Michelle – 1991 (I think?)
Michelle & her amazing daughter, Jenna, about to jump out of a plane…like the crazy woman she was!
Tonight, I went to my friend Michelle’s funeral. I only talked to her a few time in the last few months. Those conversations were great and it made me remember what a beautiful person she was. I could see her personality through the written word. She had a huge presence; it filled a room. I could hear her voice and laughter and wanted to be near it. She was such an advocate for everyone who needed comfort. She had a perfect personality for an ER nurse. She passed away on October 16th. Depression is like so many other diseases. It infests and destroys.
I had treatment 2 1/2 hours before the service, so I was feeling kinda crappy. Over the course of the night, I was getting a bit worse, but it was tolerable. I thought I was going to make it! Success! I sat down with some high school friends and was having a good night. I hadn’t seen these chicks in 20 years and it was great to get hugs and say hi after so long. At that moment, I was just me. Not a sick person, just another friend. It was a feeling I missed greatly! After about 20 minutes, the achiness started. Then the nausea. Close at its heels was the bone pain. It felt like I had bruises up and down my arms and shoulders. Everything was sensitive. 30mg of morphine didn’t even touch the pain. All I wanted was spend time with my old friends at this very morbid excuse for a reunion. But cancer is a cruel bastard and it reminded me that I shouldn’t get too comfortable or too happy.
So now, I’m back at home; hooked up to my IV and in horrible pain. Thank God for my ondansetron injections! If not for that precious 8mg vial, I would have been getting sick all the way home. I’ve had some THC and am finally comfortable enough to rest with minimal pain.
I’ve seen things on Pinterest about cancer not being able to steal this or that. A lot of those are true. But sometimes no matter how hard you try, cancer shows up and rips you out of a good situation to remind you of your place in the patient/survivor role. I’ve lost a lot of friends because of this shit disease for one reason or another, but tonight we were all there to celebrate Michelle’s life. But cancer never rests. It took me away from a bit of time to spend with old friends. For that you can fuck right the hell off.
Halloween is truly the best holiday ever! The true start of cooler weather (in SoCal, at least), scary movies all month long, twerps dressed up like their favorite heroes and villains, and let’s not forget the candy. Ahh the glorious chocolate!! But this year, a true horror is lurking in front of me. Yesterday, I had testing done to check for metastasis (mets) to my bones, specially my hip. The pain has been there for months, I just attributed it to a lingering complication from intrathecal treatment, and it very well could be! One treatment resulted in a “wet tap” (the spinal fluid leaked out of the infusion site). I don’t get the results until Friday.
I don’t even know how to truly react other than to lay here in the dark, staring into nothing and cry. I’m numb with the exception of a cold, sweaty panic running over me every so often.
On top of this issue, I have had a “barking seal” type of raspy, wheezing cough for about the same amount of time…2 months or so. They are bad enough that I require an inhaler and an anesthetic cough drop. I see my doctor on a regular basis, but I never had the bad coughing episode that, as one of my friends asked, “Is that real or are you fucking with me?” I don’t have them everyday so it’s easy to put on the back burner.
Let’s add to the fun. I’ve had an IV in for 34 days for hydration and ondansetron infusions for 20 hours a day. Thank goodness the insurance allows me to be at home. Let me tell you, pushing around an IV pole or carrying around a pump and 2 liter bag of fluids is not as glamorous as it seems.
Bonus issue…I have intrathecal treatment on Friday, then my friends funeral is less than 3 hours later.
Suck it, cancer.
*the images are not my own.
I have another appointment with my oncologist tomorrow. They’re concerned my port is infected. I knew I had it too good for too long 😕
1 year ago today, I saw a gynecology oncologist after 20 years of remission. For that birthday, I received a stage 4 endometrial carcinoma diagnosis and a surgery scheduled for the following month.
From that day till today, my world has been turned upside down, shaken, and then was told to pick up the pieces and find that new normal. It’s been filled with 5 surgeries, 9 rounds of chemo, and more tests, scans, and procedures than I can count.
It has also been amazing! I’ve met so many new friends that have become like family. I’ve reconnected with friends from high school and they are still the raddest chicks in the world. Some tears but a lot more laughs. I’ve learned so much about myself and what I’m capable of. I refuse to mourn my life. Life’s way too short to sit and watch it go by and I’ve fought way too hard to keep this life going.
I never thought I could handle anything like this, especially on my own. I’m pretty stoked about that.
For this years birthday, I took that chance to keep the appointment with my oncologist and believe it would bring me good luck. It was great news that will set me on yet a new road. I truly believe it’ll be a better road. Today has been great so far, even with a trip to the infusion room! Cancer invaded so many aspects of my life in the past year and a half, but I’m not going to let that that stop me from moving forward and learning how to navigate this new normal.
Raise a glass and a finger. Here’s to 42!! 🎉🎉🎉