Losing Days

Sunday December 15th, 2019


Surgery was performed to remove the tumor from my back on Wednesday, December 4th. The surgery went as planned but I woke up the following Saturday with an excruciatingly painful migraine. My head was pounding and I could hardly see out of my right eye. Everything was so dark and as the day went on, it continued to get worse by the minute.

The migraine lasted for six days; six days of horribly intense pain. I isolated myself the entire time by staying in the silence and darkness of my bedroom. The migraines were worse than recovering from the surgery itself; I’m just knocked out. I’m so drained; this is the weakest I have ever felt.

I went to the Rutgers Cancer Institute on Friday while still suffering from the painful migraine to meet with an oncologist regarding clinical trials. Visiting the institute felt very similar to when I went to Sloan Kettering in New York City for a second opinion after being diagnosed with the first tumor. Sitting in the waiting room with all of the other cancer patients is sobering; we are all completely unaware of what’s in store for us.

I was barely able to make it to the appointment because I was still in such horrific pain. In a way, it almost seemed like a waste of a time. Who knows?

The doctors’ prognosis was very grim; he stated that basically it’s just a matter of time before the next tumor develops. He recommends that I don’t have surgery when that happens. He thinks that I should experiment with drugs like heavy-duty chemo even though he agrees with my reasons for not doing it. Because of the low odds of it working, he admitted that he wouldn’t do it either.

If there is one thing that I have learned from being sick and bedridden, it’s that I don’t want to spend the remainder of my days hugging a toilet. The migraines, I’m sure, are nothing compared to what I’m going to feel like if I get the heavy duty chemo. If it had greater than a 10% chance of working, I would consider it.

I just learned that a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has multiple masses and she’s only 41 years old with three little boys.  I broke down upon hearing the news. I hate this disease and what it does to us. I know that she is like me, a fighter, but it breaks my heart to know what she and her family are about to go through.

For the first time, I’m starting to feel like I’m close to leaving this world and going home.

Everything seems so surreal. It’s the holidays and I’d like to be doing things with my grandchildren, like baking cookies and going to see Santa. Instead, I must rest because I am weak and all I can do is pray for strength of mind and body.

My heart breaks because my family is hurting so much watching me get as I get sicker and sicker. This past Tuesday was my boy, Dave’s birthday, but I was too sick to see him. I didn’t get to celebrate it last year either because I had surgery on his birthday to remove a tumor from my lung.

I feel like I just keep losing days with my family.

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