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"Life's Changing Nightmare"

My boyfriend is diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Everyday we encounter new details on this life changing nightmare. The road is not easy.

Story Summary

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.


Driving Home

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.



BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on January 31, 2021:

Life can change in an instant

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


I read your article about our spiritual connection with cats.

I am so glad to see you put this out there...go to shelters to adopt.

I volunteered at a no kill shelter for awile before i stopped driving too far from my little town ...maybe I will start again after his chemo is finished.

But there is definitely a connection...when he was in the hospital his kitty didn't leave the window. He was looking for him.

Then once he got home he didnt want to leave his side.

It's like the kitty cat knows he is ill & wants to help and protect him.

Kitty cats are sweet and bring alot of joy.

Thanks for the share.

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


Thank you for your kindness. I believe I can feel your hug.

I don't know about being courageous...I am just doing what anyone would under these circumstances.

(Trying to make the best of it)

Thank you for the prayers...what goes up must come down.

I am certain God is walking with me.

Take care & enjoy your life.

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


Thank you so much for your well wishes.

I cherish them.

I completely understand being at a loss of words. I felt the same way.

Thank you again for your kindness & take care.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on October 12, 2020:

I am so sorry to read this BRENDA, and at a loss for words. Sending prayers, comforting thoughts and good wishes. You are going through a tough phase of life. Have faith and be strong. I wish and pray for both of you.

May you be relieved of such painful times, as soon as possible.

Thanks for sharing this with us. Take care.

Lora Hollings on October 12, 2020:

Brenda my prayers are with you! You certainly are a courageous person and I admire the strength that you have shown through these very difficult times. You are such a good person and a courageous one too! Bless you and your boyfriend. I will pray for both of you. I'm glad that you find writing about these challenges to relieve your stress. I will pray that God will give you strength on your difficult journey. If I was there I would hug you. But I send you a hug instead and best wishes, my friend!

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


Your heartfelt words mean so much to me.

Thank you for the prayers.

I sm going to do my best to keep writing and posting.

Thanks again & take care.

Rosina S Khan on October 12, 2020:

So sorry, Brenda to know about your true current status. My heart goes out to you and your partner. I understand how much of a hassle this can be when someone close like this is so ill. Have faith in God and in yourself. I wish for a quick recovery for your partner while you pray and continue with your writing to find solace. I myself send loving prayers your way.

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


Thank you for including us both in your prayers.

All of this is so fresh in my mind as it began on July 31 right after we had a small stay at home vacation.

We have since took a vacation before his chemo started.

We are making the best of each day.

Thank you again and take time to enjoy each moment.

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


Thank you.

All prayers are definitely welcome.

I figured it was best to let you all know that I hadn't jumped ship...I have come to enjoy Hubpages and the friendships I have made.

Thank you and have a great day.

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:

A B,

Thank you so much!

It is appreciated.

Have a great day.

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


Thank you so much!

Your kindness has touched my heart.

I had put my writing on the back burner for so long other than writing a few without posting...it feels great to be back.

Hopefully I can keep this up. It really helps.

Thanks for for the hugs.

Have a great day and enjoy each moment.

Liz Westwood from UK on October 12, 2020:

I am so sorry to read what you are going through. You are both in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for being brave enough to revisit these events and write such a detailed account.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 12, 2020:

Bless you both. Your journey has not been an easy one, and it sounds as though you will have many challenges ahead. Thanks for letting us know what is happening in your lives. I'll add you and Ron to my prayer list.

A B Williams from Central Florida on October 12, 2020:

Brenda, I am praying for peace of mind and the strength required, to see you both through this arduous journey. Hugs!!!

Lorna Lamon on October 12, 2020:

I'm so sorry you are both going through such an ordeal at this time Brenda and please know that I am thinking of you and praying for you both. Writing is a good coping mechanism and can also relieve stress. Please know I am here for you Brenda and I wish I could give you a hug. However, I am sending much love and hugs your way. Bless you.

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


They say what doesn't break you makes you stronger.

We will get through this. Thank you for your thoughts.

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


I tried to comment on your work, but alas all of yours is on LetterPile.

That is great!

Keep up the good work.

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


I read your poem old Dreamscapes.

It reminds me of a stephen king novel..

For a few moments he remembers and this saddens him...he deals with it by pretending it doesn't exist while he stews in his madness.

Great write.

Ankita B on October 12, 2020:

I am so sorry to hear this. This must have been so painful to go through. My heart goes out to you.

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


Thank you.

I look forward to reading more of your work and getting to know you better.

That was the reason behind that particular poem...God's Got This!

I remind myself everyday, because it is easy to get caught up and forget.

Thank you for your kindness & have a great day.

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


Thank you.

I really did get your hug.

Feels great.

Thank you my friend.

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


I've asked myself that very question a million times, but there is no rhyme or reason.

We are both getting stronger as we push forward.

Thank you for the prayers.

Have a great day.

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


Thank you for your kindness & the blessings.

They say if God brings you to it he will bring you through it.

Have a wonderful day.

BRENDA ARLEDGE (author) from Washington Court House on October 12, 2020:


Thank you for being a caring soul.

Have a nice day.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 12, 2020:

Brenda, I am so sorry to hear this. I can't imagine what the two of you are going through. Your poem "God's Got This" comes to mind. Keep reminding yourself of that.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and Ron.

Charlie Halliday from Scotland on October 12, 2020:

Sending you a virtual hug Brenda. Thank you for sharing.

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on October 12, 2020:

Hope you are feeling stronger after your ordeal. Difficult to understand why you and your boyfriend have to go through such a terrible time. Will keep you in my prayers.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 12, 2020:

It is a nightmare, my friend, and I am so sorry you have to go through this. Blessings and hugs coming your way, my friend.

Nicholas W King on October 12, 2020:

My heart goes out to you, Brenda. Thank you for sharing something that is so painful to go through.

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