The Day I Died

Disclaimer: following words are written by Velveteen cat’s husband, who feels the duty to finish the work, publish the drafts and tell the story to its very end. The next few posts if any would be composed of deciphered drafts with possibly my comments.

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I walked with my mom at the end of March around our house with the help of “walker”, I was sitting at home under nurses’ supervision at the start of April and got to the hospital SSM soon, where I lied most of May, and as my condition quickly worsened, I didn’t get out of it alive.

Yesterday, we received the ashes of my cat, who died of (guess?) the lung cancer. And today my time to pass has come.

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When My mum came to visit

Some time ago, at the very beginning of February, like a couple of months, at the hospital my oncologist visited me. I was feeling pretty nasty and I could tell that he was not bearing any good news. First of all, he gave me the new medication with his hands shaking – Lorlatinib was a new drug for Sweden and we got it! Pretty good thing! He had good hopes for that, why the long face though?

Then he said that he needed to talk to me about one more thing. That now in my medical psfix_20190420_160151980726576111041245.jpegrecord there is a special mark, which means that I’m not suitable for being resuscitated. My body is so much exhausted and damaged by the illness that I won’t be able to take the procedure anyway, or something like this… I don’t remember because there was some ringing in my ears… Somehow I was so shocked and offended by this news that almost started to cry. I was worried that my parents won’t be able to come to say goodbye! Yes, by the way, he said, maybe it’s time for you to have your parents come.

Here comes louder, more ringing, more annoying, I can’t hear! I freaked out quite a bit. But It was probably one of the most important things he had to say that day. I needed to understand more deeply the severeness of the illness I have and it was the way to tell it for the doctor, since he couldn’t directly, as far as I understand.

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Looking into the mirror

Since I’ve got the diagnosis and started the treatments my appearance has changed drastically… When I pass the mirror, I can not recognize myself, to tell you the truth, and when I finally do – I get upset. I do not look like any of my pictures, and I do not think that authorities will recognize me on the documents if needed.

psfix_20190412_2103225227825809639268872.jpegIn the very beginning, before my first visit to the doctor, (Oh, so long time ago!) I lost a kilo or a bit more and were very satisfied! I liked how I look. But then, with the treatments or something, my face started to look a little bit swollen. After a few months, swollenness became so ugly, that I looked like I was drinking badly for months and months, and you have just woken me up.

Did you get the picture?

Even when I got back to Hospital K after being at home for some time, some nurses asked me – “You didn’t look like this before, right, not that swollen??”

No, I did not.

A bit later, when, the liquids (I assume) redistributed themselves, my face started to look a little bit more normal, less sick swollen, and more just fat, I think. So now I’ve got two huge chicks, second chin and everything that supposed to come with this in between. While the forehead started to look small and lips are just almost non-existent.

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Pill duty

To give me my tablets, to control that everything is in time, to check on availability of medications at home, injections, solutions, drops, somehow became my husband’s duties by default. And he zealously takes care of these Pill Duties and me.

psfix_20190404_1413537517216738275059006.jpegWhen we first time came from the hospital with the new diagnosis and basically the new life ahead of us, we created a small daily routine with blood pressure and temperature tests and pills that he was giving me according to the list. And this routine continued for quite a bit.

Much later, with two more hospital visits, where the nurses do this, and we got all good blood pressure results we stopped taking measurements at home on a regular basis, but the Pill Duty stayed on my husband, even though with the number of pills increased enormously and different timings became crazy. Continue reading

Feelings…

So, I received my diagnosis, it’s hard to process emotions like this.  

psfix_20190402_0210488380577024003297119.jpegFor some time, I think I felt nothing. I was just talking, functioning and not feeling anything. I was like frozen. Because I was afraid, that if I let go, the feelings would be too much, what if the urge to cry will be too strong. I didn’t want to freak out. But I think that having a plan helped, the thing is that I immediately got a promising treatment – gave me hope, strength and ability to rationalize what was happening and the diagnosis I got. I did process my fear too in the end step by step. And I cried too. But much later.

Stay positive

As people who surround me know, I do, or at least try to, stay positive!

psfix_20190318_0013167240732797990494495.jpegI do not google (more on that later) not to see bad stuff, but I do hope, make plans and do stuff on the days when I can, or not 😜😜😜 I move from the day to a day trying not to focus on the depressing stuff. Of course, there are moments when I cannot stop thinking about it and I feel scared or sad for a moment here and there. At times like this, I try to get these feelings out. Get it out, do not keep them and then fill the mind with the positive things again. E.g. do “think of three positive things” exercise, which I wrote about earlier.

I do think that it is really important. Do not allow all these hard feelings to go over you. Because, if you just sit down, give in and let them – they will consume you, overpower you and devour your will to go on.

It is also really important for the people around you – your beloved ones, relatives, friends, and people who care. Recently I called my grandmother and when she worryingly/cautiously asked me, how am I, I said good, and she repeated in disbelief – good? But yes, I was good, I felt well this morning, and it was enough for me. We laughed! And laugh makes us live longer 😃
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Radiotherapy nr 2 – bummed out

So, here it camelong-awaitedthe one, that knocks me out and bums me out. 

Early (well, early in my understanding of this word) in the morning I woke up with one feeling over the whole back. Pain. It consumes and makes your head totally empty for the moment. Then, thankfully, my husband, who reacts faster than me, got up to get my pills, helped me. 

For at least a couple of hours, I stayed in bed. For many more, I felt exhausted.