Wednesday, March 7, 2007

From Pat

I don't want to speak for John, but I will speak for only myself ... a cancer survivor. 
From the time of discovery & for the balance of life, an individual
diagnosed with cancer is a survivor. NCCS Charter (National Coalition of Cancer Survivors)
I think those of us going thru Chemo or Radiation know and understand what is going on as we can feel what is happening within our body.  It is rather hard to explain to someone how we feel.  I know that all I wanted was to do anything possible to live to see another day.  I listened to everything my breast surgeon and oncologist said.  I listened to other survivors.  If I had questions I called the oncologist's nurse.  I followed the medicine protocol prior and post each chemo treatment.  I took chemo as the best chance for living a long life, no matter what happened during the treatment.  I was lucky and didn't get sick.  During Taxol I had extreme bone and joint pain and my oncologist changed the last 3 treatments to Taxotere.  The nurses wanted me to come back the next day so I could have the proper pre treatment meds and the oncologist said she didn't think it was necessary and I said if I had a reaction you (nurse) have the antidote to inject in the IV to counteract the reaction and the nurse said yes.  She stay with me during the pre Taxotere IV and then the first 5 mins. of the actual IV.  Janie said Pat I am going to go I think you will be OK.  I was able to get out, I don't feel right. and she asked Where?  I was able to lift hand to the chest area above heart and that was it.  I knew all that was going on but couldn't talk or move.  Janie, looked rather shocked and reached in her pocket and got out the antidote, and the other nurse ran and got my oncologist.  I was told I turned every shade of red to purple and then back thru the colors again.  When everything settled down they told me how calm I was.  Little did they know, I couldn't move.  That was a serious reaction, but they knew what to do and I came thru OK.  You think of Chemo as PAC-MAN.  Instead of marshmallows he is going thruyour body finding leftover cancer cells.  Works for me as there is no cure for breast cancer and I know it can rear its ugly head any time it wants too.
I know that I have been awaken to see the beauty all around me.  I take time to see the roses.  I love to see babies in stores and let parents know how beautiful they are.  I am grateful for each day that I am given.  I hope that what I have said here are words that John would say.
"If you knew for certain
you had a terminal illness -
if you had little time left to live -
you would waste precious little of it!
Well, I'm telling you...
you do have a terminal illness:
It's called birth.
You don't have more than a few years left.
No one does!
So be happy now, without reason -
or you will never be at all."
Dan Millman
From 'The Way of the Peaceful Warrior'


fisherkristina said...

Thanks Pat for writing this.  I am going to wait until John gets home so he can comment himself.  Most people don't know that John has been in chemo for 15 or 16 weeks.  Almost in a row.  He gets to stop after week 16.  He has had to take it for the Hemolytic Anemia to slow down, so that he won't have to be transfused so much.  He is at chemo right now.  He went at 11 am and is still there.  It is 4 pm right now.  That is right, he goes all day.  Sometimes, no always, I wonder what he goes through and how he does it.  I am going to post another comment after he gets home.


valphish said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, Pat.  Beautiful, honest words.  Love, Val xox