We were the wild ones, so sure those days would never end, now they're only memories, my friend

We were the wild ones, so sure those days would never end, now they're only memories, my friend

 

Boyfriend and I have known each other for almost 20 years, although we've only been dating for...not quite 5 years (this time around). We met through mutual friends, and a few months later, I met his sister. Not knowing that they were related, her and I hit it off, and formed a strong friendship, independent of my (at times, somewhat complicated) relationship with her brother. We spent the bulk of our late teens and most of our 20's drinking together, just having a great time. She practically lived at my old apartment, she even had her own key. Now that boyfriend and I are together, it's kind of cool, because that almost makes her my sister-in-law, and what could be better than having one of your best friends as your SIL? Sure beats my last deal, my ex husband has 8 siblings (no, I'm serious, 6 sisters, 2 brothers) and the only one I could even tolerate spending any time with at all lived all the way out in Kansas.

And now she is going to die. My friend for nearly the past 20 years, my friend that has been on vacations with my family, my friend that was a bridesmaid in my wedding (not to her brother, we're just dating), and was scared I'd be mad because the shoes didn't come big enough for her, is going to die. Unless there's some amazing medical breakthrough in the next several DAYS, one of my oldest friends is going to die, at the age of 34. She's 5 weeks older than I am.

Her and her boyfriend closed on their first house a few days after Thanksgiving. Boyfriend and I helped them move all their furniture and stuff in, it was a nice day, cute little house, kinda small, but a good "starter home". Big enough for the 2 of them, and a baby, but they'd have to move someplace bigger by the time the kid would be old enough for school. The kid that would have been my niece or nephew.

A few weeks before Christmas, she had minor surgery on her arm. No big deal, just scraping off some calcium deposits, something she's always been prone to. Bursitis, I think it's called. A few days before Christmas, she still wasn't healing, the stitches kept falling out. Bunches of tests and scans and what have you later, we come to learn that the reason the stitches kept falling out was because she has melanoma, and it's worked it's way into her lymphatic system, interfering with her ability to heal properly. She got all the test results back 3 days before Christmas, and had what turned out to be the offending mole removed the day after Christmas. Not much bigger than a pencil eraser on the surface, close to the size of a child's fist under her flesh. Hiding inside of her, just waiting to pounce.

And pounce it did. We had everyone here for Christmas, set up a small buffet in the living room. We live in a third floor walk-up. She climbed all three flights stairs, looked no worse for the wear when she got to the top, and just like normal, joined me in the kitchen to smoke a cigarette without her boyfriend spouting anti-smoking nonsense (he quit a few months earlier, and, well, you smokers know how some ex-smokers can be) at her while she helped me prep the spinach dip and crackers.

Exactly 2 months later, February 25th, she had her first major surgery. Eight and a half hours under the knife, and they managed to remove the tumor from her groin. It was about the size of a kitten, and had left her unable to walk for the past 3 weeks, due to it's location. She needed a reconstructive plastic surgeon to close her up, and needed not only skin but muscle grafting. Somehow, that incision managed to get infected with, of all things, e-coli. Then she wound up with pnumonia. As many of you know, any sort of infection while undergoing chemotherapy can be catastrophic. But she pulled through, and things actually looked hopeful for a bit. Unfortunately, while recovering from the infections in both her incision and her lungs, chemo had to be put on hold.

Now she's got 4 tumors in her abdominal/pelvic area, the smallest of them only slightly smaller than the one removed in February. They're affecting her circulation terribly, she's bloated and swollen from the waist down. Her thighs and legs look like that of a woman 3 times her weight. And the tumors are growing, so quickly that you can almost see them get larger. They're rupturing out of her skin, and one of the areas they're breaking through is wickedly infected.

So, she's on her last chance medication, some kind of potential "magic bullet". It's worked in 7% of the melanoma patients it's been tried on. SEVEN PERCENT. That wasn't a typo, I didn't leave a digit off. If it's going to work, her tumors should be visibly smaller in 7-10 days. Today's day 4. If it's not going to work, she'll die withing a month, maybe 6 weeks, as the tumors basically press her to death from the inside out.

I've never felt so helpless, so small, so insignificant, in my life.

   

   

Comments

ladyc. it has been 10-days since your blog. i haven't seen you online today. any changes? anything at all in the right direction?

Tuna ><((((*> the other white meat! I am Keeper Of The Whip!

So sorry to read about this.  Hope you look into the homeopathic remedies suggested above.  Sending prayers and positive vibes.

 

 

I've learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I've usually made the right decision.

Thanks everyone.  I'm clinging to that 7%, because the opposite of 7 is just too freaking scary to comprehend.  

Stevie, ,  anyone else with a history of cancer, if you ever consider skipping a follow-up,  please come back and read this before you reschedule. 

Because of this, I'm making Boyfriend see a dermatologist when we get back from our vacation (CRAP, we're supposed to leave THIS COMING WEEKEND!!!  Four days from now!).  In fact, I oughta make that appointment for both of us, just to be on the safe side.

Lynn, I can relate to the decision thing.  Boyfriend's sister is, frighteningly,  the third of my friends that this disease has affected, and the other 2 didn't fare so well.  A close friend from HS was diagnosed with Non-Hodgekins Lymphoma at the same time she found out that she was pregnant.  Literally, in the same week.  She had a choice, she could have aborted her daughter and gone forward with treatment, or she could put her health on hold and devote her strength to delivering a healthy child.  She chose the latter.  Twice.  First when she was initially diagnosed, and then again when she came out of remission during her second pregnancy.  Now her husband is raising 2 little girls alone.  At times, I'm very angry at her for choosing her kids over herself, especially considering that neither had actually been born yet, because now she's not even here to watch them grow up, to take care of them, to be there for them.  I understand (mostly) her decision, and I absolutely respect it, but it's damn hard not to get angry about it sometimes, and easy to say "Well, I would have aborted the baby, gotten myself healthy, and had another kid later", but the bottom line is, they weren't my choices to make, all I can do is accept them, and live with the results.  She did what she felt was right, did what she needed to do.  

My other friend, JP, also had melanoma.  He was 33, and died the 4th time it came out of remission.  Somehow, when it came back, he just knew it was the last time.  He didn't give up, he just knew.  So before it got too bad, before it left him helpless and in bed, he went out and did all the things he knew he'd never get to do again, spent almost a year traveling the country, visiting friends, and saying good-bye.  So maybe Jen "knew", too.

 

"How do you know I'm mad?" asked Alice.
"You must be", said the cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here"

 

 Was it possibly QCo10 or something like that.  My friend took that, plus this 'special water' that cost about $180 per little bottle.  It was helping her, but then her insurance company wouldn't purchase it anymore.  And she refused to tell me where the water came from because I was going to buy it for her.  

 

If I was standing on a fish, I'd slip and fall......

I hope the medicine works. I know this may sound crazy but you should tell her to look into (or you look into it for her) homeopathic remedies. My mom's friend had breast cancer that had spread to pretty much everywhere cancer but she had a tumor that was too large to operate with and they put her on some vitamin remedy type thing that ended up shrinking her tumorto about 1/4 of the original size. It never hurts to look.

 It's really sad how common cancer is becoming. My prayers are with you and your friend.

 

 

 

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"True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing. And in knowing that you know nothing, that makes you the smartest of all

I am very sorry too. You feel as if there is nothing you can do. And you wonder why we haven't advanced any farther, knowing though, that what can be done, is being done. I'm hoping she is in the 7% group.

I worked with someone who died of cancer and you see the changes day by day. Event by event. Start of chemo. End of chemo. Chest plugs. Infections.

This person made a very difficult decision due to the pain involved and it was a decision that "I" had a hard time accepting. But I knew it wasn't about me so I gave her all the comfort I could muster.

And that's what you do. It was all I could do for her then. She wouldn't let me see her on her last day. I've come to accept that, but it was hard.

Now, I feel I still do things for her. I remember her, when someone else knows someone going through the same thing. I cry again for her and for the person that has reminded me. But I also feel okay somehow.

I really do want her to be in the 7% group. Strongly. And yes, chin up and be as strong as you can for her, because she needs it, she needs you.

Here's a hug for both of you.

 

 

If I was standing on a fish, I'd slip and fall......

OMG.  This is terrible.   Close to home to me because I have had melanoma and I feared the same thing.    I'm so sorry.

I am sending many hopeful waves her direction.

I am SO sorry to read this, its very sad and shocking at the same time to hear someone's body being ravaged so fast. I will keep your friend in my prayers and I hope that she is in the 7% and makes it through ok. Keep up the chin, a positive attitude can work wonders. Keep us posted.

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