It’s My Birthday Tomorrow! What A Year It’s Been!
- March 09, 2017
- Theresa Bertuzzi
Tomorrow is my Birthday and I will take the day off from blogging to be a sloth! Frack I am getting really old!!! As I take a moment to look back on this past year it takes my breath away and I have to admit that this year did kind of suck. I spent the majority of the year sicker than I have ever been in my life with people screaming “You may have cancer!” at me over and over again. Over the past year I have had 5 breast biopsies, a muscle biopsy, and a uterine biopsy and I sometimes felt that the doctors were taking me apart piece by piece. On a side note, Biopsies suck and really hurt. I can only assume that more pieces will be taken this year. I have had several MRI’s, Cat scans, X-Rays and Mammograms. I have suffered through EMG shock treatments as well as had sooo many needles jabbed into my muscles. I have drank way more yucky radioactive drinks than I want to remember and swallowed pill after pill that has made me grow hair all over my body, my veins bulge out like I am some sort of alien, and my face puff up like a balloon. They have also made me throw up pretty much daily for the past six months and made me so shaky and sick that there were times that I thought they would surely kill me.
Yet nothing was worse than the fear I faced this summer as I quickly was on my way to being paralysed. Each day I would wake up afraid to see what else I would no longer be able to do. One week I could walk to the corner store, the next week I could only walk half way there and the following week I could not walk to the kitchen without panting and could not hold up my own cup to get a drink. Within months I could not even swallow without choking on food or liquids and the doctors began talking about feeding tubes. I fought with doctors to finally get a diagnosis and cried with certainty that they were in fact not going to diagnose me but were going to let me die. I had doctors tell me that they were certain that I had a disease that would paralyze me and then kill me in the next few months and that it would do the same to my children. Then I had them tell me that I would not be paralysed but I would face a lifetime of horrible medications to keep me alive and mobile and that I may get terminal cancer within the next five years. I was told that I could never have peace of mind because every day I would have to check my body for signs of cancer and every six months I would have to go through test after test to see if I finally got cancer.
Yet I didn’t get cancer this year while other friends and people I love have and that just broke my heart. So I refuse to be afraid of the future and worry over something that may never happen. I will whine about the treatments and testing that I will have to undergo for the next five years as let’s be honest having colonoscopies, endoscopies, cat scans, breast MRI’s, and mammograms every six months to see if you have finally developed cancer really is not fun but I won’t be afraid. I look back on this year and I cry remembering all those horrible moments but I also smile and laugh because look at what I have faced and dammit I made it through whole, happy and much stronger than I ever thought I could be. I never would have dreamed that I could be given news like that and gone through an experience like that and still move through the world normally and calmly, and I have. I barely even think about being ill anymore and have managed to get used to all of the treatments, medications and doctor’s appointments. When they talk about cancer or what may happen in the future it really doesn’t scare me at all anymore as I have a firm belief that I will be ok.
When I look back on this year I also feel so loved and cared for. For the first time in my life I told my story to everyone I know and I am so glad that I did. All of you who have followed my blog and sent me comments and notes have touched my heart and made me feel like I can keep going. I have had friends tell me that they pray for me every night and there is even one special lady who lights a candle for me each week. I cried so hard when I heard that and I never imagined that anyone would ever do something like that for me. My husband and children supported me and helped me through it all. My husband literally picked me up this year and held me up when I could no longer do it myself. They too faced a horrible year as they watched me suffer through this horrible adventure. My friends supported me, took my mind off of things and always made me laugh and I have never laughed harder or enjoyed life more than the little moments I had with my family and friends this year. My brothers, parents, sister in law, nieces and nephews were all there to help me through and showed me more love than I could ever imagine. If it wasn’t for my brother pushing and pestering the doctors, I don’t think I would have gotten a diagnosis before some serious damage was done. This year was hard for them too as dealing with someone who is chronically sick is not fun at all and is pretty damn scary at times.
This year I also learned what is important in life and I have learned to prioritize and put my family, friends and myself before my job and all of those everyday responsibilities that we become obsessed with. I no longer really care if my kitchen is spotless or if I meet that deadline on a project. I have also learned the importance of telling people that you love and care for them every day as you never know how quickly like can change. I also learned to appreciate the little things and am enjoying all of the things that I thought I may never be able to do again. I will never take for granted again the enjoyment of going for a walk and, some day, a run, tasting food that I thought I would never again be able to eat, walking up the stairs on my own, or just cuddling my children. When I started painting the mural in my daughters room I had the music blaring and a huge smile on my face because, just a few months ago, I would not have been able to do this. I get so much enjoyment from all of the little things that I am now able to do and I get happiness from things that most people take for granted every day and never really appreciate.
I also have a better understanding and care for others who are suffering and I have had so many people who have reached out to me and sent me messages telling me about their own stories. I had no idea that so many of the people that I knew had similar experiences and stories and have lived through so many horrible experiences. I can’t believe that I was so oblivious to the suffering of others. I always had a big heart and I always did care for everyone around me but now I know that everyone has a story and everyone has dealt with suffering of some sort and that everyone needs love and support.
So yes, this past year sucked, and yes I am a little afraid of what this new year will bring me, but I will take it day by day and enjoy every moment that I get with family and friends and I know in my heart that I will be around blogging to all of you as an old lady. Happy Birthday to me! I did it!!! Thank you to all of you who have been following my story and supporting me. I can’t tell you how much it has helped me. Thank you for reading these past few months. I promise there will be some wonderful adventures and stories to share.