think that I sit around feeling sorry for myself all day. I absolutely do not. There are pockets of time, when I allow myself to just feel whatever it is I feel. And if that’s sadness, then I feel sadness.  If  it’s loneliness, then I feel lonely.  Well, you get it by now.

My husband stands by the door at the church.  He has taken all the classes in order to be an assistant in church.   He does all types of jobs in church. He may stand by the door, direct traffic in the parking lot, greet people at the door, or just help people as they come in.  God bless him.  I don’t have the energy for that.

I wanted to sit on the deck; but it rained.  Another rainy Alabama Sunday.  Hot and humid.  Whether rain or no, the summer here is a thick heat that lays over you like a damp towel.  But I wouldn’t live anywhere else.  My jaw aches from grinding my teeth.  It used to be only a night time thing.  I wear a night guard to protect my teeth.  Apparently, you can wear your teeth down grinding on them.  But now I grind all day too.  Cancer, cancer, cancer…. I think if I write it enough times; it will go away and never bother me again.  That’s silly, I know.

I’m tired now.  I’m going off to take an afternoon nap under the air conditioner.  And when I wake up; I will go outside and shoot pics of our bamboo in the yard for the 7 day nature challenge I’ve been nominated for on Facebook.  My sister nominated me.

Another day.  Thank God.  I will see you tomorrow.

 

 

 

The Cancer Inside Me – 06/04/2016

It is 3 PM, and I have only just eaten breakfast.  I make no apologies for that. I mean, that I got up at 3 PM. I allow myself to do pretty much whatever I want to these days.  After breakfast, I go outside on the deck to paint my nails.  A  pretty, pink sparkly color. It is translucent, so the bruises on  my nails show through. I usually use a dark color to cover that. I honestly don’t know why that is happening, but there it is. It doesn’t look terribly bad. It just looks like I was trying to paint another color into the pink.

Dad called me yesterday. He  seemed to be in good spirits. He wants me to be well, so he tries to make light of the cancer. It’s not that he doesn’t care; he just can’t handle it. When I first told him, he cried so hard that I was concerned for him.   My mother died in a car accident several years ago along with my 11-year-old niece.   Life got really tough for him after that.  I’m trying not to make it tougher;   so I tell him that I’m going to be fine. And I make my voice sound like it too.

It’s my sisters that are my rock. My sister, Bonnie, and I stopped speaking a year ago. I’m not going to say why here – it just is what it is.   The cancer brought us back together.  Our middle sister, Laura,  had been trying to mediate between us.   I really did miss her. There were times that I wanted to pick up the phone and hear her voice.   All our lives, she has been my go-to for everything. I really don’t care that it was the cancer  that brought us back together. I’m just grateful.   Laura is always there too. Truly, I think God for these two wonderful people in my life. They understand things about me that no one else ever will. Because of the way we grew up, going from here to there and here to there and here to there and never being anywhere.  That was our life.

My daughter, Charla, calls me every day through the week on her way home from work.  She is pregnant. Her baby is due in September. She has  put my cancer in a box  in her head. She knows it’s there, but she doesn’t like to look at it. Who can blame her? I don’t want to look at it myself. So, when she told her doctor about my cancer, he took it out of her box and put it point blank in front of her.   She only brought it up to him because she was concerned about exposing me to germs when I come to the hospital to see the baby. She said the look on his face was so sad. She had told him I never smoke. He told her it would’ve been better had I gotten lung cancer by smoking myself.  She said the sadness on his face made her wonder if she was being delusional about my cancer.   I wonder if I’m delusional about it myself. My own doctor has a sadness about him whenever he talks to me about the treatments. I know that he knows more about what’s going on with me then I do. But how much he’s telling me, I don’t know.   I don’t want to know. Maybe some people do. Maybe they can look at it in some kind of way.   But I figure it’s there, and it is what it is, and I just want to know what to do to get better.

Well, I’m getting off here now. I thank God for another day.  I used to thank God for another day in a kind of abstract way, as if it was a given that I would have another day. But when I say that now, I know what it really means. Until tomorrow then.  God bless you all.

 

The Cancer 06/03/16

I rolled out of bed this morning feeling hungover.  No doubt from the concoction of medicines that I take.  An aching tooth reminds me that I need a root canal.  But I’m not going there yet.  I don’t know the time limit on getting one; but I feel overwhelmed as it is.   A root canal is not going to help.   My husband opened the door to the bedroom  and said, “I thought I heard you  moving around in here. Good morning, baby. ”

Good morning, Baby.”  I say this back to him in a despondent way.   There’s really no emotion in my voice. He is praying over me as I brush my teeth. He is a prayer warrior. Truly, I think, if God listens to anyone; he would listen to my husband. I am grateful for him.  I’m thinking about breakfast. I really don’t want anything, but I  settle for a fruit smoothie.

Before I  even get on my phone, I pick up the laminated paper that my husband prepared for me to read from every morning.   I quote the scripture out loud.  It is comforting to me. It makes me feel connected, and hopeful. My husband, Hutch, is a strong believer in the spoken word. He believes that what we put out in the atmosphere manifests itself.  I have come to believe in this too.

Earlier today, at the grocery store, I picked up a few things. I’ve gone full-fledged into this smoothie thing. I picked up a lot of fruits and vegetables. They are supposed to fight this cancer.  That is the hope. After I got home, I quickly got out of my jeans and dress shirt;  and put on my pajamas. These are my clothing of choice these days.   Hutch wanted to stop at Popeyes chicken, so he did.    He wanted to know if I wanted anything. I wondered in my head if he just didn’t get what I’m going through.  But then I realize he can’t possibly. I don’t put Popeyes  and KFC  in my body. I bought some coconut sugar. I have no idea what it is – or what it does – or how  it tastes. But, I thought it might take some of the rawness  out of fruit smoothies.

I just started a Prime Amazon subscription.  Well, it’s the trial…after it’s over, I’m sure I will cancel it.   So, I was watching a movie;  and I started thinking about the cost of having cancer. I don’t know why. I have no idea. But there it was. There was a $600 co-pay for the CT scan. There’s another $112 for the biopsy. I laughed. Where is this money going to come from?   I’ve called so many agencies, but we fall right in the cracks of qualifying for anything.   Just a little too much.   And yet not quite enough. My sister suggested a go-fund me page on Facebook.   I’m embarrassed to think about it. It’s not that were destitute. We’re not. But these are just conversations that you don’t have with people who ask you what they can do for you.

The cost of this cancer is overwhelming. And I wonder how people like me get through. And then I think here I am worrying about the very thing that I said I don’t worry about anymore. So, I’ve contradicted myself.  I’m sure it won’t be the last time. Well, I’m going to settle down with my fruit smoothie and watch a movie. Then I will practice breathing, the way my dear friend Lorraine told me to do it. Until I see the blue. Until I see the tranquility. Until I see the healing.

No more thinking for today. And tomorrow is sufficient unto itself.

 

The Cancer Inside Me 06/01/16

Even though I’m supposed to have faith; I’m wondering how far it will get me. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I wake up. I stare into the darkness. I think about death. It seems to be staring me right in the face. I hear people that love me say, “You’re a strong woman. You’re going to beat this.”   But, I don’t feel like it. I feel like… I feel like… I’m standing. I’m sitting. I’m falling.  It’s lonely. Because I’m the only one who can walk this road.  I look down at my stomach; and I feel betrayed by my own body.

Every  day, my breath gets shorter. And I don’t know if it’s the truth, or if it’s just nothing. I think maybe my body is reacting to my thoughts.   My stomach hurts, and my back hurts. I tell people that I’m going to beat this.   And I truly believe it. I’m doing all the right things. I’m eating right, and I’m having positive thoughts.   But, I’m still human; and I’m still feeling what I feel. I thought I had problems before this. Nothing feels like this.

Even  driving down the road feels different.   I laugh now  at the absurdity of what I thought was real. Turns out, I was wrong. Bills, kid issues, my issues, marriage issues are not real. What’s real is staring at death.   Not in some far distant foggy future; but right now, right here.   I am a positive person. I don’t sit around and cry all day. Although, if I’m honest, I truly feel like  doing just that.

I heard words out of my doctors mouth that I’ve never heard before. My hearing just became selective.   I don’t want to hear what he has to say anymore. So, my mind picks and chooses words. The words I hear now are hope, maybe,  feeling better, doing everything I can, positive.   The words I refuse to hear are cancer, tests, chemo, and all the other words that I can’t even pronounce.   I can’t digest those words. I can’t eat them, I can’t put them in my mouth and I can’t swallow them.

My dad is old. And he was supposed to be dead years ago, but he beat the odds;  and with a difibrillator,  a  pacemaker, and oxygen; he smokes. I’ve never smoked. But I’m the one with the lung cancer.  Everything that used to make sense, doesn’t make sense.   Don’t misread  that.  I do not want my dad to have  lung cancer. I don’t want anyone to have lung cancer. I’m just putting these words  out here, to express to you how I feel. I call people, and we chat. We talk about positive things. We talk about what I can do, what i should eat.   I hear people saying, “Don’t eat sugar.”  “Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.” I know these things.

I wake up with this, and I sleep with this. It never leaves me. It’s that ridiculous, unwanted  enemy  that follows me around everywhere I go. It’s my shadow. So tomorrow is another day. And I will not worry about tomorrow.  For tomorrow has sufficient problems unto itself.

Until tomorrow then.

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