Still here.

by Lee Marsh 35 Replies latest jw friends

  • Lee Marsh
    Lee Marsh

    The last 2 1/2 years have been extremely stressful. While the rest of the world was dealing with Covid, I was also dealing with cancer. My first surgery in April 2020, was one of the last surgeries before they closed all non-emergency surgeries due to the number of people entering the hospital due to Covid. In fact, my surgery was on the last day and only one of 3 that day.

    It was terrifying to go into the hospital knowing that catching covid was a possibility. I had no idea what to expect. And because of covid I had to go in alone and for the few days I was there, I was not allowed any visitors. But I got through it and came out of the hospital laughing and joking and pretending the world was fine. And although I knew cancer was there I ignored it. Years of trauma had taught me all about the powers of denial and I used every bit of denial I could to get through the next few months.

    Chemo side-effects were so bad they had to stop and start it several times and eventually gave up because of how hard it was on my body. The really weird thing though, was that I had been through so much physical pain and trauma in my life that the chemo didn't seem so bad to me. The doctors disagreed and it was stopped.

    Then, covid threw another wrench into my life. I did not get the normal follow-up tests, usually every three months. I didn't get a check up for a year. And got hammered again with cancer that had spread to my upper right lung. Denial wasn't going to get me through this. reality was hitting home hard. On the advice of a surgeon and my oncologist I had the upper right lobe of my lung removed as well as a section of the middle lobe. Like the first time they got the tumor out but they warned me that others too small for the tests to see might be lurking so I will continue with tests every 3 months.

    About 2 weeks later I was having problems breathing and had to return to the hospital. They kept me for observation over night. Before they released me the next morning a doctor asked me what they were going to do about the tumor in my lower left lung.

    I had no idea what she was talking about. No one had said anything. In fact it seems none of my doctors knew about it. They only reason this doctor found it was because someone had gone back and actually looked at the previous CT scan and compared it to the scan taken the night before. The previous person to write the report after he checked the scans had failed to mention the new tumor. No one knew. Thank goodness that I had gone to the hospital and someone had compared the 2 scans instead of simply relying on the report.

    But I was in shock. Denial wasn't going to work anymore. Angry that it had been missed. And scared that a third go-round might kill me. I became depressed. Didn't want to get up, or dressed. I had to force myself to do normal things. I underwent radiation this time, refusing to let them take out another piece of my lungs. I was having enough problems breathing. No guarantees with radiation though. Maybe it will work and maybe it won't. And if new ones pop up then keep burning my lungs.

    I forced myself back into my garden as a way to see something positive in my life. I had not seen my family in over 2 years. And at times felt like I would never seen them again before I died. The last few weeks have been very hard.

    Two weeks ago I got pneumonia. With a hospital swamped with patients, they gave me antibiotics and sent me home. Fine with me. I wasn't in the mood to sit with a lot of people who might add to my health problems. The meds helped and I am doing better every day.

    Today I spoke with my radiation oncologist. After 28 very long and challenging months I finally have a positive report.


    I am relieved. This is not to say there isn't anything lurking in there. Some tumors might be too small to appear on the tests. Future testing will find them if they are there.

    But right now, today there is no sign of cancer in my body.

    It will take a while for this to settle in. I have been living with it so long now that it seems it will never go away. And really that is how most cancer survivors think. It can always start up again.

    But for today there is no sign of cancer.

    Thank you to all of you who have supported me. Photos of chocolates, images to make me smile and cheer me up, and words of encouragement. They have all meant more than I can say.

    Thank you. I'm still here.

  • Simon

    Congrats on the positive diagnosis (technically "negative", but you know what I mean)

  • ozziepost

    What a relief you must be feeling.

    This world’s not done with you yet, Lee!

    Time for another drop of red.


    Ozzie 🍷

  • BluesBrother

    I’m so glad that you are still here with us Lee. Your story is inspiring.

  • Gorb

    Good to hear!


  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    Glad to hear the good news!

  • TonusOH

    That's great, Lee! Glad to hear you are doing better.

  • wannaexit

    This is certainly good news for you. Wishing you continued good health.

  • Diogenesister

    Oh my goodness it's rare we get to hear such fantastic news, thank you for sharing it with us!

  • Slidin Fast
    Slidin Fast

    Well done. You are a survivor body and mind. You are a real encouragement. Thanks for the story.

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