late night ramblings of a cancer survivor

by debi9kids on November 9, 2017

It’s 1:40am and I’m lying awake waiting for my medication to kick in so I can fall asleep.
I’m exhausted.
But I don’t really sleep anymore,
not without help anyway.
I guess there’s too much running through my mind and I can’t shut it off.

On October 19th I had an ablation done on my heart. My electrophysiologist found two areas of my heart that needed to be repaired and since the procedure my pulse has been normal.

It should be a relief.

Instead, my blood pressure continues to drop with activity and I’m on medication to try to keep that within a functional range.

Over the past month I’ve had a dry annoying cough, which immediately made me paranoid that my cancer was back in my lungs.
My general doctor prescribed cough medicine that should’ve helped.
It didn’t.

So, when I showed up in his office complaining about the cough, difficulty breathing, and my BP was 70/22, he sent me to the ER.

I spent 8 hours there with my mom and Hugh having countless tests run.
It isn’t cancer.
Thank God.
It isn’t a blood clot in my lungs.
Again, Thank God.
But when I got up to move around, my O2 levels dropped from 99% to 84.
Not good.

I was sent home with steroids and an inhaler and told to see my general doctor and a pulminologist as soon as possible.

I talked to my doctor the next day.
He wants to put me on oxygen because he thinks my lungs were damaged by the chemo.
He’s making appointments for a respitory therapist to come to my home…
And called my pulminologist at Fox Chase to consult with him.

I’m supposed to start back to working and instead I feel like I’m in a never ending cycle of bad things happening.

And so I’m awake.
When I should be sleeping.
Feeling very overwhelmed.

And feeling like the words “cancer free” should’ve made me feel better than I actually feel.

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N.E.D.

by debi9kids on October 11, 2017

No evidence of disease.
You’d think those words would bring me comfort.
They don’t.

Doctors don’t really say, “Remission,” anymore. They say,”NED.”
That’s it.
It pretty much means the same thing, but to me it’s just kind of saying, “There’s no evidence of disease Right Now.”

I was told a strange depression comes over you after you hear those words.
Depression.
Anxiety.
Pretty much describes it.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer is not your “typical” breast cancer.
It’s nastier.
It’s more resistant to chemotherapy.
It’s hormone resistant.
It’s small cells.
And they hide from surgery, and chemo, and radiation and then suddenly reappear just when you’re starting to feel like you’ve defeated cancer for good.

I’m NED.
I pray every day I’ll stay that way.
But I worry every night that I won’t.

I pray the fear goes away as I try to make the most of every day without letting the fear creep too close to the surface.

And maybe
I’ll be one fortunate ones…

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Pink. The Old Black.

October 6, 2017

There’s this Audrey Hepburn quote I have on my Facebook about the color pink. I used it as a header there for a while because I liked what the words says (honestly, I like most everything Audrey Hepburn had to say… what a classy woman). But, I digress. I remember when I was first diagnosed […]

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The Part Where Nurse Ratchet Tried To Kill Me

August 25, 2017

It’s been a bit since I continued my story and I apologize. Things have been… Hectic. And not great. I’ve been having some side effects from my chemotherapy and surgery and struggling and unfortunately it’s kept me from being able to go to work (which I desperately need to make ends meet). Anyway… Back to […]

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Everything you never wanted to know but were afraid to ask… part 1

July 6, 2017

I’ve sat for literally days thinking about how to share what it’s really like to have a mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction without sharing too much {read: scaring people who may soon endure the same hell}. I decided to just tell my story the way it went down (or,  how I remember it.  Because,  I was […]

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It’s so much harder than I imagined.

June 4, 2017

I’ve always sort-of hated my body. I was too fat. Or too short. Or too ugly. My nose was too big. My boobs weren’t perky enough. My butt was too big or not muscular. My thighs never fit in pants properly

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Cancer Free.

May 28, 2017

I’ve been home from the hospital for seven days. My surgery was 14 days ago, and while I’d love to say I’m feeling better with each passing day, the truth is that I’m feeling pretty lousy. There have been many days where I thought I should update but honestly I just haven’t had the energy. […]

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