Why I Get Up and Fight

by Erin McGeeNovember 18, 2019View more posts from Erin McGee

I’ve been reading a lot of posts lately about the fear of starting treatment and/or the pain involved in the beginning of treatment.

I was 33 when I was diagnosed with cancer and did surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. I was extremely scared, nervous, angry, confused, anxious and really anything else you can feel. I had just had a baby girl and I honestly never thought anything like this could/would ever happen to me, but here I was; faced with one of the world’s most ugly realities staring me right in the face and I somehow had to find my way through this horrific fight.

I started chemo and radiation on the same day. Radiation first and then chemo for the rest of the day, really. I didn’t even get to leave the nightmare at the center, mine got to come home with me in a black bag, which to this day I still think is way too big! I got to sit in my own stink all week too because I wasn’t allowed to shower with my “friend” attached 24/7 (96 hours). I got word I would be getting ugly mouth sores soon as the chemo settled in- as the whole process wasn’t awful enough, the side effects would soon start to kick in…

So there I sat EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Monday thru Friday in radiation and then Monday thru Saturday for fluids because I opted to not get a feeding tube and because I was told it was only a matter of time before my throat was going to close up and I wouldn’t be able to eat or drink anything, funny I thought the mouth sores took care of that… Or the other end of my body that became even more sore from not being able to have a bowel movement because I gave constipation a new name; talk about the most humbling experience of my entire life was having the nurse literally go in and have to remove the rocks that were within… basically every other day. Or ending up in the ER because I couldn’t even pick myself up off the bathroom floor. I wasn’t just falling over from the pain, but the nausea and dizziness that occurred more often then I care to admit.

Everyone- friends and strangers always starring at the sick, balding, skinny girl that was lost somewhere inside this new shell that had taken over, but I refused to give up.

Even when the time came when I couldn’t eat or drink for one whole month. Not a single thing to eat. I was able to take a few sips of water with many steroids after about two weeks. I will never ever, ever forget sitting in the waiting room, looking at the water bottle someone brought in with them and crying, praying I could just have one little sip and I would be content.

IF I could just manage one little pathetic sip of water…

I would be lying in my room wanting to die, just then I would hear cooing and giggling out in the living room; always at the perfect moments- reminding me why I was doing what I was doing. Putting myself through hell so I could meet her on the other side and one day knowing she would know how hard I fought to stay by her side, to watch her grow, to watch her blossom into the beauty she is becoming now.

Four months, four months of pure torture, pure hell and then months of a little less…. then less and less and then I started to feel like a human. Everyday I would be grateful for something else that felt better or didn’t hurt as bad. I think about those times often. I think about how far I really have come and how I wasn’t going to let cancer stop me from loving/living MY life.

Cancer wasn’t going to take anything from me for good… I was going to win and I did. God often puts us in situations that aren’t ideal or we don’t understand why, but my Faith got me through, His love NEVER left my side and I know that’s how I did it. Regardless of your religious beliefs or where you stand you WILL get through and that’s basically what I wanted to say. We are all different, but we are all fighting the same battle, so I just wanted to give some encouragement to those starting and just starting. I am always here to listen, pray or try to give the best advice I can. I believe the more I can help, the better; isn’t that all why we joined this group anyway, for advice, to listen and to vent??!?

Hope you all have a wonderful week

:-)