Monday, March 16, 2009

What really happened last week......

What a week it's been....my life has changed focus, the world around me has turned upside down, and I'm so relieved to finally understand why I've been so tired, sick and painful over the last few months. I'm not a complainer (well, most of the time, and usually just to my hubby)...so I haven't shared much of my aches and concerns but when driving, eating and sleeping started to become unbearable I knew that I had to go to the Doctor. NEVER did I wildly imagine that the results would be cancer! Aside from being overweight and a little out of shape, I'm generally a very healthy, happy person! This was a TOTAL SHOCK for me and my family!

On Wednesday, I went into the regular Doctor station in our little town for a hemorroid check (never have had one so I wasn't sure)......but she didn't like what she found in there. So she told me to go immediately to the hospital in Helsingborg for a more expert opinion, then I began to freak a bit. I drove myself there, in my new driving position - half reclined on my side. After further excruciating probing by the doctor, she told me that the lump in my rump was not a good bump (Dr. Sesus approved) and that I would have to stay overnight for additional tests in the morning to rule out cancer. There the word was said. And I FREAKED...before being checked into my room, thank goodness, I had the excuse to put additional money into the parking meter (like the worst of my worries! ha) because once I got outside I could let lose a wail of a cry (in my car)...yes, the ugly kind of cry that makes your face go red and blouchy, snorting muscus, hiccup breathing pattern. Not pretty. Then I spent the next two days getting tested (CT scan, blood tests and blood tests, and biospy which I got two doses of morphine for the pain--yuck, throw up city!). Being with my husband for the results was awful...this man is a sensitive puppy dog of a guy who nearly cries when he sees road kill. Sucking it in, he was the one who called the principal of my school to say that I won't be working for a couple of months! I think the first call was the hardest for us. And he couldn't say the c-word! (my Swedish friends say I'm the glue and the engine of our family....so I was proud he could be brave and make this difficult call for me..I love my job and I will REALLY miss my students!)

Anyway....to get on with my story...no beating around the bush here...the fact is I have rectal cancer that has spread to my liver. (I don't like that matastize word...see, I can't even spell it!)
Biospy results are not in yet but they already know it's cancer--what stage and all that, I don't know. GOOD NEWS: my red blood count is "normal" although on the low side so my lovely liver is still working hard! (GO LIVER, work it!) I will find out "early next week" (let's hope by Wednesday or I'll be a crazy woman with this waiting business!) The plan of action is that I will get chemo directed at my liver first since that is the most important, then they'll focus chemo and raditation on the rectum. (wish I could request some liposuction too but that's going a little too far!) We are guessing that surgery is not being considered at this point because of the possibility that I might have to live with a "disposal bag" the rest of my life. I don' t know but when I meet my oncology team I will be armed with a zillion questions. (I'm keeping a journal so I don't forget what I want to ask and say.) The main concern at the moment is to keep my poopies coming through and not lodging themselves on the other side of the bad bump! (ouchy!) I have meds for this but still it can take a couple of days! (not to mention I'm hardly eating so there's not much there anyway) So, all you well wishers....here's what I ask of you....whenever you do a "good poop" WISH one for me too! Who'd have ever thought I'd publicly ask for this type of favor! But it's VERY IMPORTANT! I kid you not. Now....the waiting begins and I just want to get started on the treatment...come on folks (doctors)....let's KICK CANCER OUT OF ME! I'm going to BEAT IT (thanks Michael Jackson!) and I WILL SURVIVE (thanks Gloria!) and I'm MOVING ON (thanks Sarah Dawn Finer!).

The support we have gotten has been INCREDIBLE! I THANK YOU!
(sorry, in this photo I could not smile my usual one because I was holding in the tears!)Living so far away from my home country is one thing (and my choice)....but we also live in the countryside...not even in town. I LOVE IT! However, it gets lonely some times, very lonely.
The response we have gotten about this horrible news has been like a HUGE INTERNATIONAL HUG for my family! We feel so loved and supported by everyone who is praying, holding us in the light and flowing their positive thoughts in our direction! We THANK YOU!
And like a patchwork....our shared friendships, love, support, prayers and offers of help HOLD US TOGETHER! The distance doesn't seem so great. I can FEEL YOUR POSITIVE ENERGY coming into my mind and body and I am STRENGTHEN! This disease will BITE THE DUST...NOT ME! (thanks Queen!)
Thank you, I love you...everyone of you
Your words have touched me very deeply and I will be literally carrying them into chemotherapy with me. I've copied them all and pasted them together to print out for my long appointments at the hospital...to read in those moments when I'm feeling the need for a hug and support...far and near, in Swedish, in Spanish, in English from old and young, new friends and old ones, virtual and real. Thank you for being my friends!

11 comments:

lizardek said...

For your beat cancer sidebar:

Frida - breast
Rée - bone/lung
Linda - uterus
Kristian - blood/skin
Heather - skin
Christina - breast

We've got your back (literally! Ha!) Carol. Love you :)

holly said...

I am praying for you and your family. You can beat this. You are a strong woman. You will survive and have a great story to tell. If you need anything I am hear for you. A shoulder to cry on. A friend to sew for you. I am sending big big hugs your way. You are loved much here in Alabama. God Bless you.

Sara said...

I will support you and be praying for you through this! I know you will beat it!

For your list:

- Alice (my MIL): breast
- Cory (friend): leukemia (waiting for his third heart)

Amanda said...

There's nothing much I can say, apart from well done you - I'm so impressed with the attitude you're showing. Another for your list - my good friend Ian - rectal/liver. And a message from him - keep positive, eat as healthily and organically as you can and take plenty of supplements. And never say no to anyone who offers you some help. Keep your chin up.

jessica_sundell@hotmail.com said...

Kära Carol,
Har precis läst din blogg, sänder dig min kraft och energi och vill att du ska veta att jag ber för dig och din familj. Livet kan vara svårt att förstå ibland, och då måste vi lyssna till livets stora hemlighet; Allting kommer att bli bra...

"Du aldrig är ensam,
alltid älskad, och
skapad för att uppnå
stora ting"

Öppna ditt hjärta för under.

Mina tankar finns hos dig Carol!!
Varmaste kramarna!
Jessica på skolan

May said...

Wow, Carol, you always amaze me!
I loved reading every bit of news you have talked about and I can't wait for you to come back to work!
Be strong, that's how all the cancer survivors get through it.
All the kids say hello :)

You are my sunshine
my only sunshine
you made me happy
when days were blue
you never know Carol
how much we love you
please be strong
so we see u soon.

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing woman!! I am honoured to know you and count you as a friend. One day, we will laugh and cry together.

Let's those tears out!!! Dump them our way..please, it is the least we can do for you.

Big Canadian bear hugs
Gail

lizardek said...

I forgot one!

Sharon - ocular

:)

Lori S-C said...

I am already enlisting people in sending healing across the sea.

We love you and will be thinking only positive thoughts for our very special Carol.

Love,
L,L, C and C

Anonymous said...

Carol,


Thanks for sharing the details of your fight. Your power and determination is inspiring. Go Kick Butt!

Please consider sharing your symptoms and when you first noticed them. It might help others.

Holly C.

Lizvette said...

Oh Ms. Carol...
How could this have to happened to YOU?!?!??!
Argh! Well, I know you're very strong. I know you'll beat this. Here's another song for you: THE SHOW MUST GO ON! (by Queen of course!)
My mum will write later to you. I really do hope for the best. You can get through this! YOU'LL FACE IT WITH A GRIN, YOU'RE NEVER GIVING IN! ON WITH THE SHOW!
-Sending you my best wishes,
Lizvette
p.s. I'll write more later, I have math homework to do! Keep in touch!