senior scribes

Brutally Honest
By Mona Lease

Hi, all!!  "I am a friend of Mona's. She's my best friend. I smoked cigarettes. I smoked a lot of them. I now have lung cancer. I also have a cancerous tumor in my breast.

I started treatments. Chemo therapy and radiation. I had a port put in my chest. It goes directly into an artery behind my heart. Veins are too small to support the weight (which is actually very minimal) for the duration of the treatments. The treatments cover four months.

The first three days of the week - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - I go to the place where they pump in the chemicals. This can be a hospital or a "clinic." This takes some time - usually six hours.

The classes I had to attend before the chemotherapy actually started - called "chemo classes" - told us that with the first chemo treatment, our immune system would be destroyed. We were told that every hair on our body would fall out - eyebrows...the hair on the head...every hair would go. It did. I had my long hair cut off before the treatments. I'm glad I did.

I took radiation treatments every day - Monday through Friday for two months. I am finished with that part of the treatment plan. I have to do four rounds of chemotherapy. A round is however many days in a row your Dr says you need. In my case -  three days out of every month is one round. I do this four times, which equals four months. I've done three. Now the side effects are worse. They last longer. The vomiting lasts longer. Mona caught me on this. I never told her it made me sick. I did not mean to lie to her. She asked me if I was sick. She's done so much for me as it is.

She listens to me get depressed and yell at my situation. I tell her I'm sorry. She tells me it's ok. She tells me to yell all I want - to get it out of my body. She says if I hold it in - it'll be a poison to me. I grimace. My body is full of poison. I feel like a wet sponge - heavy - drenched with something that won't squeeze out of me. I can not drive myself anywhere. It feels like a mile walk from my back door to my driveway. I live in the city. I do not have the strength to pull one weed. I loved taking care of my yard.

The Drs said after the last round of chemo - they will take x-rays of my lung. They will look to see if the tumor is all of the way gone or has only shrunk a little. They told me the cancer is aggressive and the treatment needs to be aggressive as well.

The tumor in my breast is not as big as it once was. I hope this chemo works on both my lung and my breast. The Drs started treatment on my lung before all of the test results were known. The tumor in my lung was cutting off the air to my lung. I just kept coughing...the body's way of trying to rid itself of the obstruction...which was the cancerous tumor.

The Drs told me that if the chemo for my lung does not kill the tumor in my breast - I'll have to redo this whole treatment plan. I don't know if my old body can take any more of this."

My girlfriend, of some 23+ years, made me promise her when she started this treatment course, that I would finish the higher education I've started. She said I was smart, I could do it. I promised her I would do it.

I know she's grateful I listen - that I don't tell her: "If you wouldn't have smoked the cigarettes...."  I know she's glad I call her a few times a week to check on her. Somehow - it seems like it's just not enough - ya know?

Remember the kiddies and our service people. Take good care of the furry and feathered ones out there. Be safe and healthy. See ya next time. Ever Toodles!! MONA

senior scribes
County News Online

is a Fundraiser for the Senior Scribes Scholarship Committee. All net profits go into a fund for Darke County Senior Scholarships
Copyright 2011 and design by