Tuesday, July 16, 2013

When Bad Things Keep Happening to Sort of Good People

Perhaps I am stretching it by putting myself in the Good People category.  I know so, so many people who are far stronger, braver, charitable and admirable than I am.  That is why I qualified it a bit, I am sort of good.  Pretty good.  Relatively good.   I do try.  However, those Bad Things, they just keep on a-comin’.

I found a lump in my breast several months ago, but with all my health problems and hospitalizations, following up on it took a back seat.  I finally had a biopsy last week and within a few days the results came back.  I have ductal carcinoma in situ, or, in lay terms, breast cancer.  It is the most common type and the chances are high for a complete cure after surgery, chemo and radiation. 

The problem is that the treatment protocol takes a tremendous toll on the healthiest of people.  And me?  I am not the healthiest of people.  Multiple sclerosis has sucked all the ‘life’ out of my life.  Secondary to MS I have developed crippling lymphedema in my legs, causing relentless, excruciating pain and severely limiting my ability to take more than a few steps, essentially confining me to a wheelchair and to my home.  Getting out of the house is simply too darn hard. 

Limited mobility means no exercise.  I carry the genes of Irish peasants who survived an Gorta Mór (the Great Potato Famine).  So no exercise means horrific, depressing weight gain by just sitting here and breathing.  Oh, and breathing?  Yeah, that would be an issue too, as MS has caused a partial paralysis of my diaphragm which has compromised my ability to take deep breaths.  Surgery to remove the lump will require anesthesia.  There is considerable concern that my lungs would not be strong enough to recover from the anesthesia.  I might end up with a tube in my throat attached to a machine that would breathe for me for the remainder of my days.

What on earth did I do in a previous life?!?!  Holy mackerel, it must have been really, really bad.

I am trying hard to keep a positive outlook, but it is very tough.  I’m awfully scared.  On the plus side, I have a great team of health care providers who are truly skilled, concerned and compassionate.  I have found someone who might be able to help treat my lymphedema at home.  I trust my oncologist, who I will meet with on Thursday to discuss plans and realistic expectations.   My respiratory therapist has referred me to a physician who specializes in preventing post-op vents.  

My friends have rallied around me with a tornado of caring and love.  It is my children I am the most concerned about though.  I do not want them to be burdened or to watch me suffer.  I am praying for them, that they find solace in each other and that we can be a happy family once again.

So, I soldier on.  I believe things always work out one way or another.  They may not work out the way you want or the way you intended, but they do work out.  I have always rolled with the punches, dusting myself off and reinventing myself as I’ve needed to.  Even when I didn’t want to.  I am not ready for it, but ready or not, it is time for a new adventure.

Wish me luck.


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Webster said...

Damn, Marie - that diagnosis must have been like a sucker punch. It rather takes my breath away. You are a good person, a well-spoken person. I hope your health care team is as good as you say they are.

debe said...

Well hell.

You are surrounded by love.

I can only wish for you to keep your strength, hope - since life bites us in the ass more than we ever imagined.

Add the MonSter to the mix, and just rotfl.. because we never know what it will do to us next.

Praying for your kids, hoping they can be brave.. thoughts and prayers for you daily.

Praying also for your medical team.

love hugs and smooches


Muffie said...

Oh, Marie, that's awful. You've had to endure so much. And BTW, you ARE a good person. You're in my prayers as you go through this latest battle.

Tricia Pell said...

Luck, love and prayers. God holds you, Marie. Never forget that. You are stronger than you think.

Sherri said...

Prayers for you.

Like you, I keep the notion that things always have a way of working out... or... it all comes out in the wash.. one way or the other.

I hope this turns out the way you want and intend.

Paula Wooters said...

What horrible news, Marie. Sending healing thoughts.

Anji Knutsen said...

Like everyone says, you are a good person. I just can't believe that you have had such awful news again. Sending all of the positive vibrations that I can.


Marie said...

Thank you all for your love and your kind words! I am so sorry I have not responded before this to each of you, but please know you are in my heart and prayers, I am so grateful for your caring.

wordswordswords/agate said...

Egad, Marie--I'm so sorry you got hit with this. I hope you're doing better by now. Wishing you better days ahead!