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Many of you know that I have been struggling for many years with cancer. So you probably know a lot of my story, but for those of you who don’t here you go. I was originally diagnosed in 2008 with endometrial cancer. I have always faced this disease head on. No matter what it threw at me I fought back. I have done radiation and I have lost count of how many types of chemo I have done. I have endured many surgeries. When cancer metastasized into my lungs I lost 2 and a half lobes of my lungs. After the last lung surgery I went into heart failure and spent a week in the CVICU. Because radiation is the gift that keeps on giving it caused multiple issues with my kidneys and urinary tract. Not to be left out my bowels caused me years of distress and multiple embarrassing accidents. I have had an abscess that almost killed me. I have been septic several times. After almost a year of fighting an infection in my left kidney they finally agreed to take it out. The doctor said it was going to be one of the hardest surgeries he’d ever done and I might not make it off the table. Well I did and it was actually one of my easier recoveries. I’m sure that I am forgetting somethings but I think you get the idea that the last 12 years have not been easy. Besides the medical stuff I have missed birthday’s, holidays’s, weddings, going away/graduation parties, my nieces Christmas programs, baby showers and who knows what else. I continued to work until 2018 when I was in the hospital more as a patient than an employee. It came to the point that I just couldn’t keep working, fighting cancer and having any kind of life. So I made the very difficult decision to go on disability. Shortly there after I came to the realization that all these treatments were doing more harm than good and it was time to stop all measures to fight the cancer. This did not mean I was throwing in the towel, just that I didn’t want anymore medications making me so sick that I was in the hospital all the time. I just wanted to try living.
For the most part the past year has been pretty amazing. Darryl and I went to Colorado and had the most amazing time!! I got to spend more time with family and friends. I felt better than I had since before my diagnosis. Of course all good things come to an end.
In November I noticed that I was way more tired than I had been. I thought maybe I had an infection somewhere. We all know how Infections love me. Instead of an infection my labs results came back with a low hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen in the blood. A normal hemoglobin for a woman is 12.5. to 15.5. Mine was 6.8. I had to go to the emergency room to get blood transfusions. It took 3 units of blood to get up to a mere 9.2. Not great but certainly much more acceptable. Thinking this was a one time thing we went on to enjoy the holidays with our family and friends.
2020 a whole new year!! Shortly into January Darryl got sick with a double ear infection and a nasty cold. He was exhausted and tried to sleep as much as he could. No matter how much he slept he could get caught up on sleep. So it didn’t seem weird that I started feeling run down and exhausted. No matter how much I slept I couldn’t find any energy. I started having symptoms of a kidney infection so once again I was off to the laboratory. We really only needed a urine sample but I said since I’m there should we have draw some blood too?
Results came with a 6.9 hemoglobin. I really struggled with weather or not I wanted to go back to the ER and wait for hours to get seen and evaluated only to come to the conclusion that I needed blood. My issue was that I had decided that I did not want anymore treatments, procedures or surgeries. So if we could figure out what was wrong with my blood would I be willing to do anything about it? Also was I wasting blood if I received 3 more units of blood knowing full well in 2 or 3 months I would need more. I spent the weekend thinking a lot!! I spoke with less than a handful of people but they were people who I thought could be straight with me. On Monday I reached out to one more friend. She won me over on getting blood when she told me that it was a comfort issue not a time to be heroic. When your hemoglobin is low you of course are low on energy but your also get light headed, headaches and basically you feel like crap.
I had been talking with my Hospice support team about how it might be time to switch to full hospice over the last month or so. I have been noticing some small changes and some bigger ones. I am definitely weaker than I was 6 months ago. Going up the stairs has become difficult but I can still some what spider monkey to the top. Or if there is a good railing itbcan help get me up the stairs. My appetite is almost non existent. I have lost approximately 20 pounds since November. Not only am I not hungry nothing sounds good. My favorite foods are just not appealing.
So after I was discharged Hospice came and admitted me to full hospice. They offer a lot of services that will make life easier for not just me but for Darryl too.
So where does this leave us at this time. As so often in life we just have to wait and see. My red blood cells could continue to decrease. Or my body could sort itself out and I could have a few more years we just don’t know.
I thought this could be a good way to share for those who are interested. Please let me know if you have any questions.