January 5th. The day my life changed forever…
“We have a room for you in emergency. They are expecting you.”
(Neither Sheldon or I thought for one second what was to unfold. We truly believed that it was going to be an explanation of the back pain from some sort of injury.)
We sat there in the cloth walls, both of us in chairs on either side of the hospital bed, separating us. We joked with a young guy who dropped off some food (for the stay we joked?)
Then it happened. The emergency doctor on duty came in. He sat on the corner of the bed facing me. He smiled and said: “You have cancer.” It wasn’t even 30 seconds.
I had no words. Sheldon teared up immediately. This was NOT happening. AGAIN. NO, it’s not possible I said. I’ve done everything right. I learned from her to be proactive with my health…I’m 35 for God’s sake.
Shock. Just shock.
He said: “I think you should admit yourself today. We have to run tests quickly. We don’t know what the cancer is and testing will move faster if you check in.”
Hooked up. Pain medicated and vomiting. And just like that I was ‘sick’. I mean, really sick. Is that a hospital thing? They get you checked in and make you sick? I threw up 16 times that night on a back that was in agony. I couldn’t throw up into the toilet because it required bending. Sheldon would grip my mid-section and I would bend my neck to the sink. Then the tears would flow.
That first week in the hospital was a blur of machines, tests, biopsies, blood thinners & two hour ‘jail’ leaves to go home for a break. Finally after 6 days they let me go because the testing was done and I promised I wouldn’t fall and break any of my fragile bones.
100 pounds of beige. That was me. No appetite and then the radiation started to the low spine and pelvis. This of course exasperated the nausea and I felt like I had been hit by a truck. So tired. I was just so tired.
Maybe this post is too deep. BUT it’s true.
In January, I started a hormonal drug cocktail, went in to menopause, completed six rounds of radiation, consumed 50mg’s of morphine per day with break through oxycodone every three hours & slept a lot.
The first prognosis: It’s breast cancer. It’s stage four. It’s very aggressive and developed in under a year. It moved in and destroyed three vertebrae, set up shop on my sternum & ribs and put holes in my sacrum, iliac crust & to complete it’s journey decided my pelvis needed fractures from side to side.
“Jesus, I thought we had an understanding. Where were you last night? I know it all too well.” – Sarah Slean
I listened to those lyrics upon my mom’s passing countless times and then I listened again in my own anguish. On repeat.
AND THEN. I said STOP!
Nadine, you are NOT sad. You are NOT going to back down. You HAVE to heal now. If you want to live, you need to heal. Have faith in God, he has a plan for you. Trust it. Believe it. Just hold on.
Then I stopped feeling sorry for myself and the BEST part of Nadine was born out of the rubble.
To be continued…