Cancer Reflections 2: Rapid Descent (November 2010)

For a few days after my trip to emergency room, I thought I was on the mend.  I still didn’t feel right, but the chest pain was mostly gone.  It was like there was a hole there, though.  Right where the heartburn had been the worse.  I also felt bloated all the time.

In the weeks that followed, the nausea went from just feeling that way to throwing up often.  So, I was eating hardly anything.  I would go full days without eating depending on how nauseous I was.  One day I had a milkshake and it made me sick.  This put me in the mindset that I was lactose intolerant so I stopped consuming any milk products.  I was willing to try anything to get rid of the constant feeling that I was going to throw up.

Thanksgiving rolled around.  I was supposed to work at my job until midnight the day before the holiday.  The vomiting had worsened and I was having headaches.  I climbed out of bed and had a drink of water before getting into the shower.  That was enough to set it off.  I was ill and throwing up before I could even get out of the shower.  There was no food, just water.  I call work and tell them I can’t make it.  This, of course, doesn’t go over very well because retail at the holidays is a madhouse.  There was nothing I could do about it.  I was too sick.

I slept the rest of the day and into the next.  My parents were having dinner at their house.  As much as I wanted to go, I could not.  I had a trash can by my bed for when I was sick too suddenly to run to the rest room.  So, I call my mom crying and apologizing that I couldn’t make it.  She was fine with it, being the awesome mother she is, but I was distraught.

The next day she took me to the doctor again.  Going to the doctor on or after holidays was becoming a terrible trend.  We found a walk-in clinic that was open.  They weighed me and I had lost about 10 pounds that month.  I have never lost much weight and this was a bit of an eye opener to me at just how little food I was eating.

So, I tell him all my problems and how bad I feel.  There is a new ailment as well.  My arm is hurting so badly that I can’t move it more than a few centimeters and I can’t lift it.  They take my temperature, check my stomach, and look in my ears.  I have fluid in my ears so he diagnoses me with a viral infection.  He says the only real cure is rest and sends me on my way with a cough medicine that has pain meds as well.

I take the doctor’s note to work and tell them I’m taking a week off to rest and try to get my life back together.  Everything seems to be falling apart.  My relationship with my boyfriend is becoming strained.  What do you tell someone when they ask you what’s wrong and you can’t pin point the problem?  Everything was wrong.

At this point, I feel like I’m losing my mind.  A part of me thinks my afflictions are mental because none of the doctors seem to think much of what I’m saying is serious.  I even try to meditate the problems away.  The cancer was not having that.

The week finishes up.  I do feel somewhat better since I was sleeping about twenty hours a day, but the nausea is relentless.  I force myself to work because if I don’t I’ll lose my job.  The days end up consisting of sleep, work, and little in between.  A few times I have to leave work because of severe headaches and the nausea/vomiting.  Usually I was crying before I was out the door and I hated for my coworkers to see  that. I tried very hard to be strong but my willpower and life was dwindling away.

By the next holiday, it was becoming obvious I was running out of time.


About Jez Strider

Author of the Vamp Life series available at
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