As I recount what happened two years ago, you can read the first two parts of this story either here in this blog or at my other: “Two Years: It Was a Friday, Part 1” and “Two Years: The Following Two Days, Part 2” . This submission is part 3 of the next few days, April 16th, 2012 and and beyond, which I have first posted at this link: Two Years: A Trip to the ER, The Next Few Days a Blur, Part 3
I thank you for indulging me some of the retelling, for those who have walked this path with me. I have filled in the blanks for some. I have forgotten the details of others, now after two years.
And so, I continue…
I woke up Monday morning still feeling like garbage. I was in contact with my boss that day, to make sure that everything I needed to get to my replacement workshop trainer. One of the last things I heard back from my supervisor was “Take care of yourself and get some rest.” I told her that I was going to drink more 7-Up.
I knew that even though I wanted to take my friend out for his birthday and end of tax season celebration, it was not going to happen that day. I did not know what was wrong, but I felt pretty much like garbage. I called him to let him know I was not going to be able to do so, and exchanged a bit of email with another friend.
I could not handle things any longer. I drove myself the 12 miles to the Army Medical Center Hospital and checked myself in to the emergency room. It was about 2:00 p.m. It seemed that it took forever to be seen. I cannot remember how many times I told different medical professionals from doctors to nurses to technicians and whomever else came in to ask me my situation. I know that, at one point, I somewhat snapped at somebody and asked them if they had read my chart, because my story had not changed.
Trying to recall everything that happened two years ago tonight seems difficult, at best. I don’t even want to look up the last two years’ accounts of the story from my perspective then.
However, by 10 p.m. or so, I had drunk the concoction they had prepared for me so that I could have a CT scan. My friend was there with me and we talked about everything things could be. Neither of us were very good at the waiting. We were both scared.
After the CT scan, the waiting was the hardest. Every time someone popped his or her head in the room to check on me, I felt as if there was something someone was not telling me. Perhaps it was just my fear.
I think it was after midnight when someone finally came in to share the results of the CT scan. All I remember was hearing words that kept me nearly suspended in time:
“…mesenteric tumor and tumors on your liver…” followed by “Any questions?”
I think I remember looking at her in disbelief before uttering the words, “What the fuck?” All sensibility and lady-like behavior flew right out the door at that moment. I went immediately into “numb” mode.
I stared at my friend, repeating the words that the doctor had spoken to me, followed by “You have got to be fucking kidding me.” I seem to remember him just looking at me in such a pitiful way. He may have said, “I’m sorry.” I really don’t remember much after that. The next couple of hours are barely memorable now.
I do remember looking up to the heavens and calling out to my friend, Kim, who had passed away two years earlier, “I think I win now!” We used to tease one another about being in competition of who had the worst/best cancer. She had trumped my early stage breast cancer from a few years earlier when she went through her ordeal before she lost her battle.
I also remember looking at my friend and starting to cry. At that moment, I wanted to be able to call my mother. She had passed away ten months before. I felt such grief at that very moment. I simply wanted her to wrap her arms around me and tell me that it would be okay.
My friend, though as supportive as any of us can be at that moment when we are all in complete shock, did not even hug me. He, too, sat in total disbelief, unable to say or do anything.
I felt as alone as I have ever felt and I drove myself home about 2:00 in the morning. I had no idea exactly how my life would change over the next few weeks.
I wanted to get some sleep and then wake up from this cruel nightmare.
The next day, I started making some phone calls to some of my friends and family to let them know what was going on that I did not know what it was called. That was the hardest part for me…the waiting for the upcoming tests, the biopsy, the wanting to believe nothing was wrong but knowing that everything was wrong.
It is the day I started to look at life (and death) much differently, and on April 17th, 2012, I wrote “How to Get Rid of Weeds” on my blog, which I adapted several months ago here on Bubblews as “The Weeds of Life.” (www.bubblews.com/news/2094484-the-weeds-of-life)
A few days later, I wrote “Finding the Beauty” (corallevang.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/finding-the-beauty/) when I began to look at things much differently. I started to see things with different eyes.
My subsequent blog posts, which were a bit infrequent, started to examine the meaning of everything, and did not disclose too much right off the bat. But those blog entries you can find should you be so inclined by visiting my old blog entries on your own.
The next several weeks held some of the beautiful and free, as well as the most mind-numbing and fearful days of my life. but all have been part of my journey.
And in the weeks ahead, I will share more of what happened, and disclose even more than I did when I first shared my story, including the letter I sent out to my friends and family two days after I met with the doctor once the battery of tests and procedures were assessed and I received my diagnosis and prognosis.
***TO BE CONTINUED***
***To gain other perspectives about the journey and how it affects one’s thoughts at different stages, please check out more from this author***
“How Long to Live? One Year, Two If You Are Lucky” www.bubblews.com/news/2711570-how-long-to-live-one-year-two-if-you-are-lucky
“Suicide: The Night I Took My Life…” www.bubblews.com/news/575917-suicide-the-night-i-took-my-life