Sunday, January 29, 2012

It's been almost 4 months since my last post. I need to provide a confession. Basically friends, 2 weeks before my 1 yr cancerversary, I started getting sick. We thought I caught a nasty strain of the flu, and had a 2 week long no medicine will help headache. I was vomiting left and right, horrible uncontrollable diarrhea, and I was losing strength in my left side. Finally *I* reached a point where I felt I needed the ER. We went, and the doc on call said you do have the flu, its a bad strain, you are dehydrated big time. Go home drink lots of fluids and come back if it doesn't get better. Two days later, still sick as a dog, I was walking from the bathroom back to my bed (down was good) and I collapsed before I got to the bed. I took out the oscillating fan, broke it and was unable to respond to my wife Celina. She was yelling at me to get up and get off the floor or she was calling 911. She was upset with me because I would not respond to her. Usually I would be cussing her out for hollering at me like that. I could tell she was scared, so I managed to say, I am trying to think of the appropriate response.  She knew something was up and called 911. I don't remember much until I heard the ambulance arrive. She had to help me sit up ( I may possibly have this in the wrong order) and I heard them come, and stated matter of factly, they are here. They took me to the hospital, I was shaking and shivering, and THAT dr on call was a little more on the ball. Our nurse Bunni who is now our framily, at first did not believe anything was wrong with me. I was acting normal, joking, laughing, telling her how the fan might be in pain, but I'M NOT!!!  Celina was trying to tell her she's not acting like Jen, she is not acting normal at all. Bunni still did not believe her until it became evident that I was slowing WAYYYYY down.

        The dr came in, sent me for a CT scan based on my prior history, and came back about an hour later and informed Celina ( i was toast by now) that there was a 2.5 by 2 inch tumor on my right frontal lobe. They admitted me right away, but the fun didn't end there!!! My blood pressure was sky high and probably has been for a while, but I could not stand lights in my eyes and I was hot or cold off and on. Celina had to crawl into the hospital bed with me to get it to come down. However, it still was not enough. I was admitted on 11-11-11 and by 11-12-11 they had to put a drain in my head to relieve the pressure because they were afraid I would stroke out. I was awake for this. There was immediate relief. My left eye was not tracking at all it was pointing in the right side direction only. After a couple of hours it was more normal but I still had double vision. on 11-14-11 I was taken to surgery where the tumor was removed from my brain and he got all the way down to swollen brain, so he is fairly certain that he got it all.  I don't remember a whole lot from that day other than when I was in ICU I saw naked Garden gnomes standing at the end of my bed laughing at me, Lucy from Charlie Brown was hiding from me and I was convinced someone was trying to kill me. My poor brain!!!

I was in the hospital for 9 days, most of them spent in ICU. It was scary and I was afraid, but like always I am miss perky and cheerful, but I got NO sleep ( go figure) and I was uncomfortable. On a lot of medication, I.V. initially and then by mouth.  When they released me, I could not keep my eyes open because I was soo nauseous. I started Radiation therapy ( whole brain) on Dec 8th, 2011 and finished January 16th. Now I am recovering, with my crispy black skin and peeling ears. ( I also, in all this got ear tubes because the rads were drying out my eustacean tubes) My hearing is not as good as it was before, but we are still holding out hope that it will get better as I get better. Celina has peeled tons of dead skin off my head and ears, and lots of hair with it. She is no where near done, but each round makes my head feel sooo much better!!!

So where does this bring me, in my quest to remind you that cancer is only a word, not a sentence? Well, the same as before, but maybe softer, You CAN fight this and win it. I have done it now TWICE. I did have a lot of realizations while I was sick and in ICU. I think everyone who reads this should spend half a day or a full day volunteering on their local ICU floor. Not in the rooms, thats hard to see, but in the waiting room, is where the greatest need is. The people that are waiting and visiting their loved ones. Celina met so many people who just needed an ear or shoulder to cry on. ICU is a scary place, and most people are there because they are dying and need that extra special care. I came close, 3 days more and I would have had permanent brain damage, 5 days more and I would have died period.

But somewhere in my body, was a power cell who said, NO JEN, we are NOT dying today. NO NO NO. So I lived. And here I am.

Hello, Again!!!

This is all for today, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. If  I cannot remember, I will ask Celina.