Eularee Smith
Writer & Educator

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Snow in AugustWatchersRising SunThe Andromeda StrainThe ShiningThe Hunt for Red October

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Detour, There is a Muddy Road Ahead

If you are old enough to remember this song, then welcome to the last six weeks of my life. We went from change of plans with the Keytruda, to running off the muddy road of tumors, chemo, and kidney stent. The road was dark and at times scary with multiple trips to the hospital for treatments to stop the progression of the cancer and to keep me from having to deal with a colostomy.

I have to say that the last six weeks have been in pure survival mode. I took a months leave from work. Everything was geared toward how does one survive such pain, and once the pain was under control how does one help the body to survive the horrors it has been through. Food was not my friend. The only constant was whatever went in, was bound to come back up. I lost 20 pounds and found myself confined to bed and depending on family and friends to take care of me. Quite the twist and lessons to be learned.

Fast forward and I am finally beginning to feel like we are leaving survival mode and taking the first steps into healing and recovery. It has been a long and challenging journey to be here today. I went from having a no meds list when I went into a doctor's office, to several pages of everything but the kitchen sink. Bottom line, patience, good doctoring and the belief, cards, flowers, food, prayers that screamed just say "NO" to cancer, that put me back on solid footing and the road ahead although still uncertain, looks clear.

Next stop, I am having a subcutaneous port implanted tomorrow morning. I have resisted this step for the past two chemo rounds. My veins are no longer cooperating and having to be poked several times on both arms to try and get an IV for the chemo and fluids, has become a weekly challenge. With blown veins, and the painful experience of multiple pokes, I decided to let go of my 25 year old stereotypes and listen to my doctor. After showing me the port, how it is inserted and the fact that my veins were screaming for help, I find myself at another cross road. Should breeze through this one and will see you on the other side to fill in the blanks of the past six weeks. Climb aboard. This ride is bound to get better.