Saturday, March 14, 2009


I sit here feeling as though a Mac truck has hit me and came back to see what it hit, running me over again! But somehow I can say this is still one of the most glorious days of my life! Why?

Yesterday, yes Friday the 13th, I was scheduled for a heart cath. Monday of this week I had gone in for a stress test, "just to be sure", while getting radiation for a cancerous nodule on my first rib area. The doc wanted to "rule out" anything with the heart that may be causing my discomfort while breathing but we were pretty sure it was just the lump.

I show up at St. Vincent's Heart building at 6:30am on Monday. The lovely (sarcastic) greetings there made me oh so anxious to be poked and prodded by these people, but I sucked it up and went in anyways. Never in my life have I experienced such nasty, angry people in a work atmosphere. Out of EVERY contact there, I met ONE person that was pleasant and kind. Thankfully she was one of my nurses for the "chemical stress test" I was scheduled for,which was one of the tests that upset me a bit due to the "chemically induced heart stress" part. After about 3 1/2 hours I was done and told "don't worry if you hear nothing from your doctor because if there's nothing upsetting we generally just send him a letter and he forwards it to you. Only if there's a problem will we contact him, by this afternoon, and he will then contact you too".

So I was set. I "obviously" wouldn't hear from the doc as there was no real reason to think I had issues with the heart, especially since I was there "just to make sure". My father's side of the family has heart issues and all have died by age 65 or before but I've never had issues, not even high cholesterol. High blood pressure was being treated and not really an issue for me. Heck since my weight loss has begun I've even had times when I'm at the doc's and he says "your BP is awesome! or even too low! Don't take the meds today". So I left pretty confident I'd hear from the doc in a few days or so with a quick post card that says "everything's fine".


I got a call that afternoon from my doctor's office saying the stress test came back and it seems that I have a blockage. I was scheduled immediately to return to St. Vincent's for a heart cath. I quickly told the nurse that I did NOT want to return to SV's for the cath. They were rude, nasty and I simply was not going in for something this frightening to a place like that. She was amazed at this and apologized immediately. She told me to pick any place I wanted to go to and I said another local hospital here, Hamot, which is actually very highly rated nationally for their Heart Institute, would be fine. I had an appointment for Friday, the same week.

Getting through the week was horrible. I'm dealing with cancer for the 5th time and then was slapped with this. It just wasn't supposed to happen like this! I was finally taking charge of myself, eating properly and losing weight. I was feeling better. I was trying to move a bit more, not an easy feat with 8 herniated discs from neck to tailbone, and really starting to feel better about my own overall health. What a joke, eh?! My kids were frightened. I am all they have. Their father is pretty worthless. He physically abused my/our son, punching him in the face and reopening 52 stitches from a snowboarding accident he had, literally the day before the idiot punched him! He was pretty much not in their lives any more so it wasn't like they had any "parents" other than me. I've been the only one here through most of their life, even when I WAS married. So they felt as if the only person in the world that had been there for them or COULD be there for them, may be taken from them just as easily.

Of course, they were wrong in many aspects. My parents and sister love my kids like they were their own and would die for them. There's no question in my mind that my children would be well loved and well cared for should I ever leave this earth. But we all know, there's nobody like your own mother.

So Friday, the 13th, comes and we all trudge to the hospital. Another 6:30am appointment (do these people never sleep?), this time at Hamot Hospital. I would be lying if I said I wasn't afraid but yet I had a bit of a calm about me also. My ENTIRE family came with me.... my 3 kids, my mom, dad & sister. I was not only well loved but had God on my side. I was sure. While I had questioned him on Monday for what he was doing to me.... I came to grips with myself and realized that I was not to question but to follow as he directed me. It not only gave me relief but comfort to make this decision. We prayed, as a family, before we entered the Heart Cath Lab area.

Friday's visit was the exact opposite of Monday's visit to SV. Hamot's personnel were above and beyond the call of duty. They were not only pleasant but helpful and very, very comforting. The head nurse, a male, treated my family like royalty. Joking with them, making them a fresh pot of coffee and giving them updates often as to what was going on. I was allowed 1 family member with me in the beginning and later, when things became just a "waiting game" so to speak 2 were allowed back. I'm not sure what time it was but I'm guessing about 9ish they came to take me back to the operating room.

You are fully awake for the heart cath, although somewhat groggy from the drugs they give you to keep you "calm". My cardiologist, Dr. Kang, was amongst the top 25% highly rated heart specialists in the nation. I felt good about this. He was so thorough that he not only checked my heart but decided to do an entire body scan with the dye.

End results were wonderful. There was absolutely NO blockage in the heart! The stress test readings had a "false positive" from perhaps an echo. His exact words were "Your heart is wonderful, marvelous and very strong. You have no blockages what so ever"! He also confirmed that the cancerous nodule on my first rib was no longer there. This happened in a matter of 4 days! I was cancer free! He also confirmed that nothing had entered the lungs. The only slightly "bad" news was that my kidney was sort of messed up (from birth though) and this was probably the reason for my high blood pressure. No big deal!

So for me, Friday the 13th, was nothing but GOOD LUCK! I was pronounced with zero issues in the heart. My cancer was gone! AND.. top it all off, I had to "weigh in" before it all started on Friday. I lost another 4.2 lbs!

So can I simply say..... It has been a GLORIOUS day for me... actually GLORIOUS GROUP OF DAYS!

I can thank the dear Lord for his blessings. While he may have allowed for some stressful moments, these moments served a purpose. From the moment I realized that my stress was over I knew that it had served some purposes. It made many pray, pray hard and long. Many who haven't prayed in a while, I'm sure. It also brought our family even closer, as anything stressful does in my family. It showed us what our true priorities are. It helped me see who my true friends are.... people who called me, prayed for me, even offered to come to the hospital for me. It also reminded me WHY I had made the decision to change my lifestyle, join weight watchers and take control of my eating habits.

Thank you to all my friends, family and internet acquaintances who took the time and effort to include me in their thoughts and prayers. It means a lot to know that there are people out there that care and love me! And Thanks most of all to God... for protecting me, reminding me of what life is truly about!