Welcome to my CaringBridge website. I have colon cancer, and at the request of some very supportive friends, I've created this to keep friends and family updated about my condition and progress.
You can get started by reading the introduction to the website, My Story. Then you're invited to return often to read my journal entries, view photos, or write a note in the guestbook. Your messages and prayers do so much for me and my kids! I've only just begun on this journey but I already know I can't do this alone.
As most of you know, 2010 and 2011 were years of change for me. After a long and ugly divorce, Rick and I settled into different households on the same street. The divorce was final in December 2010 and since then, Teddy and Tess have adjusted beautifully to our new family arrangement while I have worked hard at recovering from an emotionally abusive marriage.
Needless to say, 2012 seemed to offer the opportunity for a new life. My career as a paraoptometric was growing and becoming more interesting and rewarding, my little home was practically complete and described by many as "a happy litttle place," and I was also looking forward to finally having my finances tamed! The kids were thriving and and I was very much in love with my boyfriend of over a year, artist and poet Peter Bethanis.
Shortly after the holidays, however, my health declined rapidly. Bouts of back spasms or occasional pain gave way to chronic pain in my back and groin and the inability to sit or walk upright. However, as a single mom of 2 energetic kids who also worked 6 days a week, I thought little of it until I was nearly completely debilitated. I presumed I was experiencing the physical effects of my anxiety disorder or perhaps IBS or, at worst, the recurrence of severe endometriosis which I had surgically removed before Teddy was born (about 14 years ago).
Once I was unable to ignore the severety of the symptoms, I contacted my OBGYN who, after an examination and ultrasound, scheduled me for an out-patient lapyroscopy within a week. This procedure was performed on March 14 and appeared to go well, with the exception that Peter and I were told that I would need a full hysterectomy within the coming weeks. I went home on March 14 to recover and planned to return to work on the following Monday, March 19.
My healing went well for a couple of days, but then severe symptoms resumed and I noticed that I was taking more and more of the pain medication. Tuesday, March 20: My doctor's associate saw me in her office immediately and after hearing my complaint, ordered a CT Scan with directions for "the patient to be held" until the results were interpreted. An hour after my test, a very anxious and concerned radiologist told me I was to go straight to the emergency room. Peter met me there after fighting a 3-hour traffic jam between Muncie and Indianapolis. The ER doctors wanted to perform several diagnostic procedures that night which I refused, claiming I had just had surgery 5 days prior and would only be treated by the physician managing my care. I consented to overnight admission, however, and when when the nurses couldn't control my pain after 4 hours of morphine, well - let's say I was taken more seriously.
Then next day, the OBGYN who performed my lapyroscopy reviewed my CT Scan and offered to let me go home, claiming that the inflamation that concerned the other doctors was just endometriosis and could wait a couple of weeks. At this point, I pleaded with her, saying I couldn't go home and would just end up back in the emergency room. Without argument, she said she would see what she could do. By the end of the day, she had a surgical team and plan in place for the procedure to be done the next day.
~ Please see my first "Journal" entry for the rest of the story. ~