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Nearly Spent

Forgive me if you know this story, some readers are new to the sad saga. About exactly this time last year I was chatting with my friend Judy in the gym parking lot. I got in the car and thought, hmm...is my back hurting? I was still finishing my first short summer semester, taking a math class that I wasn't half bad at. I have never had a backache in my life that I can remember, so it seemed weird. At any rate, I started the new semester, this time taking college algebra that I abhor. Matt had advised me to take it in the six week deal--four days a week to get it over with. The problem was that by now it was clear it was my side that hurt, and I was beginning to get very weak. In a nutshell--I finally went to the doctor, started on a steroid, had a seizure twice, and was hospitalized. They discovered that my heart had developed a weird rhythm as well. One week in the hospital, eight specialists, every scan that you can imagine, including a heart work up. About day four the attending physician revealed that they had done blood work that included tumor markers. Unfortunately the one for pancreatic cancer was five times what is considered normal. As well, they had seen things on the scan that made them think of metastatic cancer. All in all, a horrible time. They did not see cancer in my pancreas, so there was no explanation for the results. I was discharged with no diagnosis, and that is where I stand today. A medical mystery, which is a bad thing to be. I have sworn off going to the doctor for a while.

The problem is that my side still aches most of the time, I have dry heaves almost daily, and still have limited energy. A friend of my sisters asked how I could take so many pictures if I felt so bad. The thing she doesn't realize is that most are taken within a few mile radius of the house unless Bruce takes me. My camera has meant so much to me--it allows me to focus on my surroundings instead of myself. I have thanked God many times that my home is not terribly large, thus not so much to manage. Bruce has been unbelievable through it all, as has the rest of family including my siblings! Lisa stayed with me the first two weeks after I left the hospital, even shaving my legs because I was too weak. Maureen came over many evenings to help me get some food together for dinner when Bruce was out of town. I can't say enough about how so many people have encouraged me.

I force myself to get out, keep going to school, and in general trying to lead a normal life--I can tell you it's not always easy. Nevertheless, I know others have things much worse. It's just hard to tell people you don't know what is wrong with you, only that something is amiss with my body.

On a more positive note, I had an idea this morning that I'm going to consider. My hair has gotten pretty long primarily because I just don't take the time to get it cut. My niece donated her hair to Locks of Love--maybe I'll just let it grow for a while and do the same.

While taking Baxter for a walk this morning I found this trumpet flower on the ground--it sorta looks like me--a bit withered, but there's color remaining. I knew you got the connection already though.
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