Story – Part 3

May 8, 2007

I remember waking, still very hazy and unaware of my surroundings. My eyes slowly opened, quickly followed by my mouth courteously giving way to the contents of my stomach.

I didn’t see her before but a beautiful nurse was right at my side with a pan under my chin. When my gastric gush had subsided, she cleaned my face and I passed back into unconsciousness.

The next time I awoke, my eyesight seemed just a bit clearer so I looked around the room to see where I was. There were a handful of nurses and several other patients in beds around me. They all seemed to be recovering from surgery and one of them was in a similar state to myself the last time I woke. I don’t remember seeing the nurse who attended to me earlier and had no idea of how much time had passed since the first time I awoke.

The next few hours were a blur – coming in and out of consciousness – each time awakening to a different group of faces – family and friends speaking words of hope.

When the anesthesia did finally wear off and I managed to stay awake, I got a short visit from the doctor. The surgery had taken 2 hours longer than expected but they were able to remove the tumor and would have the results back from the biopsy the next day.

He called Tuesday to tell us that the tumor they had removed during the surgery was 80% percent larger than normal. The biopsy showed that the cancer was a very rare type and one of the most malignant (fast-spreading) cancers known. He said we needed to come in right away for a CT scan of my torso to find out how far it had spread.

Wednesday the news was not what anyone wanted to hear. Apparently it was so bad, the doctor and my parents decided not to tell me all of the details. They wanted me to still have hope.

The cancer had spread, a lot. On my lungs alone there were over 30 tumors. It had metastasized to my lymph system, all along the arteries, straight up the center of my body to my neck.

We went in later that day for another CT of my head, which thankfully, I found out the next day, was clear of tumors.

Thursday we called the oncologist the doctor had referred us to to make an appointment. They said they couldn’t get me in for a couple of weeks, they were all booked up. After the doctor called them with my stats, they set up an appointment for the next day.

Friday when we arrived the oncologist met with my parents and me briefly, before a nurse came in and wheeled me down the hall while my parents stayed with the doctor. I later learned that while the nurse drew some blood to run another HcG test, the doctor was preparing my parents for the worst. My step-dad asked him what the prognosis was… the doctor shook his head, “It’s massive, but we’ll try.” He had staged my cancer at IIIb… one stage away from being dead. It didn’t look like there was much hope.

They processed the HcG test, which in a normal person would show a count less than 5. However my count had gone from 37,000 since the last time they tested it less than two weeks ago, to over 67,000.

The oncologist wanted to start treatment immediately

< Part 2 | Part 4 >



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