Did They say Cancer?

Making Cornbread Muffins.

Let’s cover the cancer diagnosis… Ok let’s cover the first one. I say this because I’m cured from the cancer found on my appendix, but I don’t know yet about the possibility of another one in my uterus. Yeah, that’s why I haven’t shared this post yet, because I don’t have all the information yet. But anyways.

Story time.

So I went to the hospital with stomach pain. They sent me home claiming it was “lady stuff” and that I was overreacting. I went back to the hospital and while being treated for sepsis they discovered that my appendix had been leaking an infection all over my intestines and that my organs had been soaking in the anger of my appendix for awhile.

I then had my appendix removed via emergency surgery. I then took a day longer to recover in the hospital then is typical for this procedure. But then I went home on meds for the lining of my stomach, meds to clear out the sepsis, pain meds for being sliced open, and meds for the nausea that the pain meds caused… I think that’s all the pills? Did I mention the hospital messed up and didn’t give me enough pain meds and refused to give me the correct amount I should have had? So I went without and juggled ibuprofen and Tylenol for a bit? And by the time I had a follow up appointment with my new family doctor, she was upset that they hadn’t given me the correct amount, so she did.

But soon after I had to stop taking them so I could legally drive my kids to school? So regardless, I switched to tylonal and relied on my ice pack. Can I just tell you how funny and ridiculous I probably looked, hobbling and all bent over walking into Mr. L’s swim practices and Mr. C’s karate classes with a big ol’ ice pack held firmly to my abdomen? People looked at me like I was going to fall over and die right there. But I digress.

Mr. C testing for his Yellow Belt

After a few days of being home, after I thought I had made it through and was already feeling terrible that I had to cancel so many life events, I got a phone call from my surgeon. Yup, the man himself called to let me know that he had found cancer on the tip of my appendix and that it had been sent to a cancer center that had a board of specialists who were going to look at it and get back to me soon.

Then I got a call from a nurse at the cancer center telling me that everything was going to be ok, that I was in good hands, that I was assigned a patient advocate who would make sure that all of my cancer appointments would be arranged in a reasonable amount of time and that if some could be held at the same time she would arrange that to save me appointment time, and that I would be helped with that. And she told me to try to stay positive and eat protein 🤨 The protein felt oddly specific, but maybe she knew something I didn’t.

Anyways, so out of curiosity I looked up appendix cancer because I had never heard of that kind before and what I found was that it’s either not a big deal, maybe an extra surgery where they go back in and scrape a few more cancerous cells out and everything is good… Or it’s really really bad… Like the cancer has already grown over a few other organs and is now on the tip of my appendix. But I had to wait almost 2 weeks to find out if I was going to be ok, or if I wasn’t probably going to be here next year.

So I stopped researching and just enjoyed my kids and time with my husband. We celebrated my son’s birthday at home on his actual birthday with a small cake and a few presents to hold him over until his friend party, that would be a couple of weeks away.

And I felt bad. I didn’t feel bad for me. I’m not worried about where I’m going after this life, I have a clear understanding of where I’m going after this. I felt terrible for my husband who I had made promises with to raise our three children together. And there was a good chance I would be breaking that commitment. That just wasn’t fair and it felt like there was absolutely nothing I could do but try to go out gracefully and with a smile on my face, hugging my little ones and trying to reassure everyone else that they were going to be ok. How unfair is that?

And I felt heartbroken for my babies. Who was going to advocate so hard for Mr. L? Who was going to be prepping him for his daily things? Who was going to be stretching him and guiding him? Who was going to reassure Mr. C? Who was going to guide him through this new diagnosis of ADHD he received? Who was going to try to help him find the balance he is constantly looking for between watching out for his siblings while still taking time for himself?

And what about Little Miss A? How completely unfair to that blonde little spunky girl would it be to lose a mother at such a young age? By the time she was an adult she probably wouldn’t even remember who I was. Any memories of sitting on my lap, holding her, comforting her and loving her for everything she is would be a blurry, hazy thought at best. She’s too young and doesn’t have enough years with me to someday be able to recall my face or voice, or how my hand felt wrapped around hers.

Little Miss A

Three children with such strong needs could quite possibly have to live through a year, maybe 2 of watching their mother waste away to nothing, be a part of burying and saying goodbye to her and then having their whole lives without their mother and these thoughts weighed so heavily on my heart as I took my meds, my Tylenol, and my ice pack and got myself out the door to their karate, swim lessons, and school.

And people may wonder why I wasn’t reaching out to everyone for help? I didn’t know what to tell them. Was it practically nothing? Or was my home about to be flipped upside down? So I chose to wait. I told a few close people, but for the most part I didn’t even tell extended family until I had more information to share.

So I waited to hear back from the cancer nurse to tell me that most of the cells looked unchanged and that things were looking good. But I still needed to see an appendix cancer specialist. Who knew that existed? Who knew that there was one within 30min of me?

Can you see the blessings here? My appendix burst so this cancer wouldn’t go untreated and causing more unseen problems. I had moved last year near a hospital that had a surgeon who noticed the tiny bit of cancer when he was taking my unwanted organ and took the time to surgically remove all the cancer he could see. And I now lived within 30min of this specific cancer specialist? I’m blessed beyond words.

So I went to this appendix cancer specialist, and the sweet lady who watched my kids while I was in surgery, once again watched my kids, so my best friend/husband could hold my hand while this doctor explained the severity of my cancer and what treatment for it looked like.

And again we were blessed.

Halloween 🎃

The kind of cancer I had was the less scary of the 2. And even better, I didn’t need to go back into surgery to remove anymore cancerous cells. The surgeon had got all of it, the cells around it had not turned, and we were told that there was a 0% chance of this type of cancer coming back!

It felt surreal. I almost died of sepsis. I had emergency surgery. I was told I had cancer. I was reassured that everything would be ok, but I was assigned a patient advocate for just in case things were about to get terrible, and then I was told I was cured of cancer. All within a few weeks time. And this is all on top of everything else going on in my life during these crazy few weeks.

My husband and I have chose not to tell our children at this time about the cancer because if it wasn’t going to be a big deal, why explain to our kids what the scary word cancer was? Some day we will tell them, because it is now a part of their family health history. No, appendix cancer is not hereditary- I let my siblings know I had it and let them know it wasn’t hereditary. But my kid’s mother had cancer, so it’s a part of their healthy history now.

But I went back to my family doctor and she told me that my recovery was being pushed from 4 weeks to 6 weeks because my body wasn’t recovering like it should. Because my organs had been marinating in appendix infection, my body was taking longer then expected. So I couldn’t lift over 10lbs for 6 weeks and no baths or swimming during that time.

And my family doctor told me that when the hospital was running tests to originally diagnosis me, they discovered that my uterus might have cancer… But they needed to do another internal ultrasound to check for abnormalities first to see if I need to be tested for that. And I don’t have those answers yet because I just had that appointment yesterday. So wish me luck guys that things will continue to get better and not worse ❤️‍🩹

Little Mr. L

9 comments

  1. Oh Rachel, what a whirlwind of emotions and scary moments you and your husband went through. I’m very relieved to hear the appendix cancer is gone. Sending you lots of well wishes that there is only good news ahead. Keep us posted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a roller-coaster ride of overwhelming emotions. So much fear and anxiety. I’m so sorry that you and your husband are having to go through this. But you are right about all your blessings at this scary time, Rachel, and it sounds like those blessings are continuing. You have lots of people supporting you from afar. 🙏💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thinking of you and praying 🙏 for your continued health and well-being! Stay strong in the Lord! There are so many good things ahead for you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a journey of faith! I’m so glad the news was good, (Yay God! ) and you have seen in detail that “God’s got this.” Praying confidently that He always does, always will.
    Our niece’s husband had something similar right after they were married – appendicitis, emergency surgery, cancer discovered and treated, and he’s been fine for the past 30 years.
    Blessings to you, your husband, and those precious children. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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