Today was LiveStrong Day.
A day to celebrate those who have battled Cancer and won.
I haven’t ever shared my Cancer story on my blog and thought today was the perfect day.
First a little background. In May of 2006 Big Daddy and I were going to be celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary. In the throws of LoVe we didn’t realize how hard it is to try to get away to celebrate an anniversary at the end of the school year. Oh well, only about 15 more years of kids in school and then it will be easier. Anywho… Big J was getting baptized in March of that year, right smack dab in the middle of spring break. We made arrangements for my sister to come down for his baptism and watch the kidlets so we could celebrate our anniversary with a trip to Hawaii. On Monday before we were supposed to be leaving I started to have abdominal pain. At first I just thought it was the stress of being that far away from my kidlets for a week. As the morning went on the pain was getting so much worse. Finally I called Big Daddy at work and told him I was going to the ER. I had my sister drive me to this new little emergency hospital that was fairly close to our house. Looking back now it is one of those bad decisions that played a huge role in my story. We got to the ER and they got me right back in a room and hooked me right up to a morphine I.V. and with me, either drugs don’t effect me OR I am a slobbering fool. Well morphine made me a slobbering fool, but I was still in intense pain. Big Daddy left work and came to the ER to see me. I knew he had a VERY important meeting that afternoon that he really shouldn’t miss, but I was okay with my sister there with me. As he was getting ready to leave I asked him really quickly to give me a Priesthood Blessing and I distinctly remember part of the blessing that blessed the Doctors to be led in the right direction to help me, those words will always be with me. Then he went to his meeting and I went through a ton of tests. Finally the Doctor came into my room and said that they had called the surgeon in and they were going to remove my appendix. He said that the test didn’t show that was the problem, but he felt that we should go ahead and take it out. Then everything started happening so fast. I didn’t know if Big Daddy was going to make it back before I went in the O.R. but he made it right as they were taking me to pre-op. I don’t remember much else until the next day when the surgeon came to my room and went over the surgery. He said the appendix looked fine, but he felt he should take it out since he was already in there. I remember at the time how angry that made me. Then I told him I needed to be released in time to make an 11am flight on Wednesday. Well after a nightmare hospital stay I was finally released at 10am on Wednesday and we missed our trip to Hawaii. I felt a little angry and foolish that I had to have this apparently unnecessary surgery that ruined our trip. A week later, right after we should be coming home, I had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon to have the staples removed. I just figured he would take my staples out and I would be on my way. In fact I drove myself to the appointment and Big Daddy met me there. That is when the Doctor dropped the bomb. Cancer. You don’t know how hard that word hits. They found a small carcinoid tumor in my appendix. He said carcinoids usually grow in the intestines and aren’t found until they have spread to the liver or lungs and at that point the prognosis isn’t good. He said it was serendipity that we found the tumor at such an early stage. I say it was a Tender Mercy from the Lord.
At this point I was thrown into a whole new world. I was sent to an oncologist. Nobody wants to say that they have an oncologist, I have an oncologist. I had to have additional testing to see if the Cancer had spread to other parts of my body. One test involved having radioactive dye injected into my veins and every day for 3 days I had to have a full body scan to check for hot spots. And while I was radioactive I wasn’t allowed to be around my children. At this point Big J was 8, Einstein was 7, Rachel was 3 and Kayla wasn’t even 1 yet. That test came back with a suspicious spot in my lower right abdomen. So then came the CT scans to see if they could find what that spot was and additional tests were scheduled, also the choice was thrown out that I could be proactive and have the right side of my colon removed. Big Daddy immediately started teasing me about having a semi-colon. Anywho…that felt a bit extreme and a little unpleasant and was ultimately rejected. At this same time a little miracle that we weren’t really planning on happened and I found out I was pregnant with Ham. After a lot of discussions and the initial suggestion that a pregnancy wasn’t such a great idea with a Cancer diagnosis we decided that we would stop everything until after the baby was born. Soon after Ham was born I started having CT scans on a regular basis and they didn’t see anything abnormal. For awhile I went in every 3 months for a CT and they always came back normal. The stress of always worrying about an upcoming CT scan became too much and I quit going in for them. I know I should start again, but I don’t know if I am ready for that constant stress with everything else going on. Please don’t tell me I really need to go in…I know, I know.
So here I am as a reminder to LiveStrong.