I was shocked, confused, sad but I wasn’t going to fight it. I was already witnessing what KK was going through. BUT you end up learning a lot when you get cancer……………I researched fucking everything. The library, my computer and I became best friends. I didn’t ask too many questions of the doctors but the BFF did. The bottom line with me was there was no way of “staging me” until they went in and took out the tumor in addition to the plural and lymph nodes. Did you know there are lymph nodes throughout your whole body? I didn’t! I thought they were just in certain places like your neck. My attitude was, “I’m not going to quit smoking if they come back and say I am in stage 4 with no chance to live.” and I kept smoking…………this drove the doctors crazy. I also stopped buying drugs off the street as now that I had an official diagnosis of lung cancer the doctor had me on a pain management plan that was working in keeping me from giving a shit. But it also didn’t explain why every single joint in my body continued to kill me. Though they believed it was something called a “reactive rheumatoid arthritis.” But they wouldn’t know for sure until after the surgery to remove the cancer.
The surgery to remove the middle lobe of my right lung was scheduled for 2 days before Thanksgiving 2010. It was scheduled in a hospital that wasn’t top on my list by a surgeon I referred to as “Doctor stick up his ass.” He never smiled and he had a God complex. I complained to the associate of my PCP who said to me, “Hot Mess you don’t have to like him- he is the best surgeon in this field.” In the mean time I had a biopsy to determine what kind of cancer it was and I was told if I was going to get lung cancer this is the type of lung cancer you want. Great! <–said with sarcasm. My PCP’s associate became a good friend who taught me many things about the power of positive thinking and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. She is a great person and to this day I just adore her.
So, there I was with about a month until the surgery had been scheduled and I knew I had cancer growing in my body. It is the worst feeling in the world. You just want it out. You just want to know what stage you are in and if you will need to fight or not. I also had to deal with KK and I am sure she just didn’t know what the fuck to do when I told her what was wrong with me. I am sure she felt terrible that she couldn’t help me more. I know she did – she told me so. So what did I do? I ran away………………well not exactly.
I spent almost three weeks in another state at SEH’s vacation compound. The BFF would visit me when she could, a couple other friends did too as well as KK. I didn’t sleep in one of the bedrooms but on the couch in the living room with the sliding glass doors open so I could see and hear the ocean waves hitting the shore and smell the ocean. Sleep was hard to come by so it wasn’t uncommon for me to be walking the beach in the middle of the night or wrapping myself in a blanket and just sitting out on the deck. And when friends came to visit they encouraged me to get out – hike – shop – eat – and do all those things I wouldn’t do if I was by myself.
I never questioned SEH and his offer to stay at the compound. I had stayed there before – on day visits or for long weekends both with and without his family being there but never for three weeks straight and I often wonder now how he managed that. What he said to his wife – did she feel bad for me? She knows me – but not well enough to offer me the compound for three weeks. It was during this time that I confessed to the BFF about my affair with SEH and that was when I exchanged their numbers. Believe it or not the three weeks went by rather quickly and I was home before I knew it.
The day before surgery was scheduled I was back at home & pretty much confined to my bed. SEH came by to visit. He wished me luck, told me he loved me and whispered reassuring words to me as he held me and I cried. I assured him he wasn’t getting out of this affair that easily and we would laugh. The next couple of days are pretty much a blur. I remember the BFF & KK driving me to the hospital the next day, I remember waking up in ICU and another young doctor telling me she was going to take out the breathing tube and it was going to hurt and I remember waking up a couple of times in a room and seeing SEH or the BFF sitting there with worried looks on their faces.