Daily Archives: July 1, 2011

The Great Escape

I understand a lot of people are new or maybe just catching up on my blog for the first time in a while. If this is the case, I recommend you start with this post and go from there to get caught up. Or not. I guess you don’t have to, do what you want!

If Tuesday was my worst day since being admitted to hospital, then Thursday was probably my best day. I love how things work out like that.


As mentioned earlier, I had a PET scan in the next city over. The nurses recommended I get family to drive me because taking an ambulance can be kind of hellish. After two days of being down for the count with extreme illness, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to make this appointment. Thankfully, I woke up on Thursday with an appetite, so I knew all was somewhat okay with the world again.

I was able to lose the ole’ ‘ball and chain,’ the IV tree, for a day and got a 24-hour shot of blood thinners instead. I ditched the johnny shirt and put on some real clothes. All comfy Lululemon, my favourite, discovering their thumbholes double as a hole for unused IV ports.


The best part about the trip?



I’d been breathing in nothing but hospital stank for eight days straight. The second the fresh air hit my nostrils, I teared up. It just made me feel like a living human being again.


It helped that the test in Saint John was not painful. I just had to get injected with a dye and lie in one of those big machines that moves you back and forth. Based on a quick look at the pictures, it looks like the cancer is contained to the upper part of my chest and armpits, which keeps me hopeful for nothing more than a Stage 2 diagnosis,


We found a great courtyard at the Saint John hospital to hang out in when it was all over. Unfortunately, Saint John is home to an oil refinery and probably the stinkiest city in New Brunswick, but I’ll take what I can get.


I was still feeling really weak after two days of being violently ill and not eating much, so I couldn’t walk a lot and had to be wheeled around for any long stretches of walking.


Please excuse the “I’ve been in hospital and just had the world’s nastiest stomach flu” look. It seems kind of silly to me to put on makeup in the hospital. Although, I bet there are little old ladies on this oncology floor who do it.

I know I usually round up each month with a “Things I Learned” post, but this month has been so whacky, I honestly can’t remember anything that happened in the days preceding the cancer. Next month will be a lot better thought out. But for the time being, here are a few things I have learned in my short experience so far:

1. Listen to your mom. Who knows what could have happened had my mother not forced me to the doctor about a kink in my neck against my will. Mind you, my mom’s intuition is always right. It’s creepy. And sometimes frustrating!

2. If you’re going for an important test at the hospital that could have a bad outcome, be prepared. I knew going into the cat scan of my neck that it could be something serious, but I chose to ignore it. I really wish I’d been more prepared and showered my hair that morning, shaved my legs, had done laundry before, and all these other little things. They’re insignificant in the long run, but make emergency admission to the hospital a lot more comfortable.

3. We are not above anything. I never, ever thought cancer would happen to me until I was at least 50 years old. It doesn’t matter how healthy or careful you are, anything is possible. And that includes the bad things.

I am finally off bed rest and have a weekend of hospital walks and seeing visitors planned. Looking forward to getting some strength and energy back after a tough week. Chest surgery to get a sample of the growth is on Monday at noon. I will be back before then I suspect. Have a great weekend, but most importantly…