Cancer is the worst, flat out there’s really no way around it. We have all been touched by it in some form or another. It could be losing a loved one to the horrible disease, it could be battling cancer yourself. There are so many different types of cancers and they’re all horrifying, the scariest part might be how it goes undetected a lot of the time. I just had to bury my 23-year-old seemingly healthy friend 2 weeks ago, all seemed good until he started getting tired all the time. One month later and he’s no longer with us, there aren’t words to how horrifying this reality is. Since it’s something we are all affected by I decided to share the moment’s people were informed that they did have cancer. I hope nobody reading this has to come to this realization soon but I’m just happy so many of these confessions ended in happy endings. Here are the shocking moment’s patients were informed that they were about to begin a battle against cancer.
1. Just like that.
My friend started having increasingly bad back pain. Upper mid back. Hurt so bad he was having problems sleeping.
2. It all started with a simple cough.
November of last year I developed a cough that wouldn’t stop. I coughed up blood after Thanksgiving, so I decided it was time to see a doctor. Was diagnosed with pneumonia, given meds. Didn’t work. Eventually was sent to a pulmonologist who diagnosed with me with fungal pneumonia, given meds, and didn’t help. Sent to a pathologist who said I probably had cancer, and scheduled a biopsy.
By this point it’s March and I’m so weak I have to use a cane to walk. Walking the 50 ft to my bathroom makes me so winded I feel like I have ran a marathon. I throw up any food an hour after eating it and I can hardly breathe, because my ribs are broken from coughing and sleeping is nearly impossible because it feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest.
After coming home from the surgery pre-examination. The hospital calls sometime that night and tells me they have an emergency room set up for me and that I need to come in immediately because my body is in pretty bad shape. I decline saying i’ll be fine until the surgery in 2 days. The doctors say this is foolish and I will not survive over the weekend.
That night I couldn’t sleep because breathing was impossible laying down. Sooo.. I went to the hospital. My body was septic and I was really close to dieing. Spent 2 weeks in the hospital, where I was eventually diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkins Lymphoma.
Underwent chemo and finished that on Halloween of this year. I am 10 days away from knowing if it worked.
3. This is why second opinions are important
My best friend started having pretty back and chest pains. Also was generally unwell for about a month but the symptoms were like that of the flu or something. Every time she went to the doctors she was told she was fine, it was just growing pains etc, as she was 11 at the time. It wasn’t until she fainted in school one time and her mum demanded blood tests at the doctors that she was diagnosed with leukemia.
4. It’s not easy to connect the dots.
I had Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The first thing I think I noticed was that I started feeling more tired than usual, it got to the point where I’d fall asleep on my way home from work. I’d wake up in the night gasping for breath because it felt like there was something crushing my chest. Around 1 week later I found an odd lump in my neck, just above the collarbone. Then my appetite went really weird, the thought of eating anything that wasn’t pasta, pizza, or chips made me feel physically sick.
It wasn’t until about two weeks after the neck lump appeared I actually saw a doctor, who ordered a CT scan which showed a 12x8x5 mass in my mediastinum.
It seems a bit strange looking back now that I didn’t join the dots, especially as I had classic b symptoms of weight loss and night sweats. I guess I just kind of made excuses for each new symptom. Luckily it was caught in time and I am just past one-year post chemo!
5. Bob and weave, doc.
My menstrual cramps started to feel like a sharp pain instead of a dull aching pain.
I am 3 years cervical cancer free. Those surgeries were terrible… get your vaccine! I felt like my fallopian tubes were trying to punch the doctor.