Living with Cancer

Living with cancer is hard.

Expected response: No duh! Tell me something I don’t already know!

Living with cancer is not easy.

Every little ache, every little pain… is it the cancer? Is it progressing?

I wish there was a scanner – like the Progressive “name your price” tool – that I could use to scan where the ache or pain is.

Issue Found: “Nope! Just a gas bubble!

Solution: “Fart!”

If only….

Last Oncology Appointment, Friday, July 20th, 2018

I broke down.

Three months ago at my last visit with the nurse practitioner, I told her that my pain has been increasing, I have no energy, I don’t feel like doing anything.

Though I push myself to do things. Always.

In the outside world, anyone I know will hear from me, “I’m fine! Doing great! My cancer is sleeping.”

In my inside world though, behind the closed doors of our home, things are not fine, as far as my cancer goes. I hide a lot of pain. From everyone.

The nurse practitioner ran several tests. Thyroid. Vitamin B12. A couple of other tests.

Everything came back fine. My increased pain was dismissed.

In June, I knew I had a kidney stone. I’ve had them before.

While the 180mg of morphine that I take on a daily basis will mask any pain, I knew it was a kidney stone.

I went in to have my port flushed. I have to flush my port every month in between treatments so it doesn’t clot up.

I told the nurse to leave the needle in the port so I could go down one floor to the emergency department to get the kidney stone taken care of.

After waiting a half hour to be escorted into the farthest room in the furthest corner of the emergency department, I did the usual pee test and blood draw.

An hour later, the ER nurse practitioner came in and said my labs were all fine and discharged me with “flank pain”.

Again, my pain was dismissed.

Three days later, that kidney stone passed.

Thank you very much for not believing me.

So when the nurse practitioner came into the room last Friday, I broke down.

I had had enough. Increased pain, and no one was listening to me.

Believe me, I’d like to stick my head in the sand and ignore everything related to my cancer.

I didn’t ask for this. I don’t want it.

Why me? Haven’t I proven in my past years that I’m strong enough?

But, I move forward. One day at a time.

Right now, I’ve been on my feet too much today. So I’m resting. A very guilty pleasure/necessity.

Love to you all, ~Erika

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