Author Topic: The Death Sentence  (Read 4264 times)

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The Death Sentence
« on: September 05, 2007, 10:54:05 PM »
I was scheduled to have my first session of chemo on August 28th, but because I still had a drain to the lymph nodes area in from the mastectomy, they could not do the chemo.  That Thursday, I received a call from the oncologist's office saying I needed to come in so the Dr. could go over the results of the PET scan with me.

As with the call from my family doctor on June the 15th.... I KNEW I was in trouble - otherwise I would not be being called in to go over the results.  The would have just told me that everything was ok....

So... the next day, my husband and I went to the cancer center with dread in our hearts.

The doctor told us that the PET scan showed that the cancer was in the lower back bone (where I have been having all the pain) and also in my abdomen.  She said that this put me into stage 4 cancer and there was nothing she could do to cure me.

Gasping for air, tears streaming down my face, trying to keep from throwing up my lunch, I asked.... "how long do I have?"  She responded with - a few more months without treatment.  My husbands grip on my hand tightened considerably, and I returned the pressure to his hand and looked lovingly into his panic stricken eyes.

The Dr. said she was sorry.  She stated that she could extend my life for 3-5 years if I were to have chemotherapy.  She assured me they would do everything they could to make me comfortable during that time.  She said that if at any time during the chemo I was too uncomfortable and did not feel well, I could stop the treatments and then I would die.  In any case, she said that eventually I would die from the cancer within the next 3-5 years anyway.

The Dr. said that they would not be going with the agressive treatment they had originally planned to do to "cure" me when they thought I was in stage 3 ... because there was no need to put me through that when it was not going to help in the long run.  (I STILL have not figured that one out.....)

We were then taken to the chemotherapy room where a bubbly, sweet girl greeted us and set up the appointment for the chemo.  She gave me a neck pillow to cheer me up, and I told her my daughter Marianne would be jealous, so she gave me a pink one for her too!  As I sat there looking at the 1/2 dead looking people sitting in the room getting chemo, I thought.... next week, that will be me!

My husband and I left the cancer center holding hands - with dread in our hearts.  He had met me there in his own truck.... and wanted to take me home and come back later with one of our sons for the van.... but I told him that I would just have to "buck up" and stop the tears of fear and dread - and drive home the 20 minute drive.

When we got home, we just sat and did not know what to do or say.  We were not sure what to tell the kids - Tom wanted to hold off a bit and not say anything, even though we had been having family discussions trying to keep them abreast (no PUN intended  :P ) of what was going on every step of the way.

A little later, Marianne came home and wanted to know how the visit went - we did not think it was a good idea to discuss it yet because she had other plans for the evening to go to a movie - so we put her off the best we could.

Later that night when she got back home, she was sitting in my office playing on the other computer (I have one I work on at my desk and another set up behind me at another desk) and suddenly she jumped up out of her chair, came over to me, threw her arms around me and started crying - "mommie, don't leave me... mommie, don't leave me, I love you, please don't leave me!"

I was beside myself with love and fear and love and love and love - I did not know what to do... I just kept telling her I was trying my best - and then I broke down and told her what the doctor had said.  We had a long talk and although she went to bed with tears in her eyes, I hoped she understood how very much I love her and how determined I am not to leave her.

The next day I told our sons about what the doctor had said.  Stephen, our 16 year old son made a comment I will never forget... I hope.... I was trying to comfort him and told him that really ... no one knows when they are going to die - that anyone could step outside and get hit by a truck or something.  I started to say... at least this way, we have a little warning and can try to do all we can to STOP it ... and I got out "at least this way, I..."  and he said... "you now have an expiration date?"   ;D

Tommy, our 18 year old son has a friend that just lost his mother to cancer, so I get the feeling he is trying to toughen himself up, thinking that what happened to her WILL happen to me.  He told me his friend said that it was not worth going through the chemo, because she was so miserable and died anyway..... BUT.... I told him I would have to be awful miserable not to do everything I could and endure all that I physically could ... and that I was NOT GOING TO GIVE UP.....

Thus... the birth of this website!!