I slept in my mother’s bed again last night. She changed the sheets so everything was fresh and clean and cool. I am so very lucky that she is still with me. I told her that it was like we were having a slumber party.
We stayed up researching the cancer websites and talking. The American Cancer Society has the best website. It is very clear and simple and anticipated all of our questions. We’d ask each other a question and then scroll through a post punctuated by headings and the next heading would address our question! Very well thought out.
Anyway, I think we both fell into some kind of denial last night. I suddenly thought that maybe I only had Stage 3 even though I had been told that the cancer has traveled to “distant sites”/the lymph nodes. They don’t know about the organs yet. Then I decided that even “if” I were Stage 4, I could still beat it even though the survival rate is about 10%. I said that the 10% had to be made up of someone and I could be that someone. I would be that someone.
Then, we fell asleep.
I woke up at 2 a.m. and started researching again. My mother woke up at 4 a.m. I was still researching. We talked until 4:30 a.m. about what I had learned. Then, we fell back asleep.
I woke up again at 6:30 a.m. and things looked different. Based on what I know so far, it appears that I have a slim chance of survival. I am so sad. My mother and I have made a plan to move as soon as possible to a town in which we very much want to live. Moving is so hard but it must be done. I hope we can find a place.
I had an appetite last night for the first time in months, eating a delicious bowl of chicken soup. It felt good, normal. My mother encouraged me to eat every two hours all day yesterday, bringing me small amounts of food. She said that I must be strong and well-nourished to fight this and she is intent on making sure that I am. I want to be part of the 10%.
When I feel good, like me again, I realize how far away from yourself you can get when you are sick.
Today, I am having trouble breathing and am weak. It’s very scary. I’m still me inside – lots of energy and vigor – but I can’t do anything except lie here and write.
I now understand my shortness of breath since February – attributable to the anemia which apparently often accompanies cancer or to lesions on the lungs (will not know if I have any until the end of this week). I wasn’t able to climb stairs, read out loud, stand up and toss my cat a ball, change the sheets on my bed, or do a million other little day-to-day tasks without huffing and puffing. I didn’t know what was wrong with me.
I come from such a healthy family – no incidence of cancer, nothing. In fact, my grandfather worked with toxic metals and chemicals his whole life – before environmental regulations were in place – and he never got sick and lived until his 90’s. No one went to doctors because no one had to.
I want to beat this. I don’t want to leave anyone behind. My family needs me.
I’m going to sign off for now.