My sweet angel

My sweet angel

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Beginning

It all began longer ago than I probably know about.  But it came to a head just before my 33rd birthday in October 2012.

I thought I had a terrible sinus infection.  I kept getting these migraine like headaches, so went to our local immediate health clinic.  After listening to my symptoms, they quickly prescribed some antibiotics and pain relievers and sent me on my way.

After finishing my 10 day supply of antibiotics, I promptly returned.  At this point I had started randomly coughing up blood.  It wasn't much, but scary enough for me to return.  The doctors told me it was a sinus infection and bronchitis.  More antibiotics prescribed, nebulizer for my wheezing, and pain pills for headaches.  At this point, I explained that I've had both a cousin and aunt that had brain tumors.  My cousin passed away very young because of it.   Yet, the doctor continued with his diagnosis ordering no additional tests.

November 14th, 2012 I went to Target in Brunswick, GA after work to pick up a few things.  Upon leaving, while at an intersection, my vision began screwing up really bad.  I couldn't tell the difference between vehicle tail lights and the imaginary lights that were flashing in my line of sight.   I couldn't focus on anything.   Luckily, I ran over a curb into a parking lot.  It's not a great area at night but I couldn't see my phone to dial 911 and just hoped a police officer would notice me and stop.  I remembered I had some advil in the car, I took it and sat there for almost 2 hours until I could see enough to make it home.

November 15, 2012 I was sick all night and called John to take me to the Emergency Room in Brunswick.  We were there for 5 hours.  I explained to the ER doctor that it couldn't be just a migraine or sinus infection. I explained the vision loss, the family history of brain tumors, the vast amount of antibiotics I'd taken.    Yet, all he did was give me a migraine shot (which failed to have any effect).  Then he gave me 2 anti-inflammatory drugs, phenegren, and pain relievers.  He told John my sinuses were swelling and putting pressure on my brain.

November 16, 2012 I went to my regular doctor who prescribed more antibiotics, steroids, and pain pills.   Pain pills didn't put a dent in my head pain.

November 17, 2012 Returned to regular doctor, demanded stronger pain pills and basically felt like a drug seeker.   At this point, I was done with the doctors here.

November 25th, 2012 After my head hurting throughout my trip to Atlanta to visit the family, I had my mom take me to Henry Medical Center.  After 2 hours, they did a scan and came back with the news that there was a grey area on my brain.  I was immediately transferred to Piedmont via ambulance.

The morning of November 27th, 2012 Dr. Chandler performed Brain Surgery to remove the tumor (did a stellar job!  didn't even have to shave my hair).

But then the news came in, the tumor in my brain came from my lung.   This meant I had Stage IV Non Small Cell Lung Cancer.  It was followed by, "this is not curable, but can be treated".  Of course, I wanted to know how much time I had left.   The response, "based on what we know now, and everyone is different, my best guess is 12-18 months".

What?  Why?  I've been through all of the stages of grief at this point.   I think Anger was the worst.  It wasn't fair.  I'm too young.  I have a little girl that needs me.  At most points now, when I reflect and talk to God, I get an overwhelming sense of peace and love.  These are the things that get me through the day.

I've decided to fight like hell to beat the odds, with the help of our Lord of course.  I can't do this alone.  But, I did promise Karley I will never give up.  It was the hardest conversation I've ever had, because I couldn't promise her I would make it.  I don't break promises.

I will post some more catch up later this week.  I'm pretty tired from these anti-seizure meds....but will continue to keep everyone up to date through this blog.

But before I go, I just want to thank the Lord and all of my friends in Atlanta (John, Reggie, Brad, Sam, Amanda, Mandy, Sonja, Patrick & Lil Sis, Mom, Dad, Stephen, Terri, Laura, Deborah, Kerri, Kenneth, and Lynn) for not leaving me alone for a minute during the hardest moments of my life, and my boss Joe who I know is going out of his way to try and get me the best treatment even though he has so much going on himself.   I'm genuinely blessed to have all of you and forgive me if I forgot anyone, I'm still not 100%.
I am blessed to know that I may not have a lot of time left, now I can make the most of it!

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