The Unluckiest Girl on the Planet?

“How does it feel to be the unluckiest girl on the planet?”

This was the greeting from my sister after I was diagnosed with two different kinds of cancer – and Influenza A – during the first three weeks in February. At that point, I was still waiting to hear what stage cancer I had, what the plan of action to treat it would be – and had just been put in isolation for the flu.

It had the desired effect. I laughed.

Of course, Kristy + morphine + another pain med (or few) = a jumbled mess of thoughts and feelings. Because during that time, I guess I thought I posted more about the situation than I actually had. So now, I’ll take a few minutes to do a quick update.

I’d already told everyone about the skin cancer (in an earlier post) but, before I could get to the plastic surgeon to get the rest of that cut away, I woke up doubled over with pain on February 13th.

The next day, not only was it not better, but my stomach felt like I was about 9 months pregnant … and in the middle of a labor pain that was pushing up into my diaphragm so hard I couldn’t catch a decent breath no matter how hard I tried. Finally, I asked my daughter to take to the emergency room. I just didn’t think I could deal with that level of pain for another night and, add in the breathing issues- Yeah. I needed to be seen.

To my surprise, after a ct scan, I was admitted with what that doctor felt was something called colitis. I didn’t care because between two doses of morphine, as well as another pain med, I was sort of comfortable for the first time in almost 48 hours.

Fast forward through the weekend. The on-call doctor wasn’t sure it was colitis. In fact, she wanted a surgeon to check it out because she saw something she thought was suspicious. So, late Monday morning, I was transferred to one of the bigger hospitals in a nearby town, one where their surgeon could see me.

The plan had been to do a scope on Tuesday but thanks to the first miracle – a very brief window of opportunity (that wouldn’t have been there if I’d arrived even 5 minutes later), I had the scope within an hour of my arrival in my room at that hospital.

The scope revealed a mass growing in my colon. Definitely cancer.

I’m kind of foggy on what happened the rest of that day, and part of the next. But after another ct scan, where I had a bit of a panic attack because not only could I not take a deep breath, I also couldn’t hold it, I was set up for emergency surgery. Why? Because there was a perforation allowing air and ‘other stuff’ into my abdominal cavity. That’s why it had been so hard to breathe.

The surgeon explained that I would have to have a temporary colostomy – up to six months. I told him fine. Whatever it took as long as I was going to live. He thought that was a great attitude. I didn’t realize until later that I’d lied to him. And to myself.

Over the next few days, my daughter let some people know what was going on. And I added a few more to the list as soon as I could actually sit up and type for a few minutes.

That was actually the hardest thing about the whole situation. Telling people about it. After I hit send, I started crying because, while it sure beats being dead, I still don’t want a colostomy.

It doesn’t matter if it’s 6 weeks, 4 months, or 6 months (hopefully, the max before I can have the reversal surgery). I hate it. I hate having it. I hate looking at it. And I hate emptying the bag 2-3 times a day. But I can mark 2 1/2 weeks off of the worst case scenario – 26 weeks. I’ll get through it. And I’ll be grateful because it could have been so much worse.

I’d like to say I’ve accepted it. And on one hand, I have. I don’t have a lot of choice in the matter. But I’m still in a bit of denial, trying to pretend for most of each day that I don’t have it. And I’m fully prepared to cut myself off from any sort of social life until the surgery that will ‘fix’ everything sometime this summer. At least I hope it will.

Since I’m starting to zone out, I’m going to finish up now.

I alluded to another miracle. And it’s a pretty big one too. Some might suggest that to be a true miracle, God should have prevented this from happening in the first place. True enough – if He was a genie in a bottle. But He’s not. He does answer prayers though.

Not only was ALL of the cancer contained, I don’t even need chemo. And, instead of removing almost half of my colon, as had been the original plan, I’ve still got most of it left. But, thanks to the perforation, I have to let it heal, which is why I have the ‘ostomy.’

So, I hold on to that miracle when I’m feeling down. And that’s still more often than I’d like. I’m really very, very blessed. I know that. But I’m also still very tired and in more pain than I’d like to be. As those things ease up, I expect I’ll return to my cheerful self. And, maybe I’ll figure out ways to escape my self-imposed isolation from time-to-time.

Anyway, that’s what’s been going on. Hope this hasn’t been too disjointed to follow. I’m afraid concentration isn’t my strong suit right now.

But to answer the original question – am I the unluckiest girl on the planet?

Not even close. 🙂

Photo credit: Pixabay

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5 Responses to The Unluckiest Girl on the Planet?

  1. Pingback: Yikes! My Summer is Starting with a Bang! |

  2. So sorry you’re going through this! But to answer your question, it sounds like you’re actually pretty lucky, given your very good prognosis. Hopes and prayers that you heal quickly!

  3. daleamidei says:

    Dear Kristy, I can’t make myself ‘Like’ this heartfelt post, but I know the Spirit will use your faith throughout the coming days to do just what He will. Bless you in this time.

    • Also, please keep us updated when you’re able!

    • Kristy K. James says:

      I am sorry, Dale – and Jennette, I posted that and then totally lost most of the rest of the month. I am feeling better, still tiring more easily than I’d like, but when you’re sharing your bed with a surgical drain – and are paranoid about pulling it out in your sleep – a good night’s sleep is hard to come by. 😀

      Jennette – I am extremely lucky/blessed/fortunate in both the cancer being found so early and that I have a wonderful surgeon.

      Thank you both for the prayers, and I will try to get another blog post out over the weekend. 🙂

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