My boyfriend is diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Everyday we encounter new details on this life changing nightmare. The road is not easy.
Life's changing nightmare is about a true life event that has changed our lives forever. One day he is perfectly fine, or so we thought, and the next day he is in the hospital. The news we are told is devastating. He had strokes that uncovered a diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer.
"Life Changes" by Thomas Rhett
"Normal Friday Turns Into Nightmare "
My normal Friday afternoon turns into a nightmare when I hear my cell phone ring.
The phone displaying a number I don't recognize, but for some unknown reason I answer it.
My boyfriend’s boss is on the other end speaking words that send me into a spiral.
“Don’t panic, but Ron is being taken to the hospital. He didn’t get injured at work, but he has a little tingling in his left hand and arm, so we want him to be checked out.
He seems fine. He is coherent and talking. In fact, he asked me to call you. He says to tell you not to worry.”
That moment was the beginning of life’s changing nightmare.
" Driving is Challenging "
His job is an hour away from our little homestead. Regardless to say this is a bit challenging for me, since I usually don't drive out of our little town due to my meningioma brain tumor.
It is a tumor on the outer side of my cerebellum that abuts my brain stem and inner auditory canal. I have known about this since 2006. I have had gamma knife radiation and it is stable right now. That in itself is a story for another time.
Arriving to Emergency Department
Immediately after I hang up, I call the hospital. He is already in the emergency room being evaluated.
I am told he can have visitors, plural. So his brother picks me up and we head to the hospital.
Once we arrive we are greeted with Covid-19 questions while they take our temperatures.
Only to be informed one visitor per day and this person is the only one who can come and go during the whole day.
Finally Going To See Him
So after a long drive and lots of worry, his brother is forced to wait outside in the car, as I go through a checkpoint similar to airport security.
I place my purse and other belongings on a conveyor belt and walk through a metal detector.
All this just to gain entry into the emergency room floor where I can see him.
Finally the moment of truth, I pull back the curtain to his little area and see him lying upon a hospital bed.
To my surprise he seems fine, just a little bit frightened.
I can sense his fear as he grasps my hand, giving me a big hug and kiss, saying he is happy I am by his side.
Petrified By The Results
By the time I get to see him they have already run a mill of tests.
He is petrified by the results. He has had mini strokes, called TIA’S on both sides of his brain and a chest x-ray shows a mass on his left lung.
We wait for an hour hoping to get an update from the doctor, but have no news yet.
Meanwhile his brother needs to go home for an early morning shift. So he takes me to Ron’s workplace to pick up Ron's vehicle so I can have transportation.
It is only about fifteen minutes away but sure enough, while I am gone the doctor comes to see him.
My nightmare gets worse as I hear him say he is being admitted to the hospital.
Due to Covid-19 they are not letting anyone stay in the rooms overnight so I must drive home.
So here I go in his 2017 Toyota Tacoma long bed truck on an hour adventure to his house where the kitty’s await my arrival.
I manage pretty good until the sun goes down and my eyes have trouble adjusting.
I have a panic attack. I am flushed, feeling like I can’t breathe in the middle of nowhere.
I turn the air conditioner on high and keep driving as I pray for God to guide me.
I finally see a sign that I am only a few miles from home and feel a bit relieved.
About twenty minutes later I safely arrive at his house.
The Next Day
The next day I pack a bag in case he is not released, so I can find a hotel close to the hospital for the night.
I begin my journey in my 2003 Pontiac Grand Am when my Dad calls offering to drive me.
We meet in the Walmart parking lot and take my vehicle.
Dad waits in the lobby as I go to the fifth floor to check on Ron.
He is in good spirits even though the doctor has told him he has to stay another night.
Thankfully I brought him a few things from home to make his stay a little easier and I have clothes for myself.
Finding a Hotel Room
I go downstairs and tell dad. We venture to the car to go find me a hotel room for the night.
We start across town when a rainstorm fiercely hits. It seems like God is working against us when the windshield wiper on the passenger side quits.
As it begins raining cats and dogs with the road not visible we are forced to turn around.
There is only one hotel close to the hospital which is a Marriot. It is way out of my budget but I have to stay.
After I get a room Dad drives me back to the hospital and I let him take my car to go home.
That night I get my first experience with an uber for a ride back to my hotel room.
Doctor Appointments Every Day
Our thoughts are working overtime as we try to comprehend everything that is happening.
He has to spend a total of four days in the hospital. Then our adventure really begins.
We drive to doctor appointments daily.
The first visit takes us to a Nueroscience Clinic about his strokes.
We find out he had several strokes on each side of his brain. My last count from the MRI pictures was eight.
These were actual strokes, not TIA’s. We count ourselves very lucky he is walking around and has no damage.
The next doctor is a lung specialist who tells us Ron has lung cancer that has metastasized and wants to do a nuclear Pet-scan.
How Could This Be?
Everything is moving quickly. The pet-scan is done and now they need a biopsy of his adrenal gland where there is also a mass.
We are told if it’s not cancerous he is in stage three, but if it is he is in stage four.
Neither outcome is even remotely acceptable as we stand motionless listening to the doctor talk.
How could this be? This must be a mistake. He seemed fine just the other day.
Everything we are experiencing seems like a nightmare. We are waiting to wake up.
"Dust in the Wind" by Kansas
Things Happen For A Reason
They always say things happen for a reason. If he had not had the strokes we would not have known about the lung cancer but I wish we would have found out before it was Stage 4. ( which is indeed what the biopsy shows)
From time to time, I will be writing about the roads we encounter on this life changing nightmare.
I want to thank you for reading and understanding why I have been absent for awhile. I am slowly getting back to writing since things have slowed down a bit.
He is taking chemotherapy so we are no longer driving to appointments every day, but this adventure greets us with new challenges daily.
I will try my best to keep reading everyone's work and keep posting new writes. It is quite helpful to have this outlet to turn to during this time.
© 2020 BRENDA ARLEDGE