Thursday, October 1, 2009

Not Leaving on a Jet Plane

Cancer sucks.

With her permission, here's a message I received from Meridy today.
Hi everyone,

I know you will all be upset to know that I have had to cancel my trip totally. Thank you for the many "bon voyage" messages. It seems I am not destined to travel at the moment. I was just starting to feel well enough to make the trip (next chemo would have been tomorrow), my appetite was improving, my taste buds were getting back to normal, and I felt stronger ...... and then I woke up during the night on Tuesday with severe lower chest pains, so it was off to emergency once again.

To make a long story short, my oncologist thought it could be a pulmonary embolism and I was tested for this yesterday afternoon in a scheduled CT scan. Fortunately, it is not a blood clot in my lungs but they are not quite sure what it is. Therefore I do not want to take the chance of getting to Europe and having a blood clot show up in my abdomen or somewhere and not be able to fly back to Canada. The pain in my midriff would also make sitting on a plane uncomfortable and I don't want to spend the entire holiday on pain killers.

As you can imagine, I am very disappointed but cannot dwell on it. I have spent the morning cancelling the reservations and have at least been able to get my Aeropoints reinstated, and some money reimbursed for the cruise as I had taken out extra insurance. Fortunately this happened before I left and not while I was away. The oncologist has agreed that I can still have a little break from chemo, but I may have to start on another one because the tumours are not shrinking and so this one is not working. I felt quite confident that it was as the pain on the liver side of my midriff was diminishing, I had thought. It is possible that the new pain on the left hand side is referred along the diaphragm. It seems as if at the moment the cancer is winning the battle; certainly it is having a huge effect on my life and what I can and can't do.

I will spend the next week enjoying myself here in Ottawa - seeing friends, perhaps eating out, and going to movies. If I plan another trip, it will be somewhere much closer to home.

Never take your health for granted. Make the most of every day. Do not put off the things you would like to do. I am copying something from my friend Chris Lynd's Blog:

And now begin to really live. No prissy, half-hearted living like you were living before. That wasn't really living, and that you doesn't exist anymore. No putting off dreams until tomorrow. Carpe diem. Carpe diem. Carpe that diem now.

Go live your life. Become who you know you're supposed to be. No holding back this time.

In the words of Walt Whitman, "Now voyager, sail thou forth to seek and find."

And don't you dare say it's too late. If you're reading this, it's not too late. It's only too late for the people who didn't wake up this morning.

Live out loud. Be outrageous. Love fiercely. Laugh and cry at the sheer beauty of it all. And thank whatever god you believe in that you have another chance to get it right.

Every day, you get another chance.

All the best,

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