I am still here, with no symptoms

Margie’s Cancer Story

My cancer journey has been long, and far from easy, but it would have been harder still if it weren’t for LifeSpark. In September 2017 I was diagnosed with Stage 1 endometrial cancer—four days after my husband was diagnosed with Stage 3 prostate and lung cancer. We learned that it wasn’t that unusual for couples of a certain age to receive chemo side by side. At the time we knew of 11 other couples experiencing the same journey.

My husband, who was a small business owner, passed in June, four months ago. His cancer treatment showed. Chemo caused him great fatigue, so we arranged for a recliner in his employee break room for needed naps. He let his employees, customers, and friends know of his situation.

I, on the other hand, chose to keep my cancer treatment a secret from all but nine of my closest friends. My circle of friends is large due to volunteering, being active and loving people. I’m a happy, optimistic, and outgoing individual. I preferred not to have people asking me how I was every time I saw them or approach me with a sad face. So I asked those nine close friends not to ask me how I was each time we connected. They agreed and kept their promise.

As it turned out, I flew through chemo (10 rounds) and 25 radiation treatments, with only one treatable side effect, which was lymphedema in one leg.  Only twice was I unable to attend yoga classes due to fatigue, and I was never nauseous.  At the end of treatments, I was given an all-clear and told to return in six months for follow up.

That was the PET scan that delivered the big surprise. I had Stage 4 peritoneal cancer, and was encouraged to continue with the same therapy. I agreed, but two nights after receiving the ninth round of chemo, I got a preview of how neuropathy could effect my life.  All night long the bottoms of my feet felt like someone was holding a hot iron to them.  Chemo was destroying the nerves. That is when I made the biggest decision of my life: No more chemo for me! I would rather die than have so much foot pain.

My oncologist told me that my cancer was rare and there is no cure. It would return. In July while on a trip to Durango with a girlfriend, I knew my cancer had returned. My oncologist ordered yet another PET Scan and confirmed what I already knew. He told me that without treatment I had six months to live. I could expect three months of quality life and then it would go straight downhill. When I arrived at my car, I placed my hands on the steering wheel and said out loud, “Well, there it is. It’s not a surprise. You’ve been expecting it.” And then I drove home to tell my husband. He was still having chemo and radiation, had been hospitalized many times, and was suffering from numerous side effects.  His suffering confirmed that I had made the right decision for me.

March 2020 was the month I was to die.  It is now September and I’m still here with no symptoms. There’s been no chemo since March 2019. Each day, my affirmation is, “I’m so grateful for my health, wealth, and happiness.” I live each day to the fullest, and while I am smart about COVID, I don’t stay home in fear. I have but one life to live and at age 79 I’m living it!

I have been receiving weekly LifeSpark sessions from Lyn since July and always look forward to them. I feel her energy flowing into my body. Although I don’t suffer from pain or depression, when the session is over, I feel as refreshed as if I have awakened from a good night’s sleep. Thank you, LifeSpark, for your amazing service!

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