A couple of people have asked about my hospital stays, so here are the gory details on that, if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Otherwise, no need to read this post!
The first was in the summer of 2011, when I noticed increasing discomfort in my upper back, around the ribs, getting worse over several months. When it started to get really bad, I went to a general doctor I sometimes saw and he didn’t investigate much at all, said I had a pulled muscle and sent me home telling me to use ice. (can you spell m-a-l-p-r-a-c-t-i-c-e??) Since it didn’t get better, a couple days later I went to my chiropractor and asked him to do an X-ray but he said he didn’t do X-rays and sent me home also. By the next night I could hardly move. When it got to the point where I couldn’t get out of bed at all, I had to call 911. Fortunately the fire station is two miles from my house, so at 2 in the morning they quickly came and hauled me into the ambulance and down to Harrison Hospital, 35 miles away. (under different circumstances I probably wouldn’t have minded two beefy young guys invading my bedroom in the middle of the night! Except for their cologne, ugh.)
Harrison immediately gave me an MRI and saw a tumor had formed on one of my vertebrae (T6), which was starting to fracture it. Some of the cancerous bone marrow cells had gotten out. They put me into radiation for that tumor the very next day. I stayed at Harrison for three weeks, having 18 radiation treatments and nothing more, really. Those totally got rid of the tumor and I gradually began to get my mobility back, which fully returned within three weeks. For the first two weeks I couldn’t even turn over in bed, had to call in the nurses to reposition me. That was a wild time. Harrison Hospital were wonderful, they have a fragrance free policy there to begin with, and they bent over backwards to accommodate my MCS needs, even going so far as to purchase a special air filter for me, and using my Dr. Bronner’s soap instead of the hand sanitizers whenever they’d come into the room. They actually took the hand sanitizer dispenser out of the room altogether, unscrewed it from the wall.
The second episode was September of 2012, when I got a life-threatening infection in my throat. My white blood cell count is kind of low due to having to constantly deal with the bone cancer cells. I thought I perhaps had tonsillitis or strep throat, but none of my little natural remedies was working, and as it got worse and worse and to the point where I couldn’t eat or swallow, again those beefy young guys had to come to the rescue and haul me down to Harrison. (At least this time I could walk into the ambulance.) This turned out to be something called epiglottitis, an inflammation of a little flap called the epiglottis that sits at the top of the windpipe and lets down either air or food/water, with every breath you take. (No, I’d never heard of it either.) I was in intensive care for two days on IV antibiotics and steroids. While I was in there it was so bad that even the merest sip of water would cause me to gag and choke for half an hour. Yikes. The doctors told me that if I hadn’t gotten in there within 24 more hours I’d have been dead as it would have closed off the ability to breathe. Yikes again.
So Harrison Hospital has saved my life twice now, for which I’m very grateful. Apart from these two episodes, I continue to run around as normal, as if they never happened, some sort of strange dream. And meanwhile I’m doing everything I can holistically and naturally to keep my body strong and able to fight off these little bugger cancer cells. That’ll be another post entirely.
I want to say that even though all this sounds really dreadful and awful and scary, at no point was I scared or even anxious. I felt the Grace of the Lord surrounding me the entire time, and never in my life have I been more grateful to be a Christian. His angels were my constant companion, without being aware of it, and I felt a peace which never deserted me, even in the most difficult moments. It makes me confident and unafraid to face whatever may come, as I know I am not alone.