I have been in the hospital since October of last year until the end of last month. I cannot even begin to tell you how weird it is to be home. Not a bad weird but weird none the less. Between listening to the birds sing to dick bags driving their cars too fast down the road all of the noises are taking some time to get used to again. I wake up a lot at night, which is probably a mix of habit from getting my vitals checked every four hours and not being used to all of the stimulation of home.
Why have I been in the hospital all of this time? Tumors. Freaking tumors needing radiation and lots of chemo which caused my blood counts to mess up, me to get even sicker, and to have to work super freaking hard to be able to do normal things again. For a while I couldn’t hold my bladder at all and had to have a toilet beside my bed lest I urinate all over myself trying to get to it. I could barely walk with a walker, my hands would shake if I tried to use the phone, and typing or writing was nonexistent in my world. Even my vision betrayed me and went blurry for three months so I couldn’t even read! I had nothing to do in my spare time for a few months besides watching some blurry TV and practice using my muscles again.
I have come a long way since being admitted into the hospital last year. I am typing now and I don’t shake when I use my hands for writing or texting. The biggest thing that has changed in my world, and one of the things that everyone is amazed and happy about, is that I am walking without my walker. Even the nurses were happily surprised to see me walking without in around their station, and the nurses who met me for the first time were shocked at how far I’ve come.
While I have made a lot of progress in half a year, and I am proud of myself, I am also having to realize some uncomfortable truths. One of these truths is that my life will never be like it was before. My idea of normal has changed completely and I have to accept this fact even if it is hard to do so.
I have to carry a fanny pack on my left shoulder (because I refuse to wear it on my waist) that has my meds attached to me via tubes instead of my favorite white purse. The Hubby has taken up that job though so I am still able to have it near me. The essentials that used to be in it will now have to change thanks to my needs changing. From just a wallet and some knickknacks to a baggy with saline flushes, heparin, alcohol swabs, and other medical supplies just in case I need them while I’m out. I won’t be able to hold down a regular job thanks to going into the hospital for chemo every three weeks and possibly having to stay longer or go in sooner for other causes.
While getting used to all of these things is going to take some time I cannot begin to express how happy I am to be having to get used to them. Having Stage 4 cancer usually means a death sentence. Somehow I was lucky enough for it to simply mean incurable and I have a good chance of it going into remission where I will only have to do a maintenance dose to keep it at bay or it not go into remission and continue with the chemo dose. Either way there will be chemo every 3 weeks for the rest of my life to help keep the tumors away and keep it from spreading further into my bones. While this would have scared me last year during the beginning of all of this I can honestly say that it doesn’t anymore. It makes me happy that I have this wonderful chance to continue to old age, wrinkles and all.