Posts Tagged ‘Gallbladder’

At Least it isn’t Cancer

Friend: How is all of your health stuff going, have they figured it out yet?Red 3D Cells

Me: I explain how I am chasing another diagnosis with new tests, trying to sound positive about the potential of having my pancreas removed, or some other super-fun procedure.

Friend: Well, at least it isn’t cancer!

How does one respond to that? Yes, cancer is a monster of a disease that can ultimately kill you. No, I do not wish chemo on anyone. And, yes, the people I know who have fought or are fighting that demon are super-heroes in my eyes. I realize that this friend is trying to make me (or them-self) feel better about my completely depressing health situation; it comes from a good place. But I have no idea how to respond.

If I say, “Yes! Cancer would really suck!” we can all just move the conversation along to what we are doing for the holidays, or something equally pleasant. And that is what I usually do, because I am not a masochist and I’d like to be invited to lunch again. But this quietly denies the power of my own disease in some way, the reality of my life. If it isn’t cancer, it really can’t be that grim, right?

There isn’t any purpose in playing compare the malady. Everyone is fighting his or her own great battle. But I would be lying if I said I haven’t considered whether or not I would trade my ailment for a cancer diagnosis, you can’t help it when people unfailingly reference it. Some days I do wish I could trade my near constant nausea and pain with a definitive chemo treatment. I wish I had an illness people had heard of, had a healthy respect for, because I am weary of trying to explain it in a way that fits our world’s short attention span. I face the fact that this thing might slay me everyday. Even worse, it might just suck every last bit of marrow from my miraculous life over the next 40 years. And, ironically, it often causes the big C.

I actually have very little interest in mulling over every gory detail at lunch. I want to laugh and talk about my kids. I deeply appreciate your concerned inquiries and it really is just enough that you asked, that you recognized the darkness for a moment. Please know, that simple act is enough, you don’t have say something to make me feel better. I can see, just by looking into your eyes, that you wish it were so.

24 therapies in 4 years.

Still naively sure there was simple answer; I headed back to my GP. She recommended me to the local pain clinic for treatment of scar tissue and nerve damage. If only it had been that simple.

I have tried the following to end this pain:  Steroid shots into my rib cage, neurological medications, anti-depressants, heating pads, a tens unit, bio-feed back, gluten free, caffeine free, alcohol free diets, chiropractic, acupuncture, ERCP for SOD 3, gas-ex, fiber, birth control pills, yoga, yogurt, therapy, weigh loss, meditation, a standing desk, every pain med on the market, patches, physical therapy and osteopathy.

Every time a  method fails I suffer the pain of a break-up; You were suppose to be the one who would fill this void, but you’re useless like all the rest. I have never had the heart to completely give up, I have, however, had plenty of Docs give up on me.  They just plain run out of ideas and either apologize or tell me I’m crazy. I make them feel inept.

The constants for me in the last two years have been vicodin and fentanyl patches. In combination, at fairly low dose I can keep things at a dull roar. Its like having a headache in your ribcage, all day, everyday. If I took the meds it would require to take the pain out completely, I would lose my life drooling in bed.

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