“When I saw my Oncologist not too long ago, I told him “I feel like a low-flying albatross is circling over my head.”
I was diagnosed with Stage IV advanced Malignant Melanoma that was predicted to take my life by September this year — upon diagnosis back in February.
The problem with cancer is that unlike other diseases, you’re not likely to feel pain until after the cancer has grown to a point where, if malignant, might be too advanced and decrease your chance of survival.
Worse yet, at least in my case, their seemed to be a mass exodus of friends and support as soon as I started looking sick. For almost a year, while trying to find a surgeon who would remove a tumor on my shoulder that had now grown upward to over 5 cm. It was constantly bleeding and the fluid it produced was also effecting other areas of my body via the subcutaneous layer of the skin.
At times, it felt like razor blades were slicing my veins in both arms.”
I believe, in hindsight, that had it not been for the fact that I simply didn’t have the resources, I would have taken my life.
Finally, in February this year (the cancer became intolerable 6-months previous), I had lucked out and finally was referred to an aggressive surgeon who wasted no time in treatment.
February, March and April encompassed three separate surgeries. By June, I had felt like a different person. After you’re sick for so long and then you feel like a person you’d almost forgot, it’s an incredible feeling.
Sadly, that was short lived. By September, I noticed the weight I had gained back was beginning to drop, my energy level had waned and I feel pain constantly within my shoulder — approximately 15 lymph nodes were removed along with the tumor.
I was scheduled for the all the periodic Pet scans, CTs, MRIs a few months ago, but decided not to have it done. “If something is found, most likely it means more surgery and this time it’s likely to be in a less convenient area than before.” Moreover, it also means that it had definitely metastasized and the likely-hood of survival was moot.
This ‘head-in-the-sand’ attitude is extremely dumb on my part; however, unless you have cancer, you wouldn’t understand.
On a positive note, I’m working hard to regain my ‘Pink Bubble’, if just for a while.