Memories. Cancer. Today.
These words came up on my Facebook memories this morning:
"Well ... home from the hospital ... had the DNC and cervical punch biopsy. Dr. Tris said that I have endometrial hyperplasia and very large fibroid tumors. Everything has been sent for a pathology report, with thoughts of Cancer. He said it did not "appear" as cancer to his eyes, but that we will wait on the path report. He also said that there are no options left but a full hysterectomy at this point.
However, with my blood & iron counts as low as they are, he does not think I will survive the surgery.
Once the report is back, if there is no cancer present, then I will be on birth control pills for about 3 months to try and stabilize the bleeding so that my body has a chance to do a bit of recovery before surgery. I am also on an iron therapy program.
Dr. Tris told us yesterday before the DNC & cervical punch biopsy that I was only a few days away from death, because my blood count was @ 4.9.
3 units of blood and it brought it to a "critical low" 7.1.
The endometrial hyperplasia is one step above cancer ... if it isn't cancer already.
I'm ok - tired and weary. With all of Rick's health concerns? I am also majorly overwhelmed.
So, now, we wait ... wonder ... and do our best not to worry."
It has been 6 years since I was diagnosed with cancer. Uterine cancer.
Uterine cancer that turned out to be the most aggressive one known. And yet, by a miracle (words of my oncologist) it was caught early, very early. We were told by Dr. Frumovitz at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, TX, that 99.99% of the women who have this type of cancer do not know until the only option is to give them pain management and a few weeks of getting everything in order and saying their good-byes.
After the major surgery to remove the cancer, and all path reports were back, I was told that had this not been found and addressed that I would have "maybe" had 6 months to live, and it would have been a "most horrible and excruciating" death.
I have been doing a lot of thinking and considering these last few days.
Knowing this "anniversary" was fast approaching.
I have not said a lot about being a "cancer survivor".
There is almost a shame in it.
Rick had Acute Kidney Disease with Renal Failure.
Given the prognosis of living the rest of his life, into being an old man, with only 21% or less of his kidney function.
So many others have had cancer - cancer that was given a higher probability of surviving ...
yet, they have died.
It makes no sense to me.
Who is chosen to live ... and who must die.
The families that are allowed to go on living with their loved ones ...
and the families that are ripped apart, hearts are broken, lives are forever changed, because their just-as-loved loved ones died.
And then there is me.
No one but Rick, and he is gone now, knows:
1. how much I suffered thru those months leading up to the diagnosis.
2. the hell I went thru in having to call my children and tell them this news
3. the hell I endured to apply and be accepted to MD Anderson.
4. those moments that I gritted my teeth to get thru with all the pre-tests, and a couple of them were absolute nightmares!
5. the physical pain waking up from surgery, and in the 18 weeks that it took me to begin the long road of recovery. This was not a "simple" hysterectomy. This was a radical surgery - took over 8 hours to perform, and I will always have lasting effects from it.
And then to hear from someone that I have loved and held in honor, "I don't believe Margaret actually had cancer. I think she was simply too weak as a woman to endure "the change". This was all done for attention. If she had truly had cancer then God would have told me that she did, and He didn't, so I know she didn't have it."
I have read, and re-read, the pathology report so often that I have it memorized.
I know what I have read.
I know what we heard from both Dr. Tris & Dr. Frumovitz.
Why did I survive?
So that I could bury Rick?
Still trying to figure this out.
But I know one thing - - I am no longer going to be ashamed that I had cancer, nor that I survived.
My heart breaks that those I love and care for have had to endure the horror of losing their joy and their heart to Cancer ... and I survived. If I could have made the choice? I would have chosen for someone else to live and to love in this life.
But this was NOT my choice.
My choice is now that I have survived these 6 years it is time to CELEBRATE LIFE.
No matter what others say.
No matter what others think.
I had cancer.
It never had me.
From the moment of hearing the "C" word, I stood firm in saying, "I have cancer, but dammit, it doesn't have me!"
I promised Rick, my kids and my grandkids, that I would fight with all the strength and dignity that I had in me - and I would win!
I would either win by surviving and living this life ... or I would win the ultimate battle and get to go on home!
Perhaps there will always be a measure of "survivor guilt".
Perhaps that is because my heart just feels deeply.
I must find a way to go on - - not only as Rick's widow, but as a Cancer SURVIVOR.
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So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here