Friday, October 9, 2015

Fear: Secret Subject Swap October 2015

The year was 1998 and I had scheduled an appointment with my OB/GYN for a routine check up or so I thought. However, that appointment changed my life, my thoughts and how I lived for some time to come.
As I sat there uneasy, naked in a paper gown, we talked about family history, my boys, her kids, my neighbor who also was her nanny and the weather. Neither of us anticipated what would come next. As we went through the routine check up, breast, pap and so on. Silence filled the room. Dread filled my heart and my knees began to shake.
She looked at me, then got up from the stool at my feet. Patted my knee and said "we as doctors are told not to speculate or tell a patient they have cancer until we have lab results, however, I know you well enough and am 99% sure I see cancer cells on your cervix."
My head was swimming, I felt faint, sick and numb all at once. She said, "let me do a biopsy right now and then we'll talk this over."
She gathered up a few instruments, one that looks like a metal shiny pencil and and hole punch. She said, "this will sting a little but should not hurt. I will take several "clips" of your cervix and we will send them off to be tested. Also this will cause some bleeding and possible cramping, I am going to place a paste over your cervix that will cauterize the areas that I clip."
OKAY that all sounded well and good until she "clipped" the first spot. HOLY BATMAN that did more than sting, damn that hurt, okay, another spot, then another and another until she had clipped not one, not two, not even three but twelve, yes 12 spots!! The "paste" burned like a mo fo!
She said, "let's not worry until we know we have something to worry about". said the C word and then tell me not to worry.
OMG I had 2 boys under 5 at home, a husband who worked all the time, NO relationship with ANY of my family and a terrible love/hate relationship with the in-laws. C...cancer?? WHAT IF? OMG this could not be happening. I HAD to be okay, who would raise my children? 
On the drive home so many thoughts ran through my head, what to do, how to prepare, what ifs, but the main thing that hit me was PAIN... at the stop light the first "cramp" hit. HOLY FREAKIN'CRAP was she kidding me? I have a high pain tolerance but this was horrid. I almost ran off the road. I could barely see I was in so much pain. I was scared but all I could think was I HAD to get home to my babies.
I got home, called the doctor, she said because of the "12" spots it would be worse and she apologized for not warning me. Gee thanks, not really. She said put a heating pad on my belly, lay down and take some motrin. Lay down? I had to pick up the kids from my friends house.
I hurt so bad I couldn't. I called her and said "please, I need to talk, I need to hold my boys and I can't come get them." No problem she drove right over.
She was wonderful, she brought dinner, sat with me, talked, listened and prayed over me and for me.
The next day K called and said "let's go see the pastor and talk about all that's going on."
We did. He was awesome, I told him my fears, concerns and what few facts I knew. He prayed for me, over me, with me and for the next six months was in constant contact to see how I was. We had 600 people in church but he made me feel like I was the only one. He gave me scripture to read to comfort me and help remove my fears.
My biggest fear was dying. There it is. Dying of Cancer. Leaving my children motherless and them young enough they would not remember me, never know that I loved them more than my own life, more than breathing, more than a fat kid loves cake! (sorry but I was getting teary and needed to laugh)
My doctor called me the day before Thanksgiving and said "I have your results, it is exactly what I thought, the cervix is covered in cancer cells, there is no way to know how deep until we get in there. you have several options. We can do treatments, freeze the cervix and scrap it then biopsy again until we no longer see cells or we can just go ahead and do a hysterectomy."
I had had seven, yes 7 pregnancies, endometreosis and horrible issues with my plumbing, so I said "take it, let's just do the surgery"
Okay she said, but I'm going on vacation with my family for the holidays so we'll schedule for February.
February? Are you kidding me? You want me to walk around until February KNOWING I have cancer and doing nothing about it?
She took a breath "Dawn, if I did not believe you would be okay, I would never suggest waiting, if you are not comfortable with this I can refer you out."
Oh good grief...I didn't want to wait, but I didn't want another doctor either. So I said okay I'd wait.
She said "enjoy your holidays and Happy Thanksgiving" before she hung up. I wanted to ring her neck! To be honest, it was a fitful night and next week. But at some point I calmed down, read my scriptures, gave it all to God because it was his anyway.
I broke down and called my mother, she said "what do you want me to do? I can't come there I have to take care of J, your dad, work,etc..?" I should have known. I told her, "don't worry about it, I'm not asking you to do anything I just thought you'd like to know that your one and only child has cancer but that's okay I'll handle it like I always do." and we didn't speak again until Christmas.
My dh at the time said will I have to take off work? REALLY? No, I have friends I'm sure someone will take the kids, take me to the hospital and stay with me after surgery. He said good. DAMN I should have left and learn.
Thanksgiving came and went, Christmas came and went, I took a million photos of my kids and went overboard spending time and loving on them. Actually that's not true because I don't think you can do too much of either of those things.
February rolled around and I had my pre-op appointment. She asked if I was sure I still wanted to go ahead with surgery, YES now more than ever since we had had to wait.
We scheduled the surgery, did the pre-op and I arrived at 0500. My dear sweet sweet friend K showed up and prayed over me and for me. I was scared but took a few deep breaths, looked at her reassuring face and said "here we go".
I had a complete hysterectomy and six weeks of recovery time. After my recovery and went back to see my doctor and she gave me all of the results, which thankfully were not bad. All of the cancer cells were contained in the cervix so by doing a complete hysterectomy we got rid of everything. I did not have to do endure radiation or chemo therapy. I sat there and cried but they were tears of joy this time. 
I have been scared, I had faced my fears, I had continued with life and I have done what I needed to do. Now I moved forward and to be honest the hysterectomy was one of the best things that I ever did in my life. It got rid of a lot of problems that I had recurring every month that debilitated me. I felt better and so my quality-of-life was better. I was happier which made everybody else around me happy too. 
Now here I am in the year 2015 and I face yet another health crisis. Am I scared? Sometimes, but I also know that this time is different because I have someone who loves me and who supports me. I have strong friends ,strong faith and no matter what the outcome is I know that I'll be OK.
So most of the time when I get these props my story, article, humorous little antidotes are fiction but today it's real. This is true, it's real life and I just thought I would share. 
I don't have all the answers but I know who does and when you're afraid it's a whole lot easier to go through it with a strong faith and when you have the support and love of those closest to you. 
Today is a gift treat it as such. Enjoy life because none of us are promised tomorrow.

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 15 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:                          Baking In A Tornado                                          The Momisodes                  Spatulas on Parade                                 Sparkly Poetic Weirdo                        Southern Belle Charm                                         The Lieber Family Blog                                  Never Ever Give Up Hope          Confessions of a part time working mom                        Someone Else’s Genius                             Cluttered Genius                                Small Talk Mama                                      Rena’s World                                 Climaxed                         Dinosaur Superhero Mommy              The Bergham’s Life Chronicles       
Your “Secret Subject” is:
Write a story about a time in your life that you were really scared of something.
It was submitted by:  
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  1. Wow, Dawn! That is scary!! so glad you made it through that trial. And that it helped you to be more equipped to handle the current one. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  2. A strong support system can make the world of difference. Im glad you have one and know if you need anything-to talk, rant, cry or have someone make horribly inappropriate jokes-you have me on your side. Love to you! <3

  3. What a horrendous ordeal, both with young kids and without familial support.
    This time I know that you'll be ok, and that you'll have the support you deserve.

  4. I think as a mother, health scares can be the worst. Our thoughts immediately go to our children and how we can protect them. I'm so glad you hurdled this cancer obstacle and may you have the strength and peace to tackle the next one as well.

  5. I love and adore you. I'm praying for you. I'm here for you. You've got this. You're strong. You're amazing.

  6. Thank you for sharing. I am still annoyed with your doctor though because it's not just about the physical impact of waiting but the emotional impact. I'm glad the surgery went well though and wish you luck with your current challenges. x

  7. Wow, I was so into the story that I didn't even recognize my own prompt! I admire your faith its something that I lost and just haven't been able to get back in a very long time. I'm a little creeped out by the story or not really the story, but the timing. Its been something that I have kept very private, but I'm actually going through my own similarities. I'm still at the unknown stage so...well you know. I just don't want to say anything out loud yet because I have adult children. Thank you for sharing your story today.

  8. How very very brave you are. The C word is scary and for you to go through this with little support is amazing. Your kids are blessed to have such a brave Mom.

  9. Dawn, I think you know I went through hearing the "C" word. You are strong. Your faith is strong. You can call me anytime to pray together. Your post was done so well, sharing your story and concerns.

  10. I'm so sorry it happened to you, but glad you came out the other side with a great perspective. I'm sure you will do the same this time around.

    I'm also here for you if you need to talk.

  11. I am so sorry, how terrifying. What a tough choice and situation. You are so brave! ((HUGS))