Do you ever wonder if the way you are feeling a particular day is real or not? Are you really feeling good and motivated, or is it the beginning of mania? Often times, it’s hard to tell the difference. Sometimes I feel like I don’t really know who I am, because I don’t ever truly trust that my feelings or actions are genuinely mine. When I become aware of my positive feelings, it is always followed by fear that the ride of mania is beginning, which takes away from simply enjoying my day. Of course, I try to dismiss it. But, it’s there in the back of my mind. You know what I’m talking about. No one truly knows except others who deal with this disorder.
One of my last posts was about mood tracking. I talked to my psychiatrist about it, and showed her my new tracking app. She agreed that it was good to keep up with mood swings and possible triggers, and I’ve been faithful every day.
I don’t see how I can track my moods anymore, however. One of my best friends was diagnosed with lung cancer. One of her lungs has collapsed, she was borderline septic when she got to the hospital, it has spread to her lymph nodes, and her liver. Her abdomen has swelled with fluid, which I am told is a bad sign. Then, the hospital unexpectedly released her. They gave her pain meds and said there was nothing they could do for her and they needed the bed ( thank you Vanderbilt for sucking at your job). They didn’t give her a prognosis, any direction to her family as to what to do next. She’s in a great deal of pain, breathing is difficult, and she has got to be dehydrated.
Her mother is completely devastated and understandably, can’t even spell her name right, much less take care of her dying 46 year-old daughter. So there her daughter lays, on the living room couch, dying, and no one knows what’s coming or what to do.
So, our other friend and I are talking to every person we know in the medical field, Hospice, and Centennial Hospital to get an official diagnosis and get her the care she needs. It has been an absolute nightmare. We are trying to get her admitted to another hospital through the ER for intolerable pain and difficulty breathing, and hopefully she can get in and get comfortable with an IV for fluids, oxygen so she can breathe, and the best pain meds they’ve got. They can then go over any options that she might have, even the ones that have slim possibilities of buying her time. But, she should be able to hear an official diagnosis, possible treatment options, or if there are no treatment options. After that, her only option shouldn’t be for her to go home to her mom’s house in the boonies and suffer for God knows how long on the couch, in front of her three children, one being 13.
Hopefully, today we’ll have some real answers. The doctors at Vanderbilt told her all these horrible, scary things that were wrong with her, and then sent her home with a bottle of antibiotics (which never worked), and pain pills. WTF? We know her future is very grim, but she has refused to tell her girls (or anyone else), anything because she wants to be able to answer their questions. It’s like everyone is in complete denial, even while she withers away and suffers in front of them. We don’t have any definite answers, but we have to respect her wishes. Her mother makes sure of that, and she aggressively reminds us on a daily basis that “our loyalties are with her. We have to do as she asks”.
I do know that my friend of twenty years is dying. It was only about two weeks ago that she was at work at my salon and going to the doctor because her pneumonia wasn’t getting better. They transferred her to Vanderbilt and a day later they said lung cancer. Then lymph nodes, then liver (from the PET scan). But, they didn’t even give it a stage! Google and common sense says no doubt it’s stage four. I just don’t understand the doctors being so vague. I’ll tell you what they did feel obliged to do…three of her doctors prayed with her. I guaran-damn-tee you she didn’t know why the hell they were praying for her! When you’re very sick in the hospital, they need to break that shit down so you understand what the hell is going on. Or at least your family does, so they can make decisions if you can’t.
I am devastated. When I think of her girls, especially the youngest one, my chest aches and my heart hurts. If anyone reads this post, please say a prayer for my friend Jo.
I might as well delete my mood tracker app for now! There’s not a mood level named “devastated and sad because cancer is taking one of my best friends.” It’s not a temporary mood, anyway. I believe it’s going to be permanent.