This has been a whirlwind time for the family. I originally went in August to the doctor (went to the physician's assistant) as I was getting tremendous spasms in my left side. I really only had the spasms strong one day and night, so by the time I went to the doctor, it really wasn't that bad. I myself had ruled out many things - shingles, no rash - kidney stones, no blood in my urine - lung cancer, no cough or coughing up blood.Anyway, I thought I must have pulled a muscle, and that is what the physician's assistant concurred. She said to just continue my exercise as usual. Then the end of October I had some more spasms, not as bad as the first time, so called the doctor. He was going to be out until Nov. 1st, and I didn't want to see the physician's assistant again. The spasms went away and I was glad I didn't waste my time going in to see him. Then Thanksgiving Day, everyone giving hugs, I was experiencing spasms again. The next day I got in to see my doctor. He thought it was a pulled muscle too, but got some x-rays. He saw nothing on the x-rays, and said again, keep exercising and continue what you are doing. It sometimes takes a long time for these to heal. He then tried to call me on Saturday and Monday, but only had my landline number. On Monday he left a message that I needed to get a CAT scan as soon as possible. The x-ray technicians had spotted things on my right side, completely opposite of where I was having my spasms. He hadn't seen them either. I got in on Tuesday and thought it was probably going to be a waste of everyone's time. I guess I was wrong. The doctor called on Thursday night and said I needed to get in for a lung biopsy, as they saw a spot on my back, swollen lymph nodes around my heart, and an inch tumor in my right lung. I couldn't get in until Wednesday, and Sam Herkert was nice enough to take me in (as Jack was getting ready for auditors), as you can't drive yourself. The biopsy was easy and I thought I would get right out. You have to stay for 2 hours after the biopsy to make sure the hole closes up, or your lung can collapse. Well, mine didn't close, and I ended up in the hospital until Sunday at 3. Maybe this is the time my family needed to get their heads around everything. Needless to say, they were all in shock, as I am never sick. They were all having a hard time, and lots of tears were flowing.
I started my radiation treatments for my back on Tuesday, Dec. 13th. I needed 14 treatments, and finished on Jan. 3rd. It is just like having an x-ray, and I was lucky and had very few side effects. I had my radiation at Ozaukee St. Mary's, which made it very easy to get there and back, as my visits never lasted more than 10 minutes, and radiation was only 1 minute. The back (in my 8th vertebrae) is what was causing the spasms on my left side, and that is what the radiation was focused on. The spot was very close to my spinal cord, and could have caused paralysis if not taken care of.
I went for a PET scan and brain MRI on Friday, Dec. 16th, at Froedtert. We then saw the Lung cancer doctor on Tuesday, Dec. 20th. We were then told that the cancer was in both lungs, bones (back and ribs), and lymph nodes. The doctor is hoping that I have the most common mutation, as they have a 3rd generation target therapy that they have had good results with. That is what I am praying for, as the therapy is taken by pill with very few side effects. I was also told that I will have to learn to live with cancer, as it will in actuality, never really go completely away. I will be back to see the lung cancer doctor tomorrow (Jan. 5th) to find out what comes next.
Right now I am almost feeling like an "out of body" experience. One minute I am exercising everyday with the best of them, and the next day this. At this time, I can't even do yoga or Pilates, as I can't bend over or stretch or lift heavy things because of the radiation. Walking is all they have given me permission to do. I am not in pain or feel sick. I have always been a person to take care of myself. I have never been a smoker or drinker. I have always exercised, running for 32 years and then taking some pretty hard classes. I try to eat right and do the things I need to stay healthy. I guess that doesn't always work. I realize God has a plan for us. I feel He knows when we enter the earth and when we are going to leave. I will fight this nasty thing, but realize it is in His hands. I have been surrounded by prayers and love, and it is so uplifting, I can't even explain the feeling. I am so thankful to live in such a wonderful community! Thank you!!