Today is April 12, 2021 and it is the day before my surgery to remove my tumor. After this I will be conidered cancer free. I have left many of the bad experiences out of my story until now. This is where things get real. I want to give you the bad side of the story. The part that makes me feel like the traveler on the side of the road. Beaten and left for dead.
This whole process has tried to kill me three times. It has given me PTSD. It has left permanent scars on my body both large and small. It has left me with memory issues often referred to as chemo brain. It has caused me emotional issues both good and bad. It has left me with permanent nerve damage in my hands and feet. I get tied quickly. I can't eat some of the foods I Iove. The list is long of all the negatives.
Dealing with the thought of death is pretty darn rough. The one that hits me the hardest is the last brush with death. I was on one of my last chemo sessions when my body started to have an allergic reaction to one of my medications. One of the staff members noticed that I did not look right. I said that I was loosing my hearing and my nose was clogging up. She found my nurse and let her know the situation. My nurse came over and figured out right away that I was in immediate danger. She started me on life saving steroids to reverse the reaction. I can remember, once she told me that I was having a possibly fatal reaction, thinking "So, this is what death is like." Not an easy thing to process.
The scars I have physically are not all bad. They tell a story. Much like a tatoo would tell a story, I have one for each of them. Some good, and some bad. If you see me on the street, you won't see them or even know to ask about them. There are also emotional scars. These also can't be seen but they are there and are part of who I am. We all have physical and emotional scars, seen and unseen. Remember that when you talk to someone after reading this. It will change the way you look at what they are doing.
I can make a joke about not really remembering much about my memory issues, it won't mean much because I won't remember why I was telling you about it. Yes, that is the joke. However, This is a real problem. Writing about these issues is helpful. Next time you meet a chemo patient or are one yourself, give them and yourself a bit of grace if they forget something.
Most of the other issues are just minor ones that rarely impact things. They are worth mentoning in the hope that it helps you get through your own experiences.
You might wonder why I am going through all of this. I want to live. I feel like I have much to give back. I am working my way to becomming the good Samaritian.
I am spending the rest of my day today getting ready for my surgery tomorrow. I will do my best to continue this chronicle when I can after I have recovered from the next surgery tomorrow,