Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘faith’

How would you react… Part III

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on October 3, 2018

Image result for PET scan

Found on Google Images, Sept 30, 2018

I drove myself to the hospital for the PET scan which was NOT a walk in the park. My friend had already given me the heads-up about the procedure so I came prepared! I brought my eye mask with me so I’d have no idea what was going on beyond the incidental noises. But before any of that, they inject a sugar isotope that has to move around the body for 40 minutes. So you have to SIT perfectly still and close your eyes so that it goes to the cancer and no where else.

I DON’T SIT anymore. Even as I type this, I’m lying on my front on my bed. This is how I spend most of my time in fact. Lying on my front because the tumor is right there in my behind, growing, painful and super uncomfortable. I even eat lying on my front, when I have an appetite.

So sitting for this 40 minutes was on my side as much as I could do. But the only way for the scanner was on my back. I DON’T LIE ON MY BACK EITHER. So you can imagine my discomfort and pain. I had taken my pain pill earlier that morning, and it’s good for 8hrs. But it was approaching the last “hour” of the pill’s presence when I had to lie on that table for a good 20 – 30 minutes!!!  

 WHEN IT WAS ALL SAID AND DONE…

I was sick to my stomach. They ask you to fast and drink a lot of water prior to the scan. I had done that – I got to pee before the scan – but my head was deprived of nourishment and I nearly fainted walking back to the waiting lounge. I also felt nauseous and nearly threw up a couple of times. Fortunately I had brought with me a snack pack of chicken salad and crackers.  They had small couches in the waiting room, so I climbed on to one and began the arduous task of eating not quite lying on my stomach. 

I also had to make another visit to the restroom. My body wasn’t reacting too well to the injection, even though the paper I was handed said that I should be able to return to my normal duties. Well I just made it home and ended up sleeping a good hour – my normal duties – and still feeling sick and dizzy!

Now, WHY the PET scan? Because my new Oncologist ordered it. The paper read,A second opinion”.  I don’t think he doubted the surgeon’s findings, but he wanted to be sure of what he would be treating. My appointment with him wouldn’t be until the following Thursday. And, as it turned out, I would follow his appointment with the Radiology Oncologist’s appointment. They are in the same building and right next to each other to be exact. 🙂

IN THE MEANTIME…

Believe it or not, but communications were going back and forth between family members about the current condition of my cancer and tumor – some were handling it better than others. But a promise had been made to cover the funeral expenses – again, I wasn’t leaving anything to the last minute. This current diagnosis wasn’t incurable, but anything is possible with cancer. PLUS this is a PURIFIER from God, and it could be His was of bringing me home asap. Something I’m definitely NOT opposed to! I had always said that I wanted my purgatory – PURIFICATION – done here on earth so that I could get home asap. 🙂

So during the next few days I began to plan for end of life possibilities. I made contact with my county’s Cancer Aid Society who have been unbelievable in the assistance they have provided me with! Contacted Home Health Care and also began the process of applying for my state’s Medicaid to cover the costs of the Oncologists. 

When that appointment finally arrived, my friend again drove me to it. She’s been with me since the beginning of this ordeal – back to the very first ER visit! I’ll never be able to adequately express my gratitude at her generosity with putting her own life on hold to help me through this. The Medicaid office also made contact with me en-route to the Oncologist because I was missing a month’s income that was crucial to my approval. I informed her where I was headed and made promise to email that information after my appointments. God’s timing has been everything!

EVERYTHING SEEMED to be falling into place…

Through all of this God has been present both in His servants and in their prayers. He’s provided the people and the resources to see me through this. He’s even given to me some heads-up moments before the events happened so as to not allow me to be taken by surprise and allowing His Graces to sustain me. This gives me even more TRUST in His goodness and mercy! Because the next visit was not what anyone was expecting to hear, except perhaps, by me.

To be continued…

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How would you react if… Part II

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on October 1, 2018

What’s going to happen next?

After being released from the hospital, I drove home and wondered what would happen… 

NEXT?

This now a tumor, when I thought before were hemorrhoids, started to make it’s presence known. All of the sudden I began to feel a lot of discomfort. As the week progressed, I began to feel some pain with that discomfort.

I had followed through with the surgeon’s request and made an appointment with his office. My initial meeting was to take place with his physician’s assistant. And at my last encounter with him, the day before I was to be released, he reminded me that the mass was cancerous and one of two types – one less serious than the other, and to not delay.

“Please don’t put off calling my offices to set up an appointment.”

His reaction was entirely based on the initial reaction in the ER, two days prior. That particular doctor never admitted to not telling me plain what I had. Instead he made it sound like I was in total denial. Oh brother! 

I eased his mind and told him I wouldn’t put it off, that I understood the seriousness of the situation.

BACK TO STORY…

So as my appointment approached I received a phone call from the office that they wanted to change my time. Strangely enough, they called just before they closed up their office. Me thinks too many people react badly to the prognosis of cancer, thus making the staff of such medical offices skiddish about contacting patients. What do you think?

But because his office is part of the hospital system I was able to speak with another nurse who made every guarantee to get a hold of his staff first thing in the morning to see what the schedule change was all about. Turned out that they wanted me to speak directly to the surgeon and not his assistance.

RED FLAG?

You betcha! Whenever it changes from the physician’s assistant to the primary care giver, the news becomes a telegram – no good news. And so it wasn’t. The type of cancer from the biopsy came back as the worst. He told me I wouldn’t like the numbers the Oncologist would give me. But I was getting the best they had and the best Radiologist Oncologist.

That was DEFINITELY God’s doing!

He then told me he would put the port in for any chemotherapy that might follow and I told him about my increased pain that I was feeling. He said it may be necessary down the road to do an emergency surgery where the tumor and colon would be removed together, but that he’d cross that bridge if we ever came to it.

SPECIAL NOTE

I learned a little later, while I was talking with a wonderful man who’s family had the privilege of running the family business – a Funeral Home, (I wasn’t going to let anything wait to the last minute. If this was God’s way of bringing me home, then all the last details were going to be taken care of.), he said to me:

“Doctors write in pencil. So much is apt to change without warning.”

This was good advice, even though I didn’t understand it at the time he said it. This was also advice based on real life experience. Their son, now 16 yrs old, has been fighting cancer of the lung for the last two years. His cancer is a lot like mine in that it just appeared and without any family history behind it. 

So two weeks after that appointment I had my friend drive me to the ER because the pain had become intolerable and I FINALLY gotten a hold of my surgeon through his nurse practitioner who agreed and told me to get to the ER. Plus I believed the tumor had become bigger and that emergency surgery he had spoken of in his office might be a real possibility. In fact, I had everything with me just in case they gave me a hospital admittance.

I learned very quickly that neither my general practitioner nor my surgeon could order surgery. Only an ER doctor could do that. What a crazy system we have created!  

This time, however, it was in the afternoon and the ER was very busy. So it took a few hours before the needed exam finally took place. But when it did, the ER doctor determined that the tumor had indeed grown and was now an inch and a half INSIDE the colon; which explained all the pain I was going through! But at the same time, it gave me great satisfaction that I had accurately called the increase of the tumor. 🙂 Now, how about the surgery?

“Doctor’s write in pencil. So much is apt to change without warning.”

The ER doctor assured me he was my advocate and would relate the extent of my pain to my surgeon – I had kept a running record of those two weeks, thanks to my friend Carol’s advice. Yet the first one back was one of the male nurses – I must tell you that the entire staff were men and very good looking – and he brought with him a pain pill that was amazing! It took care of all the pressure and pain that I had been experiencing, and with very little side effects. This became my prescription pain pill. 

Next the doctor returned and relayed the surgeon’s advice:

“After talking extensively with your surgeon, he feels that based on where the tumor currently is in the colon that surgery would be too risky right now, and that it would be best to do radiation to shrink the tumor first before attempting surgery.”

“Doctor’s write in pencil. So much is apt to change without warning.”

Now this made sense. So with the pain pill and my over the counter pain medicine I would have to endure a little longer. Thankfully they said both work well together and to increase my dosage of the second one to two pills instead of just one. This has indeed helped! Besides, I knew I had a PET scan coming up that Friday with my first appointment with the Oncologist the following Thursday. Something more would be determined, no doubt about it! The question was, what?

To be continued…

I begin a week of Radiation this week. It’s also my birthday week (Oct 4th). Please keep me in your prayers and that the radiation treatment is successful. Thank you and God Bless!

This story will continue as I am writing everything out now (Sunday, Sept 30th) and they will publish themselves during the week. 😉

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