In 2016 I began a journey that is on going. It hasn't given me much time to devote to my blog, and I am pretty sure because of this I probably have dropped off the grid, I rarely talk about personal things, because my daily life couldn't possibly be of much interest to others? My only reason for doing so now, is to reassure those that may read this, that there is hope and many blessings that come from the things in life we cannot control.
During a routine physical examination in December of 2015 it was discovered that I had a Right Atrial Myxoma in my heart. This is usually a benign tumor that attaches itself inside and to the heart wall and continues to grow until the heart can no longer function. What a surprise this was--My heart is healthy and I do not have any arterial or heart disease. Of course the only option is to remove this alien thing that that is moving each time my heart beats. We made plans to do so, A cardiologist friend recommended a heart Surgeon who is very familiar with this diagnosis. Within a month of my surgery date, alas, different symptoms emerged that signaled another diagnosis. This would change our immediate plans
I must say when your Gynecologist says to you, "I am sorry but you have Stage 3 endometrial cancer", there isn't much of a reply to that one, while you sit there trying to digest this and wonder --now what?. This meant that very few options were available for me because of the heart. It was one of those "Damned if you do, Damned if you don't" moments.
Now the journey began of visits with a wonderful Oncologist and Radiologist. I am fortunate that we have great medical care in our area. I now had 4 physicians who were working together to find a solution to this double "Whammy"! It was decided, because of the heart tumor, which was growing in size, to give me 34 radiation treatments. I went every day until I was finished and then had to wait for the pet scan. Now my energy level was diminishing because of the tumor. I am by nature a very optimistic person and truthfully I didn't spend a lot of time thinking very much about this. I tried to continue doing every thing as I normally as I had been doing. It soon became apparent that I would not be able to continue this way. My husband and I discussed fully all the ramifications of surgery, because you see I am 80 years old! Would this worth it at my age? I had so many questions, anesthesia, heart lung machine--how would all of this affect my general health and brain? Would I be the same person? Somewhere along the line I just had to learn to trust that it would be alright.
I have always been a busy and productive person and I am told that I am very young for my age, that is not ego speaking, that is all of my Doctors who convinced me that I could do this and recover. When the Pet scan came back with the best report one could ask for, Remission!!!!! We deiced to have the heart surgery as soon as possible. The next step was open heart surgery, which took place Nov 3, 2016. Physically this was not the easiest thing I have ever done. I had not been a patient in a hospital in 52 years. My working days as a nurse were certainly different than the sophisticated care of today.
I could not have asked for better care anywhere, but what I really discovered were the "Blessings"! I never knew how many loved us both, the prayers that were lifted up for us, the meals that have been delivered, the offers to clean the house, the visits , cards and phone calls. My etsy teams kept in close contact with Jim. I have met some wonderful and caring people along the way and made new friends! Because of something I could not control I have learned to be patient and to appreciate more each day, those around me. Our faith is very strong, and while we knew that we had the best medical science possible, and as wonderful as it is, it doesn't always have the answer, so we turned it over to God! He is the great physician and always has the answer!
So far my Heart surgery appears to be a success, and each day I am stronger. I choose not to dwell on the negatives but to cherish every day that I am given . I am told that my positive attitude was 90% of my recovery. The people around me made it possible for me to go forward and not look back. My only reason for writing this blog has been to share this journey with others who are going through similar circumstances and to say,\enjoy the people who love you, don't dwell on things you cannot change, When you don't feel well, tell yourself that tomorrow will be better.Take one day at a time and praise God for every blessing!
I wish for everyone who may read this a wonderful holiday season and may 2017 be the best year we can all hope for. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!