Saturday, 27 June 2015
Life has taken some drastic twists over the past 2 weeks. On Friday, June 19 I had a check up with my Oncology team. It was a regular check up that I had postponed due to our trip to Memphis. But as the day approached, I knew it was time to meet with my team to talk about the increasing pain I was having in my back and legs. To say that concerns were raised would be an understatement. Before I left my appointment I was scheduled for a CT scan, sent for a blood test, and before I knew it I was back in the medical scene going for tests and waiting for results. I was fortunate to get in for a CT scan already on Monday. On Tuesday I was called back to my oncologists office to be given some devastating news: the cancer has spread to various parts of my body. The big concern is that it has moved to my spine; I have compression fractures on my lower spine that are the cause of my limited mobility and the pain I'm feeling in my back and legs. My entire lymph system is being affected by the cancer and has caused a lot of swelling in my lower body. As a result I have also developed multiple blood clots in my legs. The tumor in my pelvis has also grown and is putting pressure on my legs. There are also some suspicious spots on my lungs. So I basically went from thinking I was having a few complications to realizing my body is slowly shutting down. This was a lot of information to process in a few hours. We are shocked and obviously devastated by this news. I was immediately admitted into the hospital to get some things under control. I needed blood transfusions to get my blood levels at a safer level. My haemoglobin dropped significantly. I also needed to get my pain under better control. My doctors also encouraged me to start radiation on my spine to reduce pain as quickly as possible. I started radiation on Thursday already. I honestly couldn't believe I was doing it again when I entered the radiation doors. I vowed I would never put my body through this again. I'm only doing 5 treatments in hopes that my pain will be lessened. I will remain in hospital until all of my treatments are complete. (I did get to come home on a weekend pass, but will be back on Sunday evening). I am also in the process of transitioning to becoming a palliative care patient. I will be coming home to sleep in a hospital bed, use a walker to get around and have home care involved in caring for me. I honestly can't believe how quickly this is all happening. I feel like my life is evaporating before me very quickly. I've become somewhat of an invalid who needs help with everything so quickly. I honestly wake up every morning and can't believe how I got to this point in a matter of a week. But in all honesty I've probably known things were getting worse for a while, and I was in denial. I was trying to hold it together when really I was in a lot of pain and having a hard time doing things on my own. So even though this week has been devastating, it's been good to get my pain somewhat under control. It's relieving for me to have the freedom to admit I can't manage and I need lots of help. The hardest part is having my family have to watch me deteriorate so quickly. The reality that I have entered the final stages of life is shocking and hard to believe for all of us. We know that the next few weeks of changing our home into a health care facility will be hard on all of us. We will be constantly adjusting as we make changes to accommodate this new life. So far, we feel a supernatural peace about all of it. We know that although this is not was we have hoped for or prayed for, we know God is in control and He will carry us through this somehow. Don't get me wrong....this has not been easy. There have been lots of questions and anger as well; but ultimately we know He has the last word and He gets to decide. We've already had so many people help us in various ways. We are so fortunate to have so many people caring for us and praying for us. There are many days we don't have the energy to pray and it's helpful to know others are doing that for us. Our families have come along side us in amazing ways. We are surviving so far. I know all of this will be shocking for some of you to read. It's shocking for me to write. We are doing our best to take one moment at a time and enjoy each other as much as we can.