senior scribes

Mind, Body, Soul
By Mona Lease

Greetings, Gals!! The following is a "part-two" to a Senior Scribe column of mine...available for viewing on Saturdays. It fits here, too. It is her story...her words. I cleaned up nothing...I just did not spell some stuff.

"My journey started when I thought my "smoker's cough" was acting up and would settle down. It didn't. I found out I had lung cancer...along with a cancerous tumor in my breast. Yes - I smoked.

I started chemotherapy and radiation...combined. It was radiation on my lung only. My breast has to wait. The tumor in my lung was cutting off my air supply and my body was trying to "cough out" the tumor. The lung cancer was aggressive. And the treatment had to be aggressive as well.

My treatments are finished....for now. I have to get better to have a lumpectomy. Lumpectomy is when the Dr takes out the lump...he'll look at the lymph nodes in the area and take out any nodes that are cancerous...then I can heal some more.

My "road" has been rough...too rough. The last round of chemo was beyond bad. The Drs told me before I started the chemo (they pump in in through a port in my chest) that the chemo is "improved"....I would not be sick. very wrong. They lied to me. Everyone I talked to who has taken this #@%$... says they were as sick as I was.

I live alone. Mona called me often to check on me. She listened to me whine...she listened to me puke....she listened to me rant and rail against the cancer...against the chemo. She told me to keep ranting if wanted to.

I think I'm finally coming out from under the last round of's been two months. I am so very weak. I lost my voice from all of the coughing. The Dr told me on my last check-up, that the chemo is still working....good. For all of the puking I've done...the @#$!%& chemo better "still be doing something."

The Dr said the tumor in my lung is dead. The medicine they shot into my vein to "light up" cancer did not "light up" the lung's tumor. He also said that when the tumor "slimes" itself apart and I'll gag up the slime for another four or five months. The cough itself might last another year. The cough triggers the "gag-reflex"...which triggers more vomiting.

I'll have to keep having tests every month until it is determined that the cancer is still gone. Then the tests will be every two months...then every three months...then every six months...then every year.

Chemo does not mix with a lot of things. I might not ever be able to eat anything with sugar. Alcohol does not mix with chemo...just so you know. I don't drink alcohol. It's all trial and error with food. One time it will be ok with a food. The next time it can be the same food and...more puking. I don't know why.

I have to go back to the Dr in another week. If my red blood cells keep building themselves up...I can schedule surgery for the lump in my breast.

If all of that goes well...I will have a lumpectomy on the breast. A lumpectomy is where they open the skin and stuff and take out the lump. They will look at the lymph nodes in the area and take out nodes that have cancer. I will take radiation on the breast after that. I will not do anymore chemo. The chemo stopped my body from producing red blood cells. I had to have a blood transfusion.

I had a stomach virus. I had a sinus infection. I had bronchitis. I had a cold. I had all of this "one-right-after-the-other." If it could be caught and I was around...I caught it.

I cleaned out my gutter today. I'll sleep for two days over this. I thought Mona would have something to say about it....she didn't. I hate having to depend on others. I've never had to do that.

Thanks to everyone who prayed for me. Thanks to everyone who sent me "well-wishes." Sorry to everyone who listened to me moan and complain. I never thought I'd have to do that."

Sometimes all you need is for someone to just be there, even if they can't solve your problems. Just knowing there is someone who cares can make all the difference.

The best is yet to be!!      MONA

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