Cancer, the Silent Killer, Part 1of 3
Updated: Jun 11, 2021
It all happened so fast. I saw her on April 25th and she was fine. She started puking on April 29th and since she is not normally sick, she went to the clinic where she was told she had food poisoning. Any rational person would accept that answer which she did. So while she was sick over the weekend, she just thought she was dealing with the food poisoning effect.
On May 4th she realized her urine was really yellow and thicker than normal. She then drove herself to the hospital where a CT scan was performed. A mass was found on her gallbladder and they transferred her to a bigger hospital in a nearby city where they told her a surgeon would do a biopsy to determine if it was cancer but that was their guess. They also told her that if it was, gallbladder cancer was one of the fastest moving ones. Not good news at all.
I woke up on May 5th to a missed call from her and several messages and the whirlwind of what my life would now become began.
She was promised a surgeon 4-5 times as the hours drove on on May 5th and one never came. She then checked herself out of the hospital, angry, tired, and hungry. The yellow hue of her skin was shocking then and is even worse now. She was scheduled for surgery to place a stent on May 6th which unfortunately failed. She was admitted to the hospital following that failed surgery and was told she would have another surgery early the following morning. When she found out it was not early but rather 2 pm in the afternoon, she checked herself out again. Surgery would need to be done but we would need to await a call from the surgeon's office.
May 7th, she officially moved in with us. Being told to take whatever I wanted off her walls or out of her cabinets was when the weird shock took over. I remember standing in her living room looking around at all her "stuff" and everything kind of went in slow motion for a minute. It was the most surreal feeling I've had in a very long time. The last time things moved in slow motion for me was almost 18 years ago when I was in a minor car accident. Looking around I quickly realized it literally is all just STUFF. You work your entire life to accumulate stuff which you can't take with you when you leave. I am thankful that while quickly moving some of her things and being completely unprepared that my husband and I haven't fallen apart.
Tensions have been high with the "diagnosis" of gallbladder cancer for her. It's not been verified since a biopsy also was not able to be performed but they are proceeding as if it has. The surgeon's office rescheduled surgery to May 14th. The goal is to place a stent in the blocked bile duct with use of radiology assisting. They also need to drain her bile at that time. As she was yellowing more each day, the surgeon said if she got chills, a fever, or vomited that she needed to be taken to the ER right away.
Flower deliveries began right away. I think the first one came on the 7th and 2 more on the 8th. Then, of course, Mother's Day was the 9th and my daughter brought over a bouquet for each of us. The 10th, some friends brought food and flowers which was completely unexpected and very much appreciated. Trying to make sure she continues to eat so she can keep strength is kind of top priority right now.
Tuesday, May 11th came and I swore she had been getting a darker yellow for a couple days. She had some pain on and off in her back and lower abdomen which seemed to worsen on Tuesday. By Tuesday night, she was chilled even though she said she wasn't. She was covered up with 3 blankets and wanted another. I asked her if she had the chills and she said no and made excuses about not having her sweatpants on or socks, etc. However, within the hour we were having a discussion about going to the hospital.
She couldn't seem to get rid of the pain no matter what she did or how she tried to lay. Having already showed signs of having the chills, the decision was made to go to the ER. Upon arrival, she did have a fever of 100.7 and they started taking blood, and I mean a lot of vials. She put a gown on and her chest and back appeared to be a glowing yellow. It was then that she saw just how yellow she had become.
Morphine was administered via her IV and she had one placed in each arm which did not make her happy but not much could at this point. She was finally admitted and will see the surgeon today for a plan as to when this surgery will take place. The ER doctor said they couldn't wait until Friday based on her levels of bilirubin but we shall see.
Driving home in the middle of the night without her was strange and I came unglued at a stoplight, uncontrollably sobbing. The speed at which this is happening is completely overwhelming. Getting a diagnosis of imminent death is hard enough yet alone accelerating everything within the first week. Please keep us in your positive thoughts and prayers. No one can prepare or know what will happen next.