I never thought I would find myself back to blog writing, at least not for the purpose of informing people on health conditions, but here I am! However, unlike last time (https://sims5.wordpress.com/), I am here to share about my own personal struggle. Not only do I want to keep those curious updated, but found writing therapeutic in my previous blog. So, here goes nothing...
On September 28th 2018, my now husband and I were wed in Salida, Colorado. Our ceremony and reception were small, but perfect in our eyes! There we were, newly married and ready to start our exciting journey together, but little did we know what that journey would entail.
Just shy of two months into marriage I started to experience some confusing symptoms. It was Thanksgiving when I first started feeling numbness in the right side of my face. Being extremely health conscious I figured it was a food allergy since I was consuming things that I do not normally have in my diet. However, the numbness continued and was accompanied by balance issues, lightheadedness and even vertigo. Moving away from the food allergy possibility I focused on it most likely being the Paraguard IUD that I had at the time. During this time, Braden can tell you, Web MD and I became best friends. Once convincing myself that this was where everything was stemming from I decided to have it removed. Prior to removal I did go to my primary care doctor, which was about mid-December. While she wasn't convinced on my IUD hypothesis, she did have ideas of what it could be. This ranged from celiac to a pinched nerve to MS. Due to her thoughts, she had me get blood work and put in an order for an MRI. Fast forward to post IUD removal and to my frustration nothing had changed. In fact, at this point the numbness had consumed my entire face/tongue. By this time, I had scheduled an MRI, but decided to wait until after Christmas. Braden and I had a trip to see family in New Mexico. It was the morning after Christmas and I was getting ready to leave when I noticed the tingling/numbing was working its way into my left hand and leg. At this point, I knew something serious was wrong. Braden and I decided it would be best to cancel our trip and move my MRI up. Thankfully, we were able to get in the next day.
It was the morning of December 27th 2018 when I went in for my MRI. During the scan I could tell something was not right given the questions my technician was asking me. Sure enough, a few hours later in a desperate attempt to distract ourselves, Braden and I were out antique shopping when I received a phone call. On the other end was a frantic doctor, that was on call for my primary care physician, who informed me of two lesions in my brain. One was in my frontal lobe measuring 5mm, while the second was 2.5cm on my brain stem. This second lesion explained my symptoms and the doctor eagerly asked if I could go in to the hospital the next day to receive a CAT scan. Without question I said yes and was quickly scheduled to see an Oncologist following that scan. This is where I found out in addition to the lesions in my brain, that I also had one in my left lung. Before it could be declared the dreaded "C" word a biopsy on the lung needed to be done. Right away that was scheduled for December 31st, but in the meantime I was scheduled with a Radiologist to talk about potential treatment depending on the biopsy. The biopsy day came and thankfully wasn't very invasive. A CAT scan was repeatedly taken of my chest until the doctor had everything aligned. He was then able to take a needle...a VERY large needle...and remove enough needed for a biopsy. Oh and did I mention I was awake, but given pain killers. Unfortunately, next came New Years so we had to wait until January 2nd to meet with the Oncologist. Even though I had a good idea of what was going on, that will always be one of the hardest days of my life. The doctor came in and confirmed that we were dealing with cancer. Yep, at 29 years old and living an extremely healthy lifestyle I am now a cancer patient. To top it off it was declared non small cell LUNG cancer that had metastasized to my brain. In that alone I felt overwhelmed because the closest thing I have come to smoking is those candies my brothers and I bought as kids that mimicked a cigarette...completely off topic, but I can't believe my mother allowed me to buy those. Besides that shock was hearing that the spread meant stage 4. Now I'm not one for numbers, but have learned cancer loves to toss them around and frankly I have done my best to ignore them. Given my best efforts I still have had my moments of weakness or run across something when researching. Let me save you the trouble of googling...those numbers are not in my favor. Despite what numbers, and even my own doctor at the time, were telling me I couldn't believe them. In fact, I found myself getting mad. Who were they to tell me I have a certain amount of time left?! In my opinion, that is solely up to God to determine my time. Not to mention, no doctor or number knew what I had been through in life and that I was stronger than some cancer diagnoses. To me this was, and is, just a hurdle, a new way of life that I will learn to adapt to. I've done it before and you best believe I have no problem doing it again!
Needless to say, the last thing I hope each of you finds with this news is even an ounce of hope lost. In my experience, God has a way of taking something tragic and making it beautiful in its own time. So here is to more beauty in my life!