I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and I have written and rewritten this quite a few times in the last few days. Fair warning, before I start getting into all the details, this is very personal to the point that some of you may not want to read it at all. I don’t want any drama over it, I don’t want people filling my inbox with criticism and crap. I’m only writing this to get it out, and it isn’t for anyone else’s benefit other than my own. I figure if I write this, then maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to sigh a bit of relief and move on. I also want to say this has been tremendously hard to write, even if it is typed on a computer. I have spent hours crying just while writing this, so please respect my wishes, at least with this writing.
I am very aware that a lot of people think I’m a bitch, and a cunt. That many people don’t really give half a shit about me, and that’s well and fine. I will be the first to admit I am a bitch, but I have very good reasons to be so. As I have said before only a handful of people really know ME, and until you know me, don’t judge me. However, this will give you some insight to who I am, what I have been dealing with, and why I’m a bitch in my own right.
So the real question is where to begin? As a writer, I know that the story always starts at the beginning, but the real question is when DID it begin? Was it the pains? The getting sick? Or was it when I started hiding something very huge from those I care so deeply about? Hiding things from those I love and cherish in my life? Okay…. I guess I’ll just pick a point then eh?
I’ve been hiding something from most everyone that knows me for a year and a half. While there are a very select few of you that know, those that I can count on one hand, the rest of you have been in the dark. For that, I am truly sorry. I have never meant to hurt anyone, or been in the position that I wanted to hold something from anyone I love and care about. Some family members don’t even know the things I am currently writing about, so know that if you didn’t know, you aren’t alone by any means, and that I truly apologize for keeping you in the dark.
In August of 2014 I started to notice some changes with my body and the way I was feeling. Being me, as most of you know, I was stubborn and refused to admit these things and have them looked at. In September and October, as I was starting a new relationship I started to get very sick. I couldn’t hold food, drinks, or even water at times. I would start to puke, and puke for at least half an hour at a time. I would continue to vomit until these pains would start. Pains that I’ve felt quite often over the years, they are unlike any form of pain I have experienced before. It feels as if someone has cut open my guts, thrust their fist inside, grabbed a fist full of my insides and started to clench and twist them around. These pains would, and still do, cause me to not be able to move, to cry out in pain, anger and suffering, and eventually black out as they last half an hour plus in length. The new relationship took me to the emergency room on one such occasion.
Once there I was thrown into a series of tests and exams, and I was there for 4 hours. They had found a huge mass in my reproductive organs, though they couldn’t tell where it was actually attached to, nor what it could be. I was told then to go the very next morning to have an MRI done, where they could see better what was going on. I was discharged, and quickly made my way from one end of town to the other where my daughter had a parent teacher conference I had to be at. While in the conference I started to get very sick again, the pains returned worse than before, and this time while I was getting sick there was blood. It may not be as much blood as I think now there was, but at the time it seemed to be everywhere. On the floor in a tiny grade school stall I sat puking, unable to stop, only seeing red. I was helped out of the restroom and taken straight back to the hospital where my mother and daughter met me.
The doctor I had just seen in the emergency room the first time was still on duty. I literally had been gone not even an hour at the point of being rushed into the emergency room for a second time that day. Instead of reassessing my case, I was told I would be going to the “big hospital”, straight to Riverside in Columbus. There were no ifs, ands, or buts, and there was no way I could refuse. My mother was going to keep my kiddo, as it was a school day, so she wouldn’t miss school, my other half at the time would follow the ambulance that was taking me, and I would know more in about an hour and a half. The only thing I can remember aside from the pain and the puking was looking out of the back of the ambulance and watching the truck that followed us there. I may have blacked out from pain a couple of times, because the ride literally seemed to only take 15 minutes tops.
Once in Columbus I was taken straight to a room in their emergency room. My chart was handed over, along with the chart from the first ER visit that day. I remember at some point my Aunt came in, who resides in Columbus, and there was a lot of talk. From the ER I was taken and put through another cat scan, more xrays, a ton of blood work, a urine test, and I can’t even tell you what all. It was deemed to admit me, put me in a room and have an MRI first thing in the morning. Well the next morning turned into being in the hospital the entire weekend and having an MRI first thing Monday morning. I found out then from an OBGYN and Oncologist that the “mass” was attached to my ovary, though could also be attached to other parts as well. Even with the MRI they couldn’t tell exactly and wouldn’t be able to know until I had surgery. That started a series of more tests, and treatments, and eventually a surgery when there weren’t other options. I was told I have ovarian cancer.
I started with hormone treatments until I could be cleared for surgery which would take a month and a half. It was the ideal theory that the mass could be taken care of with the hormones and medications, and I wouldn’t even need to have a surgery. They thought it was early enough that I could be fixed that way, and I wouldn’t have to worry about being a cancer patient. That dream was short lived. In a month and a half I spent more time in the hospital than I had in years, even all my years as a child and teen combined. The news came back surgery was the only option. I scheduled my surgery, the other half took time off of work to be by my side, and arrangements were made for my kiddo. I didn’t want her missing school just because I had cancer. I wouldn’t allow her to sacrifice time for her education for time by her mother’s bedside.
I went to the hospital the morning of my surgery. My other half, my mother, my daughter, my aunt, and my grandmother by my side. I remember hugging my daughter like it was the last time I’d hug her, and being so scared that I’d never get to see her grow up. A fear that I’d never really thought I would have to deal with in my life, especially not before I was even 30 years old. I was 28, I was in my prime, and even though I’d been through hell before, this wasn’t supposed to happen. I wasn’t supposed to be looking at losing my LIFE before even having a chance to live it! To be 28 years old and lose the ability for my daughter to have a brother or sister, to not have the things that a WOMAN HAS. I was checked into the hospital again, this time to save my life so that I could watch her grow up, and be there the way that my mother had been there for me. I was taken back to be put through everything I needed to do for surgery, and because of the restrictions that were in place when on the surgical floor, my daughter was not permitted to be with me. She was left to wait in the waiting room with the rest of my family. I remember cleaning off with the antibacterial wipes, and shaking from being cold and literally so afraid I couldn’t stop shivering and shaking.
One of the nurses let my daughter up to see me right before they came to get me for surgery. I told her I loved her, and I would be back as quickly as I possibly could be. I told her that I loved her unlike I’ve ever loved another human being, and that she was and is the best thing to EVER happen in this meager thing I call a life. That she alone is the sun that shines and warms my skin each and every day, and the reason I breathe. She kissed my forehead, I said my goodbyes, and was taken into the operating room tears streaming down my face.
Up until this point I had fought to keep the right to have a child. No that’s wrong, it isn’t a right. It is a privilege, an honor, a gift to have a child. I had fought to keep living my life on MY TERMS. I wasn’t going to lay down and submit to the bullshit that is cancer, I wasn’t going to then, and I still am not going to now. My doctors knew that the only things to be taken from me were what I had consented to, and I DID want to have more children in the future. I don’t remember how long surgery took, I don’t remember the doctors or nurses trying to calm me down as I was slipping away. I remember my Great Grandfather, the reason I wanted to die so many years ago telling me it was okay, and that I was loved and needed in the world. I remember the Gods blessing me and giving me the chance to talk to him, and while it seems crazy it wasn’t my mind just making it up as I was under and they were cutting away at me.
I was brought back to the world of the living, and told surgery was a success. The tumor mass that weighted about 10 pounds was taken off my left ovary, though they couldn’t save the ovary or my Fallopian tube. Thankfully it was not attached to the cervix or uterus and while it might be harder to conceive a child, I could still completely do so. The cells in the tumor were also found in my appendix so it was also removed, so I wouldn’t have a cancer spread. However, there was a small issue with the surgery, or what was found in the surgery. When they tested the cells of the tumor there was cancer found, but there were also fetal cells. They think that the tumor started as a twin to what would have been my daughter’s twin. I went through a wide range of emotions thanks to that bit of knowledge.
After surgery I kept up with medications and treatments. It seemed like I would feel fine and my numbers would be up and then without warning they would be all thrown off again, and I would have to go back on treatments. This has been my life just with the normal life added factors. There’s work and a relationship gone, there’s my daughter and her health issues. I’ve been through treatment and hell, but I’m still here. Now after all this fighting I’m looking at the point of having to go through all of this all over again. To lose every bit of femininity I have left and to lose the ability to bring life into the world. Granted, I’m not in a position to do that currently, but I like having the option. I like knowing that if I would meet someone I want to have a family with, there is the option of doing that.
So yes, I’m a bitch. I’m a cunt, and I am cruel and mean and so many things that some of you think about me. I am human. I am a fighter, and if you were dealing with cancer you might be all of those things too, and then some other things. So why did I hide all of this? I don’t want you to feel bad for calling me out when I’m a bitch. I don’t want you to feel bad or take pitty on me that you don’t like me. I don’t want you to pretend that you’re my friend because “oh God she has cancer”. I don’t want to be that girl with cancer, I don’t want to be that friend you pitty and check up on because you might feel bad you didn’t take the time to get to know ME and I died on you. Yes, I have cancer but having cancer has made me see some things about the world… things that I love and things I loathe. It’s not on me that you don’t want to get to know me, or you think that because you’ve heard something that it’s true. If you want to believe that then that’s great! Go for it!! I’m not the one missing out, but you just might be. Because I’ve kicked cancer’s ass once, and I’ll do it again, and keep the ability and gift of being able to bring life into the world.
I guess that’s all. It’s been hell, and it’s going to probably keep being hell. Writing this has shown me that there are still tears and emotions that I have to work through. That it is STILL hell, even after the time that has passed. I’ll deal with it and move on with my life. But next time I say I don’t want to talk, or it feels like I’m hiding something. It could very much be something to do with this. I’ll get around to letting you in, to telling you, and the point that will happen is when I’ve processed, digested, and when I am ready to. Thanks for listening, and sorry it was so long.