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Nancy Davis Headshot

Held Hostage by Stage IV Breast Cancer

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Last week, I had my regular oncologist visit. This usually consists of a quick physical, vitals, blood work and an infusion, a 40 minute drip to help strengthen diseased bones. I had been cut back on the drug as it has some mighty side effects and being on it five years at monthly intervals, my oncologist reduced it to once every six months.

As soon as I got into the car for what turned from a two hour drive into a three hour drive to get back home, I started getting excruciating pain in my kidney area. Next, the liquid was spreading throughout the bones like a wildfire out of control, and burning as it moved on to each lesion skipping none. I was counting the hours, minutes, even seconds during the drive, with thoughts only of reaching my bed.

Finally, finally, hours later, I'm home. I hobbled to the kitchen where I keep my arsenal of C drugs ... swallowed what I assumed I needed and crawled under the covers with my four felines, my awaiting allies: Felix, Sassy, Oliver and Russell Davis. All four cats were sitting in a row at my feet. Somehow I felt they helplessly sensed my pain.

I awakened at approximately 3 a.m. with more than what I could handle in pain. I sat waiting for the sun to rise so I could call the doctor's office immediately at 8:30 a.m. Finally, at 8:29 I am calling -- such a sigh of relief. I am told to keep taking pain meds on top of one another. I took what I thought would give me relief -- not so. Wondering do I call 911? No, you're new in this community, idiot, you'll look stupid and then it's a give away your ill. Drive myself to ER? No. Too many drugs. I'll get stopped for 502/DUI. Decided to bite the bullet and I laid down again, gaining a few hours of rest, pain exacerbating now big time.

About 6 a.m. Thanksgiving morning (had several invites too), I could not even move my hips to come out from under the covers. Now I'm thinking, "I'm a hostage" -- my disease has made me a hostage especially this day of all days. I literally fell out of bed and crawled to my arsenal of meds. What can I take now, I thought? Just keep taking until you don't feel any more pain was on my mind. I swallowed what I thought I needed to again take the edge off. Keeping my mind off my situation, I kept dwelling on turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie and my favorite: the bubbly ... maybe next year?

I was up perhaps five or six times during that night waiting for daylight to call my oncologist. Daylight came. I called. They were closed for the holiday, but did have a doctor on call. I thought, what's he really going to do for me? Perhaps put me in the hospital, where I should be? I could not wait to find out, I drove myself to a nearby facility. They too were closed.

"The hostage situation" seems to be over for now, although I am still held by my captor daily -- Stage IV Breast Cancer, which is NEVER closed. Those of us with Stage IV Breast Cancer deal with these types of incidents more often than not, and some that are much, much worse.

The following day, much to my amazement, I realized that the pain meds I had been taking had expired two years ago. That was why I was getting no relief! I couldn't stop laughing at myself, but oh, it felt good to laugh and VERY painful at the same time, I might add.

I did have a best friend drive me to my oncologist visit, but I did not let her know of my hostage situation.

Until next time,

Peace

N