Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Sobering Dose of Reality

In May, after I told my friends about my cancer diagnosis, I recieved an email from my friend Mattie, who said she had a friend who had just had the same surgery that I was facing - would I like to talk to her? Sure I said - and we exchanged email addresses & phone numbers, etc.

Turned out that this woman was a customer of the company where I work - so we had some "common ground" to start with - 'M' was not as "lucky" as I was though - her cancer was more advanced and they had removed some lymph glands. After her recovery from surgery, she would be facing radiation therapy. We talked some - I wished her good luck & "intended" on getting back to her once I got back from Seattle & surgery.

You know what they say about the road to hell, don't you? Well, after surgery & during my own recuperation, I was pretty much focused on myself - & I must say that I have recovered from the surgery far faster than expected (I have to stop picking up heavy things tho - that's been my downfall to this point)

Anyhow, 'M' had been on my mind for a couple of weeks - I had not saved her email address, so I emailed Mattie - who was, unbeknownst to me, in France (oh, la, la!) - thankfully when she returned last week, she sent me 'M's email address with the caution that she was not doing well, and might not be able to return my note. But I emailed her anyhow, hoping for the best (and sending a card in the mail as a backup).

I got a response from my email a day later - and it was very sobering. Turns out they gave her too much radiation, landing her in the hospital for a week, then manifesting itself in a kind of radiation poisoning with sores and painful joints. The good news is that it will go away - the bad news is when it does, she will have to have chemo.

Ok, so I cried for most of the rest of the day. No, not big bawling tears, but just private little sniffles - it makes me cry even now. I've heard that the first thing many people say to their doctors after a cancer diagnosis is "Why ME?" I guess my thought is 'How did I come through so easily?' I have been pondering this all week long - am I supposed to feel guilt - am I supposed to do "more" with my life?

I don't know - so I'm putting this "on the table" so to speak - My thoughts and prayers are with 'M' and I wish her the best in her recovery...

And life goes on -

Tomorrow - new toys all around, my favorite pasta salad recipe and more weekend cat blogging.


Kathy L. said...

We just found out that a dear friend, who went in for gall bladder surgery, has the first stages of ovarian cancer - this post hit home. If it hadn't been for the gall bladder, they wouldn't have found the cancer until much later. Right now it's the size of a grain of rice and very treatible. It is VERY sobering. And I am so sorry for you, your friend and my friend. I wish you didn't have it happen.
Remember that you have friends and family to help get you through it!
Many hugs,

Organic Mum said...

My Dad had stomach cancer when he was in his early 50's. I was too young to understand the severity of his condition at the time, but have come to learn what he went through in the passing years.

He was one of very few who survived a radical operation to eradicate the disease from his body. He was literally cut in half. He passed away in January at the age of 82. Without taking a chance on the available treatment at the time, he may not have been blessed with another 30 years of life.

Each of us has our own path to walk and lessons to learn Tina. My thoughts are with you and your friends. *hug*