Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fighting for My Life; Literally! I Have Been on the Brink of Death; It is Not a Scary Place.

I was sliced open from above my belly button to my pubic bone; it was a “BEEG Cut” as Dr. Jacome said. My greatest concern prior to going into surgery was whether or not they would get the many feet of intestines back into my body the same way that they were, or would they go in funky and be all uncomfortable. Dumb fear, just like Dr. Genesen (only the kindest and most compassionate doctor in the universe) said, “They will plop right back in there, just like they were.” He was right. The other major concern was what sex would be like with all of my missing parts. I am pleased to report that there was no difference in that department. Everything still works; Score! My real concerns should have been my recovery….duh!

I was in the hospital for 12 days; four of those days I literally didn’t care whether I lived or died. I did not even think about it. I was in oblivion. Being in that state is quite interesting; it is as though your instinctive “fight for survival” just disappears, it evaporates without notice or warning. You no longer feel anxious, sad or afraid.  A serene peacefulness just encompasses your body and soul, and all is right with the world. You no longer have that instinctive urgency to fight to live; you just want to close your eyes and stay in that happy, peaceful place. It is a very odd place to visit, yet having been there I can now understand how terminal patients may feel at the end of their life. Happy, content and at peace; certainly not what I had expected. I would have thought that I would have been kicking, fighting and screaming until I gasped my last breath.

Of course, during those four days I had an intern nurse with me 24 hours a day; shaking my feet, forcing me to drink water and just plain annoying me to no end. At one point he said, “Come on, Michele, you blood pressure is falling to 50/30.” I replied, “So, What do you want me to do about that? “Please just leave me alone.” I wouldn’t allow anyone to open the shutters or turn on any lights. I was sick, I was tired and I just wanted to go to sleep. Of course, now I am very grateful for all of those annoying people, prodding me and forcing me to do things that I did not want to do; because now I get to be here to battle my next challenge; leukemia. Why in the world would I not want to stick around for that party!

Yes, that is just my sarcastic humor. I have never regretted, for even a single moment, living through that experience. I have enjoyed many blessings since those days and still am totally enthralled with life. I am ready to fight for it and hope that my battles will keep me from entering into my previous state of oblivion. 

8 comments:

  1. I think there's a book inside of you waiting to come out to encourage even more people than you already do!

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  2. Ugh! So I keep being told...I can't imagine any one wanting to Pay to listen to me yak! But thanks for reading and encouraging me!

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  3. Michelle says:
    I literally didn’t care whether I lived or died. I did not even think about it. I was in oblivion. Being in that state is quite interesting; it is as though your instinctive “fight for survival” just disappears, it evaporates without notice or warning. You no longer feel anxious, sad or afraid. A serene peacefulness just encompasses your body and soul, and all is right with the world. You no longer have that instinctive urgency to fight to live; you just want to close your eyes and stay in that happy, peaceful place. It is a very odd place to visit, yet having been there I can now understand how terminal patients may feel at the end of their life. Happy, content and at peace; certainly not what I had expected. I would have thought that I would have been kicking, fighting and screaming until I gasped my last breath.

    __________________________________________

    Michele - could not agree more. Exactly what it feels like - just quite peaceful and you feel quite cool and content in fact. It was only until I was admitted into hospital that work was continually done by nurses and doctors, poking and prodding - you cannot get to sleep or even drift off. You explained the obliviation feeling exactly what it feels like. Hi Twinney.

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  4. It's strange, isn't it? Looking back I marvel at the fact that I was so willing to just drift away; content, like you said. Now that I am fighting this damn leukemia, I want to fight! I certainly have a different view of death after that experience, though.
    Thanks for sharing~

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  5. Drifting away like that "would" be quite a peaceful end, but obviously you had - yet another dance to perform... And - truly - gasping for a last breathe - is not peaceful at all. I watched Julian go from oblivion and seemingly peaceful to gasping. We are still grateful for our Angel Dr. that helped him stop gasping. YOU will not reach that point Michele, I know in my heart you will not, you are WAY AHEAD of this game, and - you're playing it very well! (Not that you ever dreamed of becoming a "pro" at beating leukemia) - but you are a huge inspiration to others fighting the battle, as well as those who have already fought it... There is a happy and content spot, and you came back from it. In a perfect world, nobody gets cancer. In a perfect Cancer world, you do reach that oblivion stage, and IF God has decided "this" is your time, you perfectly get to stay in oblivion until it is over. I will not ramble, others do not know my story and probably think I am being morose, but I'm not, what I "am" is ever soooooo grateful you were on top of your game! THAT makes all the difference in the world! Sorry you were tired as a symptom, but God Bless your Ophthalmologist that sent you to see if you were anemic. God - gave you EARLY signs. I plan to watch you dance for MANY MANY years to come, sending you so much love a good wishes Michele!
    Always, Julia xoxo

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  6. Oh, Julia...how lucky he was to have you at his side and how fortunate to have found your/his Angel on earth.
    I was very lucky to not reach that "gasping" stage and think that it is a cruel joke to put you in a peaceful trance and then snatch it away from you. Not fair.
    When I was in that state, it was after a surgery, many years ago. Tired didn't even begin to describe what was wrong with me. I was just very, very ill, along with being tired. Totally sucked, but suppose it gave me a little extra fight in my soul.
    Don't plan on visiting THAT experience any time soon.
    Morose is certainly NOT you my dear friend, you are simply a realist!
    Love to you, Julia,
    Michele

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