Despite not receiving chemo for over a month, the chemo and its side effects still linger in Anne’s body. Ray noticed Anne was having trouble breathing again and took her to the local hospital for a chest x-ray. The next day, her doctor saw the results, called, and asked soon she could come to their hospital to be admitted. That evening, they removed one and a half liters of fluid from one side. The next day, they did the second lung, followed by a CT scan to ensure they got it all.
Anne was on oxygen while in the hospital. Throughout her stay, the nurses would try to take her off of it. While I was there, her oxygen dropped to 84. Determined to stay off of the oxygen, Anne focused on her breathing to stay in the acceptable range (92 is as low as they like it).
That evening a doctor came to discuss a more long term solution so Anne is not admitted every two weeks. A tube (pleural drain) will be placed in one lung sac to be drained at home as needed. The doctor explained there needs to be some fluid in the sac so they don’t accidentally puncture the lung. They would need to wait at least a couple of days for the fluid to build back up. She could stay at the hospital, but Anne did not want to risk missing her next appointment at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Delaying the procedure would also allow all of Anne’s doctors to discuss and coordinate.
There was a lot of waiting at the hospital that day which gave us time to catch up. She had a good Thanksgiving but less and less often she is going on her beloved “mom dates” and having visitors. She feels like a burden as her illness is impacting others to include Ray’s co-workers. She is having a hard time asking for help because she knows others are busy with their own lives. Ray told her, “You took care of the house while I was gone,” referring to his time in the Navy, “now it is my turn.” She replied, “It’s not the same.”
The mental toll of cancer, in ways, is harder than the physical effects. Sadly, it is not discussed often. The mind is a powerful component of health and healing. There is no magic pill to make you optimistic, hopeful, or change your view on your situation. You have to find your own setbacks and develop your own strategies to overcome them. You have to hold yourself accountable to your perspective, outlook, and attitude. You must believe with all the depths of your soul you will win this fight. Even with all the love, support, and encouragement of those around her, this is one part of the fight Anne has to face alone.
Follow Anne’s Journey
Review: Anne was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia in early October. She met with doctors at SCCA later in the month for a second opinion. For now, they will stay the course, but are concerned about her still too low oxygen level. A side effect of her current...
Review: In early October, Anne developed pneumonia and intestinal infections resulting in a week-long hospital stay with very limited visitors. After a short break in chemo, she completed cycle 8 of 9 of her chemo treatment. October 24 Anne had scheduled an...
Review: Nearly one year ago, Anne began experiencing symptoms of her cancer. After a lifesaving surgery, she was diagnosed with uterine leiomyosarcoma, a rare aggressive cancer. Reoccurrences, more surgeries, metastasis, and two different chemo regimens have led to...