Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm Still Here

I have been tremendously ill for a long, long time.

Communication has been difficult - with anyone, in any way. I see your comments from time to time and feel it's been a one-way street. Yet you're endlessly patient with me. I see footprints from you checking back, wondering what was happening with me. That means a great deal to this blogger, living in a hospital for a year and a half, battling onslaught after onslaught that many a strapping healthy young person would not have survived.

It's been another world, and a distant one. I've had to devote all my physical and mental resources to staying alive. But now it looks like I've turned a corner. I may, at last, be relatively safe. More on that another time, okay?

I want to assure you all that I haven't had a stroke or anything as permanently devastating as that. Some permanent changes? Yes, of course. Mostly, though, of the type that will heal. The lack of communication from my end isn't due to that. It's just been the battle fatigue.

Walter and I have split up. It was in the works for a long time. I've needed 24-hour caretaking for all that period of illness, and still do today. It's a terribly difficult job, caretaking someone who's seriously ill. Essentially, he burned out. He could never let himself rest. Going our separate ways has been very good for both of us.

And are we friends again? You betcha. Groan or snicker all you want, we don't care ;- )

Today, though, I'm back at the same hospital - but our roles are reversed. Today, Walter is the patient, and I'm the visitor. I'm getting a taste of what I was so certain of every time I've gone into another surgery - that it can be harder for those who wait than for the patient.

Help us, please, with all the positive energies and prayers and good thoughts you can summon up.

It looks like Walter has lung cancer. He's in surgery now, as I speak. The docs are removing the mass they discovered, together with surrounding tissue. He opted not to have a "lobectomy." That would remove about half a lung, and leave him totally and permanently disabled. His five-year survival expectancy would only increase by about 10%. It wasn't worth it to him.

Perhaps you noticed I said --it looks like lung cancer.-- That's because, even with all the tremendous technology at hand, they weren't able to do the usual biopsy first.

The mass that appeared in the cat scan was hiding behind a rib - nearly perfectly obscured. They couldn't get a clear image to guide the biopsy needle; and the straight needle they use couldn't get behind the rib to grab a piece of the mass anyway. So, while everyone is convinced it is lung cancer - and I believe it probably is - I don't forget there's a tiny chance it could just be an infection or something, We'll know in a few days, after Pathology has a chance to do the definitive analysis.

So now that I've finally broken my silence, what do I do? Very first post back, I ask for your help. Sheesh.

I'm not sure I really know what Walter's beliefs are. Maybe I'm wishing for those positive energies for myself instead. I keep thinking of Bane's prayer warriors...and a rare yellow rain lily, something with strong Bane associations in my mind, has been blooming in my front yard.


Desert Cat said...

Wow. That would be something to have lung surgery only to find a pocket of infection. Praying for a strong recovery.

Morris said...

K, just glad to know you're still with us.
Prayers forthcoming..

Like most others who check on you, I've been wondering, but figure you'll post when and if you're able.

Pretty Lady said...

Indeed. As one of the only people in the world who has passed the Walter 100% approval test twice, I feel a particular onus is upon me. Tell Walter, from me, personally, these exact words--

"Cancer? Piffle. You've got MILLIONS of perfectly good bronchioles, and if that thingy can hide behind a rib, it's not big enough to block them all. Forget cancer. Just eat right and get some sleep."

Also much, much, much, much, much, much love to you both.

k said...

It is SO good to see your comments on my blog again!

Ah, DC, wouldn't that be something? After pushing our way through that gut-wrenching terror we felt upon hearing the C-word about a family member we love - only to find some old scarred pocket of pneumonia that didn't heal right, and not cancer at all.

Dream on, right? I know. Maybe those little shreds of unreasonable hope are there to help us through. I'm certainly not going to chase this one away while we wait, tense, for the pathologist's report.

Morris! Morris, Morris. Thank you. And how have you been yourself, my friend? How is your heart holding up?

Pretty Lady, I went one better: I told Walter you had left a comment for him, and he set about reading it for himself. He was dignified about it, of course; but he also had a small, silly, cute grin on his face. heh! That was good for him.

Actually, your *piffle* was good for all of us. And that was the best cancer advice I've heard for a long, long time.

A very belated but very sincere *Happy Birthday!* to you. I hope it was filled with lots of good cheer and Christmas presents, and not too much of the cooking done by you.

Very much love right back to you, Pretty Lady.

That goes for all of you - and for ones who haven't checked back yet, too. Thank you for your prayers. Walter pulled through the surgery just fine, and that's a pretty big chunk of the battle right there.

Pretty Lady said...

Thank you, k! I got a cottage for my birthday. We're moving in next weekend. We don't OWN it, but that's perhaps a good thing in this economy. And it has a garden! And tons of windows! And hardwood floors! And I can start up my private bodywork practice again!

We're not out of the woods by a long shot, but we're starting to see glimmers between a few tree trunks.

More love to you and Walter, pressed down and brimming over.

Dazd said...

I am glad to see my friend of 4 years is back amongst the blogging world. It is always a sad day when one knows nothing of a person disappearing for such an extended time.

As for Walter and the whole cancer issue, God works in mysterious ways! I am glad both of you are in recovery and look forward to many more posts.

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