You know… that Blog?

I’m back…sort of?

Written By: Jenn - Oct• 28•20

It’s been a long time since I posted something on this blog! Since then, shortly after I lost my mom to cancer, I was diagnosed with stage IV cancer myself. I’ve gone through hell and back with surgery, radiation, chemo… then the long recovery. I have nerve damage in my right arm and may never recover feeling in parts of it, but I can at least use my hand again! Alas, my handwriting has suffered and will never be the same. I mourn that because I once had beautiful handwriting if I do say so myself.

My cancer battle in a nutshell… I had been having pain from what I thought was a pinched nerve from the herniated disk in my neck, and stress from losing my Mom, the Coca Cola battle, and a few other normal life things that don’t bear mentioning. We’ve known about the herniated disk for a while but it wasn’t all that bad so we hadn’t done anything about it except increased visits to my amazing RMT, Pawel. The pain was followed by increasing weakness in my right arm though, which did start to annoy me so I went to see my doctor about it, and she ordered 2 MRI; one for my neck and one for my thoracic area. Now, I’d never had an MRI before, but I wasn’t worried. I don’t scare easily. It was the stuff of nightmares! I was never claustrophobic until that first minute in that tiny tube! I barely made it through, and when I got out I immediately cancelled the second one – no way was I going through that again. No way, not happening. My doctor agreed to send me for a CT scan instead, which I couldn’t get for another 3 weeks (insert the sound of a ticking clock, getting louder by the minute). By this time, I couldn’t use my right hand at all. I couldn’t even hold a pen. The CT scan was so much easier than the MRI, and I was in and out in an hour, and on my merry way. Tired though. I went home and curled up on the couch, and had a nap. I awoke 3 hours later to a dozen messages on my phone from my doctor telling me to get to her office RIGHT NOW. She actually stayed past business hours to wait for me, and when I got there she burst into tears – this is someone I have known for years, and we have become friends – and then she told me that I had cancer. Not just cancer, but stage IV cancer. The life-ending kind by the looks of the CT scan. This news really came out of nowhere. Not for one minute before my beautiful doctor burst into tears did I think I had anything other than a pinched nerve that was in need of intervention.

She told me to go home, pack a bag, and get to the hospital, right now. I did go home after a bout of tears in my car while on the phone with my equally panicked husband, but we decided to wait until that evening to head to emergency, giving me a few hours with my daughters, where we told them what was happening. Wee One (who turned 16 last week!) did not get as detailed an explanation as Thing I (who turned 26 on Monday…!) for obvious reasons – she was still pretty young and didn’t need to know how serious things were just yet. That evening, we headed for emergency, and so began my whirlwind week, where I was admitted, assessed, and then transferred to a different hospital by ambulance, so I could get the best neurosurgeon possible. I waited for 2 days – IV fluid only, no food – due to a series of immediate emergencies that rolled in.

The cancer was in my thoracic spine, and the surgery resulted in the loss of pieces of vertebrae, but fortunately, it was caught just in the nick of time, I had a world-class neurosurgeon and cancer team (and I live in Canada, so just had to pay for parking, really) and I am still here to tell the tale.

I’m also largely disabled because I have arthritis from head to toe, and sitting or standing still for more than 5 minutes at a time is just not happening. But I’m here, and my kids still have a mom, and my husband still has a problem. (Ha, I kill me.)

My husband is not the romantic type as I’ve said before, but if I ever once doubted that he really loved me, his care for me during my cancer battle dispelled all doubts. He immediately took over everything I did on a daily basis in our house. He helped me out of bed, he helped me shower, he dressed me, he made all my meals, and he fully handled my complicated medications, and my many, many hospital and doctor visits, all while still working a full-time job. He did so without a single complaint. He also shaved my head for me. My friends, that right there is true love.

I found out after I was declared “in remission” that my neurosurgeon took him aside when I came out of emergency surgery and told him that he had seen severe cases like mine in the past, and that he should be prepared [to lose me]. My husband didn’t share that with anyone else, and lived with the fear of my death for months, only telling me when we were out for dinner with friends one night. Figure that one out, because I can’t!

So that’s my life. Just an update, not even talking about the pandemic because… why bother? It’s been talked about to death, and I’m sick of dwelling on it. So I mostly sit home and avoid going out since I am immunocompromised pretty much for life now. Seriously. Done with it. I’m thankful my family is healthy though, because we wear masks and aren’t complete morons. Thing 2 is doing virtual school. Thing 1 is… getting married in less than 2 weeks! Totally different post, that I may or may not do in a couple weeks. Not holding myself to any schedule for this – will post when I feel like it, which is my new motto for life these days!

Hope you’re well? Hope you’re smart and wearing a mask, and avoiding crowds? Really hope, if you’re American, that you vote that menace out of office next week, and the world can stop being ashamed of the United States government and the constant lies and betrayal of its people. Donald Trump is directly responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in the united states. How people can blindly follow him and believe the obvious lies that he spews on the daily is just beyond me. It’s shocking, and it’s beyond all reason. It’s time to return to sanity, please.

Be safe, friends.

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