Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Fear and Loathing

Fear is disabling.  Fear grips tightly and doesn't easily let go.  Fear is a bitch.  

I've been struggling with sciatica for a while. Last month after going to the gym, I came home and barely could walk.  I decided to take an Epsom salt bath, hoping it would help alleviate the pain.  I finish bathing and stand up to shower. As I'm standing there I feel myself begin to black out. I started to lower myself down (which was a slow process because of the excruciating pain from my sciatica) and I black out as I'm going to my knees.  I woke up on my knees with my face pressed up against the wall.  My head hurt and my foot was throbbing.  I managed to get out of the tub and limp to my bed, only able to put pressure on my heel.   I don't even know how I ended up hurting my foot during the blackout. 

The next morning I went to the ER to get an X-ray of my foot which I thought could have been broken.  The doctor comes in and I tell him that I'm worried that I have a tumor on my spine and that is why I am having all this pain and numbness down my right leg.  He orders an MRI of my back.  After being in the ER for 8 hours, the doctor comes in and tells me they have found two suspicious spots on my spine.  Devastation.... fear... I can't have cancer in my spine. 

The next morning my oncologist tells me to just come see him without even scheduling an appointment. I bring a copy of the MRI and he reviews it.  He then informs me that the pain is actually caused by a slipped disc but higher up there are two spots that need to be looked at through a bone scan.  So for the past month I have been dealing with new insurance and new doctors trying to get the approval for the scan.  I also have a new oncologist. I went in to see him last week.  He reviewed my MRI and blood work and told me he doesn't think it's cancer. I asked him if he was just saying that to make me feel better. He said he never misleads his patients.  

Today is the day.  I went in at 10:00am and was injected with some chemicals.  I will go back at 1:30 to get the scan.  Tomorrow at 11:30, I have an appointment with my new oncologist where I will hopefully hear the words "I told you so". 

Here's the thing...  Every time something comes up it completely traumatizes me.   It traumatizes my family.  I can't function.  I can't move forward with my life while I'm sitting around waiting to find out if I have cancer again.  Relationships...  I had started dating.  How can I pursue a relationship knowing that I might soon be bald and sick?  I didn't want to tell anyone. I didn't want to talk about it. I just wanted to pretend it wasn't happening.

I am surrounded by people who love me...people who want the best for me.  I am also forced to deal with an ex-husband and his live in girlfriend.  I survived a 14 year dysfunctional marriage. I now have to deal with the crap that comes with divorce. 

I've spoken to the ex-husband's girlfriend a couple times.  I didn't have an issue with her until last week.  I was out with some friends. We were having a couple drinks.  One of my friends takes a picture of herself with my phone then goes to text it to herself and accidentally sends it to my ex-husband. Immediately afterwards she realized and sends a text saying "sorry!"   A few minutes later I receive a text from the ex's girlfriend.  Below you will find the text exchange. I had been drinking...probably should have just ignored her but I chose to respond to the picture of her cleavage with a screen shot of text messages my ex had sent me the previous day.  

So...she sends me a picture of her cleavage and then wants to have a heartfelt conversation about how to talk to my kids about my death...  This is the woman living with my children.  This is the woman that will be raising my children if something were to happen to me?  The insensitivity she displayed just by talking about my death before I have even been diagnosed...  Was she trying to be helpful and misunderstood? Was she trying to hurt me intentionally? Is it irrational to assume that by the way the conversation started (with a picture of cleavage) she is intentionally trying to hurt me by throwing in my face the worst possible thing someone can? Is it irrational to think this is a spiteful, heartless, shallow thing to do to someone who has to deal with the possibility of having cancer again? I know what I think about it. It's pretty clear to me. And I find it pretty sad.  I actually pity her.  Honestly, the fear of having cancer again is enough to deal with without having to deal with that kind of insensitivity and disrespect. 

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