As most of you may know I had my last PET scan after my 12 rounds of chemo to find out whether or not I was cancer free and in remission. Well, if you follow my story you unfortunately already know that that’s not exactly how my appointment went. Ironically the night before I had a complete mental breakdown because I felt something was wrong like I could feel in my soul that my journey wasn’t exactly over, but my family and best friends did what they always do and pushed me out of that dark place and into the light. Unfortunately for all of us my intuition has never been wrong. The original 13cm mass has completely departed thanks to chemo, but two different lesions have found their way into my lungs at 2cm each. It has not been confirmed that I still have cancer, but I also am not in remission either. IF I have Hodgkins again I will be on the ride of my life. See the first time I was fortunate enough to JUST do 6 months of chemo (yeah I said it) but I have met people who have had to do chemo, surgery, radiation in combinations or all three and let me tell you that shit looks brutal. I am scared shitless of radiation and the potential stem cell transplant I might have to do, but don’t worry it gets better. Not only would I have to do the stem cell transplant but they don’t do that here in Nevada which means I would have to travel to California, Utah, or Arizona. Don’t get me wrong I will do whatever it takes to get this bullshit cancer out of my life forever, but for any of my fellow cancer survivors we all know that the beginning of the process is the ABSOLUTE worst thing ever. And I’m right back in it EXACTLY 7 months later (13’s are no longer my jam). It’s like everyone is always talking around you, but never has any answers for you. They have all these “plans of action” on situations where we don’t even know what’s going on in the first place. So, you just sit there quiet, confused, and frustrated once again not understanding why your body continues to betray you, but enough of that.
I want to talk about something that’s been heavy on my mind lately, and it’s things that no one ever talks about when it comes to illness and disease. First of all we are not only fighting for our lives, we are fighting with the hospital, the cancer center, the insurance companies, 3rd party sick pay, disability checks, less income, how most of us can’t drive during treatment, and a bunch of other things I can’t think of because chemo brain.. I see hundreds of GoFundMe accounts on a daily basis and before I was diagnosed I will admit I was one of those people that saw it and kept scrolling, but you honestly have no idea the trauma that all of the stress things like this bring on top of you literally fighting for your life. I have been extremely blessed and grateful for the company I work for and the insurance company they use, but not everyone is that lucky. Insurance also likes to play games and choose what they think you do and don’t need. For example I had the WORST mouth sores after my first round of chemo and all anyone talked about was “Magic Mouthwash” and how amazing it was. Well, my insurance chose not to cover ONE ingredient ONE. So without insurance the mouthwash was almost $200 and I absolutely cannot justify that, so then I had to find an alternative. Also, anyone whose anyone obviously knows that nausea is heavily associated with chemo and my oncologist wanted to prescribe me an antacid AN ANTACID YOU GUYS. insurance said nope. $85 antacid. yeah no thanks. The point I’m trying to make is cancer doesn’t just affect our health and body. It affects everything and everyone involved. Not only that, it just doesn’t stop when your treatments do. Thanks to insurance and communication and whatever else goes on in that world (I will never understand it) you get bills months later and sometimes are expected to pay them before you can get another treatment, or any information about your scan, or a prescription. (Talk about cruel and unusual punishment)
A friend of mine just recently beat Stage 3 Colon Cancer he kicked that things ass so hard!! But his troubles have honestly just begun because of insurance and medical bills. I don’t want to put his business out there but I’m just trying to make the point of just because he’s cancer free doesn’t mean he’s stress free or worry free. He now is trying to raise enough money to pay to get insurance back because somewhere along the line his stuff got messed up and nobody bothered to think about him. THE PATIENT I mean HELLO. You would think people would do what it takes to make a cancer patients life easier, but in my honest opinion people don’t talk about this enough. They think YES! CANCER FREE! life is back! WRONG were a bunch of lost puppies trying to navigate everything. Can I do things I used to? Will I ever not be exhausted? How am I going to pay for all this shit when I’m not even working? At the same time we’ve never appreciated our lives more than during and after cancer. But as we all know things worth having don’t come easy.
I will be 100% honest about this I can make cancer my bitch, I can tackle on chemo like nobody’s business, and if it comes to radiation and stem cell I’ll do all that too, but watching how it affects my husband, family, and best friends is something I would rather never witness again. My mom has been through this shit with so many people in our family it’s completely ridiculous and unfair. My sister was born extremely premature and honestly she’s the biggest miracle I’ve ever seen in my life. That little girl could fit my dad’s wedding band up her leg when she was born and now she’s almost a teenager. So my dad and step mom have been in the hospital WAY too many damn times. My husband tries to take on EVERYTHING and still manages to make me laugh every damn day. My best friends are scared out of their damn minds because they constantly think they’re not doing enough and need to do more (honestly you guys are perfect I promise). The thing is like I said before cancer doesn’t just affect the person with it. It infects everyone involved with its disease, and that’s the most heartbreaking part of it all.
I did not want for this post to sound negative in anyway but I did want to bring awareness to the fact that because someone is cancer free does not mean their journey with it is over. Cancer DAF about your bills, your family, whether you keep your job or not, your friends, nothing. The only thing cancer cares about is spreading.
I do promise you this. In 2019 I WILL be cancer free, and I WILL be in remission, and I WILL accomplish everything I’ve set out to accomplish this year. Cancer you got your 6 months of 2018 and I refuse to give you another 6.
If any of you Badasses ever need to talk, cry, vent, laugh, or anything in between. Im Here. Always. You’re never alone.