Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pick Your Poison (Today's Medical Update)

"You should be glad you're alive." Those words were whispered in my ear by someone who wasn't allowing me to be concerned with how I looked for a picture. It was at a time and in a place that was difficult enough without someone telling me that. A hint for anyone reading: let a person who is in a life threatening situation make their own determinations about what is deemed valuable. Anything less can in some way seem to be a lack of regard for where the person is at the moment. Of course your intentions are good, but you know how often someone with good intentions can rub YOU the wrong way, don't you?

Why do I say this now?

Because I had a bad day. I went for blood work. CA-125 is a tumor marker that they look at when determining how to treat someone with ovarian cancer. After surgery last year it was below 10 and stayed that way the whole time I was on chemo. It even was like that back in April when 3 spots were detected. Today, however, the number is in the 20s. Not a good sign.

It doesn't mean chemo or surgery. Not yet, any way. The problem is the "yet" part. There is something else they can give me. It starts with an "A," but I can't remember what it is called at this late moment. This thing is administered like chemo. It doesn't have issues like chemo, but it has its own set of issues. It messes with how tumors interact with blood supply which means it can affect my blood pressure which means I could wind up on blood pressure medication. Right before I sat down to write I felt like I could pass out. I don't know if it was because it was a super long, stressful day or if it might have something to do with it. It could also open up a hole inside of me that would require immediate surgery. A hole. That could come without warning. Stroke is another possibility. Issues with my kidneys. Sounds lovely, doesn't it?

I cried with 3 different people today. I admitted that there are times that I think about how it would be to just "give up" and let nature take its course. One person said she wasn't as concerned as she might otherwise be because I didn't sound suicidal. However, she said that human nature is to want to survive, and that the fact that I could say what I did was of concern in and of itself. She put in an appointment for me to see a Psychiatrist when I am next there. I don't know how that is going to help. It won't change one thing about the stresses of my situation. I get tired of talking about them, and it doesn't matter who I talk about them with. Whether or not the person has a degree or license doesn't change a single thing for me. And neither would any potential medication someone might suggest - which I would have zero interest in taking.

I had posted on Facebook a brief summary of the day. I commented about my mixed feelings. Someone said that because there is no chemo it is good news. Well. Yes. But No. It is an incredibly mixed bag. I feel like some think that I am supposed to feel good about this news, and in some way I feel deficient for not being fully in that optimistic place.

To say I am scared is an understatement.

This thing is supposed to help with potentially reversing the tumors. If it does its job, it could save me from chemo and/or surgery, which would definitely be a good thing. But another thing is that when you have to "pick your poison," you are still having to pick a poison.

I kinda don't like that metaphor. But it really is a choice between things I would rather not be choosing at all. If I was "just" dealing with that one thing it would be one thing. But the fact that I am having to deal with so many other things has me feeling anything less than hopeful. There is no question I am struggling these days to make it in more ways than one. And struggling to survive is no life to live.

I am not suicidal. And yet it wouldn't take much to end it all. It seems cancer is more than happy to do it for me. Do I want it all to end? No. But do I want to live the life that I have? No. Do I know how to reconcile all of this?


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1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry my dear. I don't know what to say.

    I know there is very little that I can say right now that will ease your mind, but you are the only one who can make the decisions that you will have to make.

    It seems to me that even thinking of suicide is inviting the cancer to win, it is saying that you don't have the fight in you so why bother. I know you better than that.

    I know you don't want to fight. I know that you are exhausted and don't know if you can keep fighting. That's okay my dear. You have every right to be exhausted.

    You are carrying the weight of yesterday, today, and tomorrow on your shoulders right now and Atlas would give anything to dare a shrug. That is a mighty large burden to bear all at once.

    What happened tomorrow us done. What will happen tomorrow is an unknown. You can do nothing about either.

    What you can do is figure out how you are going to survive today. Just today.

    We will worry about tomorrow when it gets here, okay?

    I will turn on Skype and message you in the morning when I wake up okay?

    Just get through today, and then we will work on tomorrow...

    All my love.