For the past 2 weeks I have been facing a fear that has become uncontrollable the longer that I have been dealing with my medical situation. If you are familiar with my blog you will have undoubtedly read that I was told that I have a tumor growing rapidly in my right kidney. Even worse than that the lab results that were taken this past Thursday show that my kidney functions are steadily on the decline. This coupled with the fact that I have several other terminal illnesses that my body is also dealing with. This has not left me with a comfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach. I am not sure what the right course of action is at this moment in time is for me and the treatments that the doctors are suggesting.
What is funny is that I am not afraid for myself. I am afraid for the ones that might be left alone if I were to die. Now that I have broached the subject of death, I might as well elaborate on what I am talking about and dealing with. See I have known for a little while that I had the tumor, what I didn't know was the possibility of it being cancerous. That pushed it into a realm of unworldliness for me. I have faced cancer 4 other times in my life and I have managed to get by and survive. Sometimes in tact and other times not so unscathed by the tragedy. The last round was back in 2012 and I ended up with a second stoma that I now have to take care of daily, as if one wasn't enough already right. But through it all I managed to survive only to break my leg a few weeks later. I am a person who just doesn't have good luck at all when it comes to my body and my health.
Since 1992, I have been in a struggle for life versus cancer. Each time I go into the battle weighing my options. Most cases the quality of life is the most important factor I look at. Because there are a few things that I fear such as living as a vegetable or being confined to a wheelchair or having another stroke that limits my mobility further than the spinal fractures have already produced. My life has not been a paved road with roses, I have had more surgeries and procedures than most people have in an entire lifetime. At the age of 23 I had my first bout with Cancer and here we are 24 years later and I am still dealing with it. Sometimes the reason for the tumor has been because of radiation disease, however the treatment options have always been the same. Surgery and then preventative chemotherapy. What most people don't know is that each time you have chemotherapy the less likely the treatment will work for you. Just like everytime you have an operation and go under anesthesia it is harder and harder to come back. With both of these things being said having close to 29 abdominal surgeries and countless other biopsies, colonoscopies, and other treatments, how hard do you think this surgery is going to be for me?
I am a big proponent of hoping for the best and planning for the worst, because I know how much my body has been through over the years. Which means I have every right to feel afraid. Because time is very short on my end, I am trying to get everything wrapped up that I possibly can so that if a complication comes up there is a plan of action. Now I am not saying that something is definitely crop up, but as my medical track record goes out of every 5 surgeries a complication had arose and I had to stay in the hospital way longer than was expected. So at this point I have weighed this in my analysis of what is best way to proceed when dealing with the surgery and the doctor recommendations. But here is another fun fact that goes into my equation. I believe in the power of pray and I know that God is the ultimate healer and that if it is His will I will be completely healed from this an there will be no decline in my comfort of living.
Fear is one of the hardest emotions to pin down and overcome. Fear is a force that needs to be reconned with. It is an emotion that can hold you in place, and keep you from moving forward and taking the chance or surgery that is needed. Fear is something that each of has from time to time. Having fear doesn't mean that you are weak or that you are a chicken. Fear is a normal reaction to scary situations and exploring unknown things. Yet what makes one brave is confronting and dealing with the fear you are feeling. You can also keep fear in check and use it to garner strength, the same with anger. Anger is an emotion that can creep in at the most unexpected time, such as when you are frightened or scared. It is triggered by the feeling of helplessness in that situation, but you must remain calm, know in your heart that this is only a momentary thing, that it will pass and you will not have to deal with it again. Each time you conquer a fear you will be so much stronger and it will become easier to face the next fear that comes up,
Fear is something that can be beaten, you can gather greater strength and knowledge the more you face and control. You may be wondering what my decision is about my surgery. Since I have been worrying about this so much I decided that the best option for me was to have the surgery and face the outcome. I doubt that my quality of life will improve, but I don't see how it could possibly diminish either by having it. i have weighed both sides of the coin from the result of all the test that have come back. My kidney function isn't improving and the medication that I take is building up a toxicity in my blood stream that the kidney can no longer filter out for me. So at this point it seems that the best option for me to pursue is the one of having the tumor removed and sending off to see if it is malignant or benign. Like I said earlier in the blog is that I am not afraid of dying and that is true. I have a fear for those that I have left behind, for those people that I have been trying to help and all of those that I have helped and those that depend on my opinion and me. But I know in the long run that everyone will be fine. I just hope and pray that they remember me and do for someone else what I have done for them.
2016 was supposed to be a spectacular year with low or no incidences of health issues. Lord knows that I would have love that, because in 2015 I only spent 4 days in the hospital versus the year before when I spend almost 10 full months in the hospital. Life seemed to be getting better for me if you compare 2013 to now. This time things feel different too me and I fear that I am going to have to face this surgery all by myself. Long time readers will know that my biggest fear is dying alone and forgotten. I have done so many things in my life for others that I believe that it will be very hard for anyone who has met me to forget me totally. But the alone part is the hard thing that I am wrestling with now. Because I am not sure what the outcome of this surgery is going to be, or where for that matter. My VA doctors are wanting me to go to Tampa to the VA hospital there, keep in mind that I live in Daytona Beach which is close to 3 hours away. I do have an alternative plan when the Urologist here in Daytona could operate on me and bill the VA or medicare which ever one decides to pay.
Weighing the pros and cons of a situation is one of my ways of dealing with problem situations and which ever column comes out with the list amount of entries is usually the way that I go. But I also try to analyze the consequences of the choice that I have made. If the cost and risk outweighs the benefit and least amount of consequence I move in that direction. Each individual decision has a certain amount of risk involved and it is up to you to weigh the risks against the rewards and make a choice. You can also try and mitigate some of the risks to make the rewards that much better. I don't know what you are going through or if this might help someone else out there that might be going through something similar, but I hope that I can reach at least one person that might need the advice.
As always my hopes and dreams are with you,