I woke up – literally.

Sorry I have been gone – There have been too many mixtures of emotions (anger, regret, sadness, gratitude, determination, guilt, desire) and painkillers to write a decent post.

How often do you hear someone say “How ya doin’? followed by the response “Grateful I woke up, every day’s a gift!” I will tell you, it’s floating around everywhere, this sentiment – and sweet sentiment that it is – most of the time it’s under thought and over used.

Here is where I have been.  When you have breast cancer you start out with one chemo cocktail, four doses taken for eight weeks, then they switch you to a taxane and platinum based chemotherapy – one dose weekly for twelve weeks.   Many of you do not know this, but in conjunction with my first rounds of chemotherapy I took something called “Rick Simpson Oil” or – cancer curing strength oil that you can only go vigilante with and make for your self since it takes a pound of medicinal strain marijuana (more than anyone is allowed to possess legally to treat side effects) cooked down into an oil which is then ingested.  At the end of my first rounds of chemo, I started having visions, my feet and hands were pressed against a door jam and someone was trying to push me into the next room where, waiting for me was my first taxane based chemotherapy treatment.  I told my naturopath of these visions and this unshakeable feeling of impending doom.  She advised me to listen to my body.  I took a friend with me for the courage to shoot down all that I knew the oncologist was going to throw at me with her teary eyes about lowering survival rates and raising recurrence rates by going straight to surgery. I had this unshakeable feeling that the taxane based therapy would give me crippling neuropothy (extremely painful and life altering) and would somehow end my life as I knew  it.

I’ll be damned if that doe-eyed money maker didn’t talk me into “just one treatment, just today and we will see how it goes.”  Biggest mistake of my life.  I went from calligraphy quality handwriting to painfully scribbling like a fourth grader, my feet hurt so bad they wake me every night and put me in a wheelchair for any family or shopping trips, I had man’s first known case (well, my team’s first known case) of neuropothy in my rib cage fascia and, worst of all, it took down my heart valve.  And because of the needed valve replacement I had to have an emergency double mastectomy – after which I cannot tolerate the expanders placed in my breasts which now have to stay for at least eight months, followed by an emergency hysterectomy because the mass in my uterus torqued and could not be drained since they did not biopsy it initially.  And by the way, I had almost zero cancer cells remaining in my tumor at removal – unheard of only halfway through chemotherapy (Thank you Mary Jane). So now, I wait.  I wait for U of M to tell me they have all the information and the correct valve and a time the surgeon is free – to replace my heart valve.  An off label experimental surgery which will require me to lay in bed for six months before I can even start rehabilitation.  I am left to pray the neuropothy lessens though the further I get away from the chemo the worse that chance looks and,

How am I doin’?

Grateful I woke up, every day’s a gift!


One thought on “I woke up – literally.

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