To You

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Back to the beginning – ‘The first symptoms’
Back to previous post – ‘Post Office with a Heart’
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To you.

Before we go on to the world of the Emergency Room in Beaumont Hospital, (hold on tight ladies, the ride is about to get rougher and literally bloodier by the page), there’s something else I need to talk to you about.

Up until now, I wrote this blog with a voice from the past. I wanted to give you a detailed picture of how my cancer(s) came into being and I spoke about things that happened to me a year ago.
For this post only, that rule will not be valid.
This post comes to you from the present, from today.

First, I have to let you know that tomorrow I’m scheduled for surgery.
This will be my second surgery, addressing a different tumour, (than the first), caused by a different type of cancer.

Before I say ‘good-bye’ and go into the operating theaters, I want to make sure that I have told you a story that I think it’s important.
The story has a lot to do with you ladies, my readers, women from all over the world, who come and visit me here.
It also has a lot to do with death and my desire to die.

It starts in January of 2011, with Prof. Arnold Hill.
He was the doctor who pushed things further, detected and recognized my cancer(s).  It was also his responsibility, a difficult task, to present me with a diagnosis as surreal as mine. 
Since that day in January I saw him many times; and again, a few weeks ago.
The topic of the last consultation was the possibility of future surgery (the one that will take place tomorrow).
Initially, he agreed.
– ‘Alright Andrea,’ – he said. ‘if this is what you want, I will be happy to operate.’
Before I had the time to jump up the bed in pure joy and hug all the nurses, a new problem arose.
One of my legs was very swollen, felt warmer and looked reddish. This is the typical look for a blood clot and Prof. Hill was immediately concerned. A blood clot is not a joke, it is dangerous, and it can be life threatening.
All surgeries must be put on hold.
He examined my legs and said:
– ‘Until we rule out the presence of a blood clot, we can not operate. We want to save your life, we don’t want to kill you.’
I looked him straight into the eyes, and told him:
– ‘But I do’.
He raised an eyebrow.
Whispering, I continued:
– ‘I would love to die on your table. That would be a wonderful death for someone like me’.
This is the second time when I ask him to help me die.
He doesn’t like this type of nonsense talk. He doesn’t like it at all.
It goes against everything he stands for. Against the Hippocrates oath he once took, against his education, outstanding skills and moral beliefs. His entire life is dedicated to the saving of me, of you, and all of us. Entering a death contract is not something he is even remotely willing to do.
He looked at me:
– ‘You know I can’t do that’.
Sigh.
– ‘I know’.
And that was that.

There is a point to my story and I’m coming to it.
From the very first day I got my diagnosis, back in January, I always wanted to die. I begged and stalked doctors, professors, friends and friends of my friends. I researched the internet looking for easier ways to give it up and end it all.
Too much of a coward to simply throw myself in front of a train, I kept on asking for help.
– ‘Please help me, help me die!’
Before you frown at my behaviour, let’s stop for a second and consider my general situation.
I am not young anymore, I am not beautiful nor loved. Nobody needs me, I bring joy to no one, I have no family and no social worth. I am also a frightened sissy who, since cancer came around, cries all the time. And to top it all up, I’m facing a diagnosis so absurd and unusual, it slaps me so hard I can barely catch my breath.
– ‘How on Earth am I going to beat this?’ – I asked myself. ‘Who? Me? That much of a cancer? Impossible! No chance in Hell!’

Three weeks ago I was begging.
– ‘Please Prof. Hill, let me have an easier death!’

Today, all that changed.
I don’t want to die anymore; today, I want to live.
And it’s all because of you.
You ladies, women from all over the world, who visit my blog.
I don’t know who you are, or where you come from, but I know you’re here, reading my journal and spending a bit of time with me.
You gave me a priceless gift.
You gave me a sense of worth, of being useful.
Someone, out there, even in the slightest way, needs me!
For the people who follow this blog, for my friends and for all of you who take time to read it, I want to live.
Just a little bit longer.
Long enough to finish this journal and tell you all about treatments, scans, blood tests, surgeries and a very expensive poison, extracted from the Yew tree and called ‘Taxotere’.
We’re only now getting into the world of cancer, and there’s so much information I wish I was able to share with you.
Hopefully I’ll get out of surgery alive and well, (don’t worry too much, doctors don’t really like patients dying on their operating tables – see above), and I’ll see you again, in the next few days.
Thank you ladies, (and our one gentleman visitor, Robert), for everything you’ve done for me.

All of a sudden I feel as if I’m part of something, as if I too, matter.
It’s an unexpected and priceless gift,

thank you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Back to the beginning – ‘The first symptoms’
Back to previous post – ‘Post Office with a Heart’
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This entry was posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Health, Ovarian cancer, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to To You

  1. Bob Myrick says:

    Ana, I read everything you write, it is beautful and so are you. I know that you can smile and I want badly for this to happen. I almost agreed with you for a long time. When I lost Barbara each day was spent waiting for the next with only the thought of rejoining her. It must have been fate (if you believe in that) but I was accepted and loved by the same ladies you describe. It was with their love, and yours, that I now have a life each day. Your surgery tomorrow will be a success and you will enjoy the happiness you deserve. I am still waiting for that smile.

    Bob

    • Cancer By 2 says:

      Bob,
      we have never met and I have never done anything special for you. You don’t owe me anything, but as more and more days go by and we keep on talking, I feel as if I gained a friend, a true friend. I know you care for me, Bob, I just know.
      I also know that the day I die you will be sad.
      And you will remember me.
      For a time I will keep living in your mind and in your soul. Alive, through you.
      Thank you Robert, for everything you’ve done for me.
      (Oh my God, see? I can’t stop crying!).
      It was your face and Lois’s hand, that I kept on holding on to, right to the very last second before opening the frightening doors of the operating theaters.
      I came back home today, I’m weak and frail, I’ve got 2 plastic drains hanging on from my body, and I’m in pain but I’m still breathing.
      For a time.
      Thank you Robert.
      Love.

      PS Update and more details tomorrow. Give me a few hours to recover, I can barely sit on the chair. I will leave a message for you on our forum, the Ovarian Alliance.

      • Bob Myrick says:

        Ana,
        While it is true that we have never met in person we do share a love that cannot be explained. I have read your reply to me and to others. I want very badly for you to recover soon and not have the pains and worry that you now have. For whatever the reason, your life means a lot to me – you mean a lot to me. I am thankful for your thoughts and wait until I can talk to you. I am still waiting for that smile from you.
        Bob

      • Bob Myrick says:

        Andrea, I will try this also. Something has to get to you! We miss you so much and want you well. To know that I was on your mind does help!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I just recently found your blog. I am sorry you are going through all this but I have to tell you, your writing is beautiful. Another stranger will be thinking of you tomorrow and hoping all goes well.

    • Cancer By 2 says:

      Hi there :)
      thank you for your kind words, they are much appreciated. You will never know just how much of a ray of light these well-wishes are for me.
      Thank you.
      I came back from hospital a few hours ago.
      I’m not very well, I’m in pain and I’ve got plastic drains hanging on from this mutilated body of mine in all places, and it hurts and it’s quite difficult to sit here, on my computer chair.
      I’ll try to have a good night sleep (pumped up in pain killers) and I’ll write a more detailed account tomorrow.
      Once again, thank you and see you soon :)

      • Anonymous says:

        I am glad to hear you are back home, and am hoping that the pain lessens soon.

  3. loiscochran2020 says:

    This is me smiling and filled with hope for you. You are a beautiful woman, talented writer and many of us need for you to be able to continue your blog! Prayers go with you – I’m holding your hand. See you soon.

    Love, Lois

    • Cancer By 2 says:

      Hi Lois,
      my gracious, my friend, my friend.
      Beaumont Hospital, prep room, in the operating theaters. Lots of lights, powerful and cold lights, shining down on me. Surgeons washing their hands, talking. Nurses asking questions, many, many questions. The anesthetist team sticking more and more wires around my heart, the machines beeping, ‘beep-beep-beep’, recording the vitals of my life.
      A sharp pinch in the veins in my arms. One more in the hand.
      ‘Beep-beep-beep’.
      I was so frightened.
      ‘Your diagnosis is very complex’, they told me. ‘The prognosis is poor and this surgery will not cure you. Are you sure you want to go ahead with it?’
      ‘Beep-beep-beep’.
      Where is your hand, Lois? Where is the God you love so much?
      Right up to the very last second before losing consciousness I thought of you.
      It was your hand that I was holding, and it was the thought of you that gave me the strength to keep steady.
      ‘Let’s go ahead’.
      ‘Beep-beep-beep’.

      Thank you Lois.

      I came back home a few hours ago. I’m not very well, but I’m still here and hopefully I’ll live long enough to finish this blog.
      More details and update, soon.
      Love,
      andrea

  4. Stacy B says:

    Wow, this is the first time I have read your blog, but it’s beautiful. YOU Are beautiful. I am in the process of getting a nonprofit organization off of the ground and hope we will be able to help you in many ways very soon. You are a very strong woman, you CAN and WILL beat this. We can beat this horrible disease no matter what any doctor says. Attitude is everything. I am pulling for you. PLEASE continue to write, I look forward to reading your blog. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this tough time. Just remember you are never alone.
    Lets BEAT this!!!!

    • Cancer By 2 says:

      Hi Stacy,
      thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for your kind words.
      I’m back :)
      Alive :)
      Came back from hospital a few hours ago, but I’m not feeling very well. I’m weak and I’m in pain. It’s difficult to sit on the chair, in front of the computer. Give me a few hours to recover and I’ll come back with a more detailed account of the surgery.
      Thank you for everything and your shining spirit :)
      Andrea

  5. ebb says:

    Hi Andrea; I checked in again to see if you made an update just before your surgery, and was so surprised and pleased to find your newest post. Thank you – I know it takes a lot of time and effort and focus to write, and I appreciate your doing so while so much else is going on for you. Thinking of you as you face the next challenge,

    • Cancer By 2 says:

      Hi Ebb, :)
      nice to see you again :)
      I came back from hospital a few hours ago.
      I’m not feeling very well though, ladies. I’m weak and there are draining tubes hanging on from my body on all places and I’m in pain.
      Give me a few hours to recover, and I’ll tell you more about the surgery as soon as I’m able.
      The good news is that for now, I’m still alive :)
      See you soon.
      Thank you

      • ebb says:

        Hi Andrea; thank you for your update, I am so glad to hear that you are back home and hope that you are able to get some rest, although I am guessing that the pain and aftereffects of the surgery will make that difficult. I do remember how hard the first days after surgery can be – the drains especially – and I imagine that the aftereffects are probably giving you lot of challenges. The good news is, as you say, that you are still with us. That is such very good news. I am looking forward to hearing more about your journey – and I will be happy to wait to hear from you until after you have been able to take care of your own needs for rest, for comfort, for sleep, for healing. I will just keep checking in until you are up to making your next post. Thinking of you,

  6. Dee says:

    I decided to see how you were doing and here was your post. I am glad that you realize that you are loved and needed by all your teal sisters and blogger friends.
    I hope that the surgery goes well for you today. We are waiting here for you to give us your next update. Yup we need you to do that.

    Hugs,
    Dee

    • Cancer By 2 says:

      Hi Dee,
      I’m back :)
      I came back home a few hours ago, but I’m not feeling very well (please see above comments).
      Give me a few hours, I’ll tell you all about the surgery as soon as I’m able to sit on this chair for more than 10 minutes at a time.
      Right now I’m dizzy, it’s difficult, but it also feels good to be around you ladies, again.
      Thank you Dee, talk to you soon,
      hugs,
      andrea

  7. Anonymous says:

    Catherine

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi Andrea

    I have just read your story from start to finish, the way you tell your story is unlike anything else I have ever read, Everything a person can experience ( and more than I understood before) is there. Your story gives permission to others to have their own story and live it and experience as their own. You have a real talent for writing, you brought me into your room, the Doctor, the hospital and the post office. I am in awe of who you are and the strength of the human spirit

  9. Anonymous says:

    Eres mucho mas que un simple personaje, te has venido convirtiendo maestra de muchos de nosotros quienes aprendemos de cada cosa que escribes y de cada experiencia que vives y compartes con nosotros. Yo aunque aun no te vea en persona sigo pensando que eres un ser maravilloso que aun tiene mucho que ofrecer y mucho que recibir de todos los que te queremos. recibe un abrazo fuerte de tu admiradora de siempre
    Gabriela

  10. Gaby says:

    Eres mucho mas que un simple personaje, te has venido convirtiendo maestra de muchos de nosotros quienes aprendemos de cada cosa que escribes y de cada experiencia que vives y compartes con nosotros. Yo aunque aun no te vea en persona sigo pensando que eres un ser maravilloso que aun tiene mucho que ofrecer y mucho que recibir de todos los que te queremos. recibe un abrazo fuerte de tu admiradora de siempre!

    Gabriela

  11. Linda says:

    Oh Andrea, what an incredible gift you have, and you are beautiful. in every way.
    sending you strength through these electrons. and hope and love.

  12. loiscochran2020 says:

    Andrea – I am just now checking back on you and wondering how you are doing. My prayers are with you and I’m sending my love and wishing I could give you some of my strength to help you recover. Looking forward to hearing from you whenever you feel strong enough to write more.

    Love, Lois

  13. Anonymous says:

    Chris here Banana. Just a quick booming reply. “Keep Writing!” Subject situation aside, that was an awesome read =) A little reminiscent of mid to late Vonnegut. (In a good way! You’re inevitable question leads me to recommend either hocus pocus, slapstick or cats cradle, two of which i can supply)
    I thought it was extremely readable, personal, sad and jesus, even a little funny!

    You have to keep writing this, DON’T STOP!

    I will say you’re give yourself too hard of a time. I know you may feel like thats sometimes the case and that small criticism may just be a conceit of someone who knows you. Did find it jarring though since you do mention having friends every now and then.

    Love you AnnaX
    You keep fighting until its done. And when you do, i’ll help you get that evil stepmother! BAM!!

    Chris.

  14. Anonymous says:

    i have just read your whole blog. thank you so much for writing it. I devoured your story as i watch my own mother fighting ovarian cancer. you are so strong and brave to go through this and share your experience with others

    thank you and i hope you are doing well!

  15. Anonymous says:

    What the others have said is true. You write amazingly, and I am a professional editor, so I know.

    I am waiting with bated breath to hear the updates.

    I am so happy to hear how much it means to you to be appreciated. You really have a gift for telling a story.

    I hope your recovery goes well.

    I am a member of the Inspire ovarian cancer forum, which is where I learned about your blog.

  16. SueBunkley says:

    Ana, I am also from inspire and have talked to you there. This was the first time I found your blog.
    You are much loved by all of us and we are pulling for you.

    Hugs
    SueB

  17. Bob Myrick says:

    Ana, I have given the ladies on Inspire an update on you. I am afraid that I do not know more but we do love you. The update can be found at http://www.inspire.com/groups/ovarian-cancer-national-alliance/discussion/our-friend-ana-eireann/ and shows our love for you.

    Bob

  18. Alicia says:

    Ana, thinking of you and sending good wishes, hugs and positive thoughts your way. You tell a beautiful story and I can’t wait to hear what’s next. Stay strong beautiful lady, you are such an encouragement to others.

  19. debbie waltz says:

    you are a great writer- i feel so bad for you.there are many many people who worry about you everyday and say a prayer for you. take care of yourself and please let anybody that wants to help you,let them .it will make them happy and it wil make you happier too.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hi Ana
    I have just read your blog and it is written wonderfully. Please post an update either here or on Inspire so I know how your are.
    Keep fighting
    Jenny (Tasgirl)

  21. Bob Myrick says:

    Ana,
    When you read this know that you are loved and needed by your friends throughout the world. It is important to me and others that you are well and are cared for. Please let us know how you are and let us know soon. I don’t know you but I love you and need to hear from you.
    Bob

  22. Doris says:

    Andrea, you are an amazing woman. Full of strength, beauty and encouragement. You have a talent for writing that there are no words to describe. You tell a similar story that I can so relate, but have a hard time expressing well. You truly feel my pain, unlike others who have never going through such a nightmare. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your life. You are an amazing woman, I wish we lived closer, I can’t help but feel we would be dear friends. I send warm, healing thoughts your way….

  23. Anonymous says:

    Draga Andreea
    Pentru prima data am inceput sa citesc blogul tau(am aflat recent de el). Da-mi voie sa iti spun ca iti admir curajul si felul in care reusesti sa iti pui gindurile pe hirtie. Imi pare foarte rau ca nu te simti bine, si te simti singura, dar sa stii ca datorita blogului tau nu mai esti singura, vad ca ai o gramada de prieteni care se intereseaza de tine. As vrea doar sa ma alatur tuturor care iti scriu si care te sustin. Te rog sa lupti in continuare, nu te lasa batuta, stiu ca esti o femeie puternica, frumoasa si foarte inteligenta. Nu da voie gindurilor negre sa apara, incarca-te doar cu optimism si cu energie pozitiva. Ma voi ruga bunului Dumnezeu sa te aiba in paza si sa iti dea multa sanatate si putere sa treci cu bine peste aceasta grea incercare.
    Te imbratisez cu drag
    Sorina

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