Hang onto your hats...it's going to be a bumpy ride!
I had been having issues with my vision for awhile and I attributed it to chemo as...my vision craps out right after chemo and sucks for about two weeks. I had my eyes examined by a specialist on December 10th and he couldn't find anything wrong. Then we went on the cruise...no chemo for six week and my vision was great...I could see everything without my vision glasses. On the cruise I had started to develop migraines....thought it was vertigo induced migraines caused by the motion of the ship. One day we were sitting in a restaurant in Cozumel and I tried to read the menu. The words were all over the page and I couldn't make out what they said...Rick had to tell me what was on the menu. After lunch, we went back to the cruise ship...popped some Tylenol, had a nap and everything was fine.
Christmas Eve I was reading my tablet and it started again...I knew the letters in the words but, just couldn't make the connections. When I saw Dr. Keith before my chemo on the 30th I mentioned it to him and he scheduled a CT Scan for January 5th and set up an appointment with the radiation oncologist, Dr. Hsu. While we were waiting for the results, Rick was driving me into town last Thursday and the "halos" of the migraines started up and I couldn't see half the road signs...I mean, one side was a bit blurry but the other side of it was...just not there!
We got the results yesterday. Dr. Hsu walked into the room and I said, "Still here!". He was quite surprised and pleased to see me (I mean, I had beat his time frame), I told him my friend said to tell him I do not have an expiration date stamped on my ass. He asked me if I knew why I was there and I said, "CT results". He said, "Yes. What do you think?" I took one look at his face and I knew...my world just dropped through the floor...I said, "cancer in the brain" and he said, Yes".
I have developed two lesions in my brain, one on each side. Hello, the cancer in my lungs is still stable but..... I knew already that there was a possibility of this happening as lung cancer almost always spreads to the brain...and, I am Stage 4 metastatic.
Radiation right away...fourteen treatments and I will lose my pretty silver hair again. He is scheduling an MRI as he wants to see exactly how many lesions there are...the CT shows two (one the size of a nickel and the other the size of a quarter). The treatments will be done in Abbotsford but, there is one treatment he wants done and his machine is only in Vancouver. If there are more than the two and...maybe one tiny one...he can do the second radiation treatment.
I asked Dr. Hsu how much time I had....he said, "You don't have an expiry date". I told him there were things I had to do and things I needed to do for my kids and grandkids and I needed to know how much time I had...he said one year but, with you....could be longer.
Then I asked him when my hair was going to fall out...he was reluctant to say...hello, I am not going to fall apart because my hair is going...I will rock the bald! I don't want to find it all over my counter, on my pillow...in my food. He said by the end of January....head shaving party!
So...we are back on the rough road again. Yesterday was hell - telling all the kids and family and close friends...if I missed you personally...it's not because you aren't important to me...just was too much! I couldn't find my footing...was alternating from numb to terror and getting lost in the middle with nothing to hang onto...I was becoming overwhelmed with all the I things I was going to miss out on doing...projects, learning...the new stuff I bought for the craft room. I called Haroldine and cancelled my order for stuff...Rick lost it and came up behind me while I was on the phone...put his arms around me and pleaded for me not to give up. I cancelled the cancel! I had a beautiful conversation with Haroldine and I am eternally grateful.
He took the dog for a walk and the walls closed in on my...panic set in and i couldn't think of anything but to grab the phone and...call Marj....my friend...I love you to the moon and back...you gave me back my courage and strength...then the doorbell rang and my step-sister and brother-in-law (Judy and Gord) showed up and gave me what else I needed...hugs, two bottles of wine and a taste of normalcy and I got "me" back. My mojo, my strength, my determination.
I won't tell you I am not terrified...I won't tell you I am not looking forward to this at all. After being stable for so long...it was a real kick in the teeth.
I am not going to concentrate on the negative...I am not going to focus on what I will never do but, on what I will be able to do. I am going to live as much as I can...I am going to love my kids and grandkids as much as I can. I am going to fight as long as as hard as I can. I was going through my notepad on my phone and found this that I had saved ages ago and haven't got around into my chemo book:
Hope is powerful.
Hope can be your everything when it feels like you have nothing.
Even if all signs are pointing to demise, have a little hope.
It can be your light at the end of whatever tunnel you are going through.
So, my children...I adore you...I love all five of you and my five and tidbit grandchildren to the mood and back...hang on to this...I am!
Then there is Dory...she landed in my Christmas stocking this year.
There are two links with this...play them both and hold on with me. I feel every one of you in the water with me swimming...I feel the love coming my way and it gives me courage and strength.
Just keep swimming...for I am!