It has been a while since I have written about my health. Unfortunately, to quote my oncologist at my last scan results meeting, “…the news is not good.”
Cancer sucks! It robs people of their lives and it is a real pain in the ass! All I want to do is train and run my dogs. Most days I can’t even do that without it being a terrible chore. I honestly do not know what I would do without Sir Cussalot. He is an amazing man and I am so blessed to have him! He goes above and beyond for me. I know it is not easy at times, but he always steps up!
The reason I have not written anything or said much to people is that I hate talking about it. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me and I don’t want people to look sad when they see me. I do NOT want sympathy! I just want to run my freaking dogs!
Last fall two cancerous things showed up in my abdominal cavity. When they did surgery in January, they found three cancerous lymph nodes and two places on the outside of my colon that were cancerous. Everything was removed and my colon was resected in two places. There is not much left for storage! I told the surgeon that I did not want a bag. I have visions of running at a trial, falling and the bag splits open and everything spills out all over the course!
Now, dogs are NQed for soiling in the ring but what about the handler? It would be my worst humiliation nightmare. I guess I shouldn’t have written that because the Universe has seen fit to send me all of my worst nightmares. They have come in many forms but the fun just keeps coming my way.
About six weeks after my surgery, I had a pet and ct scan. Those scans showed two places in my liver that were cancerous. They put me back on chemo and scanned me again six weeks later to see if it was working. “I am afraid the news is not good,” Dr. Lenz said in his thick German accent. “The report shows that you have at least a dozen tumors in your liver now and something in your lung and gallbladder.”
My heart sank but I was getting used to bad news. I have never cried over this or felt sorry for myself. I was a bit pissed but that too is not a reaction I want. There is no way I want to go through the rest of my life pissed or sad.
Dr. Lenz went on to say that he had more options. One was a controlled study. He said he may have a spot opening up and if it did I could have it. Long story short, it never opened up.
So, the old chemo was doing nothing for me and the chemo I was on in the beginning that made my face, throat, hands and feet tingle and burn from the cold, was ruining my liver so I can’t have that either.
He said there was a fairly new drug called Erbitux. It is not a chemotherapy drug but targets the tumors and prevents them from growing. It contains mouse genes. Some of the side effects are acne and errant hairs on your face where the acne is. LOVELY!
He said that the more zits you get, the better it is working. LOVELIER!!
My first thought was that I hoped I didn’t spread the hantavirus or crave cheese. LOVELIEST!!!
A friend told me NOT TO GET A CAT! You gotta laugh ‘cause the alternative sucks!
I never had acne as a kid but I am ashamed to report that I made fun of those who did! Payback is a bitch! Sure, I had the occasional pimple, but nothing like the horrific burning and itching pizza face I am dealing with now!
When we were kids, my siblings and I (there were six of us – two boys and four girls) were brutal to each other. One of the things we used to say to each other was:
“Does your face hurt?”
We always had to answer, “No why?”
“BECAUSE IT IS KILLING ME!” was the patented response.
That has never been truer than it is for me now!
So I was talking with my friend Claudia the other day. I was telling her how my face was terribly broken out as was my scalp and behind my ears. I said that I thought God hates me and keeps sending shitty crap to me (no pun intended) to make me humble (as if I am not humble enough after all I have been through!). I said, “The humilification is killing me!” Claudia, being the great friend that she is said, “Is that a word or did your chemo brain make it up?” Then we both laughed like crazy.
Honestly, I really wasn’t sure! My brain, once a pretty dang good one and about all I ever had going for me, is mush from the chemo. I can’t remember from one minute to the next. My wonderful friend Jef Blake, who always leaves me laughing, and that is a very good thing, asked me how I remember agility courses. I thought about it and realized that I had not lost my ability to walk a course once and get it. I guess I still have that to hang on to. Unfortunately, I rarely trial anymore because I am too weak from the treatments. I am missing my favorite trial in Pomona this weekend! We thought it was a chemo week so we didn’t enter. It turned out they rescheduled treatment and pushed it back a week so I could have entered after all. Another cruel joke!
WAH WAH WAH!!!! SOMEBODY CALL ME A WAMBULANCE! OK, so I do feel sorry for myself once in a while but I hate it when I do!
It is amazing how we take our lives for granted until something happens to snatch everything away from us. Enjoy and embrace every moment you have. Life is too short to be angry at your dog for a training or trialing issue. Be nice to your loved ones and friends. Avoid those who cause you angst. There is no place for stress in this world!
LOVE YOUR LIFE OR FIX IT IF YOU CAN! If you can’t fix it, enjoy the ride!
Helen Grinnell King