The business of cancer has overwhelmed the physical and emotional realities of the deadly diseases themselves. My life is spent worrying about money and how I’ll continue to stay afloat, but there is so much more on my plate at this point that, for the first time, I’m losing track of all of it. Last time I was here I had just encountered the psycho who told me cancer was my punishment from God – my karma for being such a terrible person (because I wouldn’t rent to him) and that I deserved to die. The next day I found out my Medical Assistance Plan expired. As many times as I’d pulled out that card and looked at the expiration date, chemo brain had me thinking 10-06-17 was November not October. So financial responsibility for pre-surgical testing, a huge surgery with 2 oncology teams, the use of special equipment, and the hospital stay, all fell to me. The day after that I had my surgery which they started robotically but switched to open because the C02 used to expand my stomach stopped my breathing. So I waited 3 weeks longer for robotic surgery I couldn’t have and ended up with the same ugly incision I would have had in the first place AND stretch marks! Four days after surgery I was discharged – an event that turned into a nightmare where I was bullied and threatened by the very people I had entrusted with my life! After deplorable treatment, I was left in a hospital gown in a wheelchair for hours without food, water, or pain meds, then refused treatment. I was in such bad shape I ended up back in the ER undergoing all kinds of treatment and testing including another contrasting CT to make sure my surgeries were still intact after everything I’d been put through. I’ve been so devastated by the events of that day I can’t even gather the courage to speak to a lawyer. I have been in bed, unable to leave my room let alone my apartment. The experience has left me traumatized with zero will to continue on. There is no reason to keep fighting to preserve a life like this. The medical community I am tied to made sure I knew how little my life matters, by treating me inhumanely, without a shred of dignity, and violating me beyond comprehension – all without reason. I can’t get my head around it any more than when I was originally told my cancer was inoperable and incurable. It’s been 4 months of hell after hell and I can’t do it anymore. I don’t WANT to. I feel like the butt of God’s very cruel joke, but even though I am completely defeated he refuses to stop pummeling me!
I have read every entry and all responses. So much info, different outcomes, perspectives and experiences, so much bravery, honesty and good advice, so much despair, confusion, joy, anger, and everything one can imagine stretching from one end of the spectrum to the other. Truly, I am each and every one of you, and yet somehow I know I am none of you. Last night I read “Carpe Diem Ladies!” from Emsymits in My Ovacome and was so completely dumbfounded by it I wasn’t sure I was even in the right place. I couldn’t relate to a single part of it. A bucket list? Travel? Choices? Happiness? Am I missing something here?! Something besides money?
Me: 2 cancers - Ovarian 3c and Colon 3c, 3 rounds of chemo for OC (taxol carbo platin or whatever the hell it’s called), surgery to remove ovaries, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, omentum, and resection of sigmoidal colon. Surgery revealed no visible signs of OC, no lymph nodes taken because they did path on everything they removed – all negative EXCEPT omentum (Peritoneal carcinoma). Colon tumor had grown through wall but did not “appear” to be stuck to anything else or metastasized, 18 lymph nodes taken, all returned negative. F/U with both onc teams means more chemo, possibly radiation. Three more rounds of the same for the OC and don’t know what for CC (next Wednesday). Chemo came with the usual ravages and left me with terrible neuropathy in hands and feet – so bad I am terrified of what 3 more rounds will do. More than fear of the effects of the chemo is the risk of landing back in the ER and/or hospital, something I could never endure again. I am deeply depressed and hopeless and have thought a lot about suicide. Six years of school ended with two separate and unrelated cancer diagnoses. I had done all the paperwork and paid all the fees to sit for licensure for my hard won MSW but was never able to take the exam and now I don’t think I have the brain to pass it – something that will likely only get worse if I continue treatment. If I try to take it later I’ll have to start all over again, only this time without the motivation OR the money! I’m facing homelessness if I don’t find a roommate soon, or try to move into low-cost “housing” which means I give up anything that makes me feel even a little safe, including my beloved cat "Quincy." All my student loans are due this week, and I'm forced to act as my own social worker/advocate because there simply is no one else. Frustratingly, no matter what I do I can’t seem to get anywhere with anything and I have lost the will to keep trying. I am tapped out on every level. I am slipping through the cracks and I can’t halt the slide. Welcome to the plight of the poor and sick in the United States of America where maniacal, misogynistic, assholes like Donald Trump end up in charge and the uninsured die in droves while he plays golf. There is no such thing as good healthcare unless you are wealthy. Worse still, I live in Texas in the top 4 of worst states to live in if you’re sick. Lastly, I am completely alone in this. There is no one to cover me in any way, no one to catch me as I fall. The few that were around in the beginning have gone on with their lives, secure in my ability to withstand a never-ending multitude of crises because I’m “so strong” and have such a “great attitude.” Ha! I told both onc teams I want to stop treatment; every bit as effective as suicide and I don’t have to DO anything. So here I am, writing to all of you. It’s kind of a last ditch effort to find a shred of meaning in a life that has devolved into an unrelenting shitstorm of insurmountable hardship for someone whose only purpose in life is to take up space.