Tag Archives: Cancer

Smorgasbord Special Feature – Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events- Contributors – Lucy V. Hay, Miriam Hurdle, Phil Houston

Sally Cronin shared three of the nineteen contributing authors of this anthology. Take a peek at these authors’ life experiences.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Over the last two weeks I have been featuring the contributors to this anthology of true and significant events. Writers share intimate and life changing events in their lives with courage and honesty whilst inspiring others.

Compiled by author Stevie Turner – the proceeds from this anthology will be going to Cancer Research and it is a very worthy cause.

Here is the link to the previous post where you can also find the link to the first posts in the series:Contributors Part Three

About the anthology

The following authors and bloggers answered questions posed by Stevie Turner regarding significant life experiences they had undergone. These events include sexual abuse, a near death experience, alcoholism, being diagnosed with cancer, depression, losing weight, getting married, being a mother to many children, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and many more!

All proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research:

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UNDERSTANDING: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events – Part 3

UNDERSTANDING: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events – compiled by Stevie Turner

It is my privilege to take part in this anthology with other 19 authors writing on difficult experiences in our life.

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An excerpt of my contribution

Miriam Hurdle – Stage IV Melanoma – Q&A: 11 to 15
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UNDERSTANDING: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events – Part 1

UNDERSTANDING: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events – compiled by Stevie Turner

It is my privilege to take part in this anthology with other 19 authors writing on difficult experiences in our life.

 

Blurb:

The following authors and bloggers kindly answered questions posed by Stevie Turner regarding significant life experiences they had undergone. These events include sexual abuse, a near death experience, alcoholism, being diagnosed with cancer, depression, losing weight, getting married, being a mother to many children, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and many more!

All proceeds will go to Cancer Research.

Thanks to:
Alienora Browning
Sally Cronin
Dorinda Duclos
Scarlett Flame
Bernard Foong
Darlene Foster
Janet Gogerty
Debbie Harris
Lucy V. Hay
Miriam Hurdle
Phil Huston
Pamela Jessen
Joe
D.G Kaye
Lynda McKinney Lambert
Jaye Marie
Clive Pilcher
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Beem Weeks

An excerpt of my contribution

Miriam Hurdle – Stage IV Melanoma – Q&A: 1 to 5

 

  1. How did you find out your cancer?

During my annual physical checkup in the summer of 2008, my family doctor said the fibroid in my uterus grew three inches from 1986 to 2007 but grew four additional inches within the previous year. He referred me to the gynecologist. The gynecologist Dr. G confirmed the news and recommended a hysterectomy. He performed the hysterectomy on July 31, 2008. At 10:00 p.m. on August 1, Dr. G came to my hospital room to inform me I had melanoma cancer in the uterus and invaded the female organ.

  1. What stage was it in the first discovery?

Dr. G said melanoma is an aggressive cancer but mine was stage I or stage II which meant cancer had not spread to the lymph nodes.

  1. What was your initial reaction?

I was thankful the pathology detected the cancer at an early stage and had the hysterectomy done timely. Dr. G ordered tests and referred me to Dr. P, an oncologist. I was not scared or alarmed.

  1. Did you research on melanoma cancer? What did you find out?

I found out that melanoma is an aggressive type of cancer that usually shows up as a pigmented growth on the skin. However, less common types may be found in any organ or part of the body with melanin-containing cells (melanocytes).  Melanocytes are cells in the body that make melanin, the substance that gives skin pigment or color. They are in many places throughout the body, including lymph nodes, bone, lung, liver, spleen, kidneys, eye, and brain, not just the skin. Considerable numbers of melanocytes are in the digestive and urogenital tracts and mucous glands. The non-skin melanomas also are called noncutaneous melanomas which are aggressive, metastatic and difficult to treat. Non-skin melanomas are not known to be caused by sun damage, exposure to ultraviolet rays, family history or moles.

  1. What kind of treatment did the doctor recommend?

When I met with the Dr. P, he said he had not dealt with melanoma and referred me to the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center for surgery. I trusted the doctors would take care of the cancer.

To be continued……

~

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April 5 Flash Fiction Challenge – Don’t Blame the Sun

April 5, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a silly sun story. Up north, “sun silly” is the energetic and playful response to returning sunlight. It could also be an April Fool’s jest, a silly story, or a reaction to spring fever. Be silly and write playfully! Go where the prompt leads.

Don’t Blame the Sun

“It’s the sun’s fault when people get melanoma, the visible kind, Erica.”

“Why do people choose to sunbathe long hours just to get tan? Don’t they know that they ask for cancer?”

“Are you saying people don’t get skin cancer if the sun hides behind the clouds?”

“I didn’t say that, Joyce. The ray is powerful that it penetrates through thick clouds.”

“I get it. You’re saying the sun is at fault to impose cancer on people even when the clouds try to protect them, right?”

Hey, look, don’t blame me, just wear suntan lotion wherever you are, okay!

~

Charli Mills, Carrot Ranch: April 5 Flash Fiction – Don’t Blame the Sun

New Normal

This is a reblog of the post I did a year ago. I updated the first line of the post.

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This month marks the 8th anniversary of Remission from my cancer!!

What was my normal schedule and activities all my life until 2008?

Getting up before 6:00 a.m.

Rushing to get on the road to go to work

Multitasking on the job and loving it

Keeping up with cooking dinner and other chores

Keeping up with all the family and social activities

Traveling one to three trips a year

What happened from summer 2008 to summer 2009?

Melanoma Cancer

Six months of chemotherapy

Four surgeries

Five weeks of radiation

What is my new normal?

Thank God for retirement, or else I would not be able to do the following:

Deal with the side effect of chemotherapy – lymphedema on the legs

Unable to fall asleep until the numbness and tingling of my legs subside

Time to get up would have to depend on the time I fall asleep the night before

Running errands is as big a job as climbing mountains

Making two to three stops are manageable, the fourth one has to wait for another day

Elevating my legs and resting is a daily route, whereas years ago I considered it as wasting time

Exercise is a necessity, not a luxury

Priority is the key to manage my schedule

Something for my spiritual, physical, mental life, and make time to be a blessing to others

No promise is made to do everything and I don’t feel guilty if I can’t do it

God bless my being, even when I can’t measure up with my doing!

~

Contribution to Debbie’s Forgiving Fridays

52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 7

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This is the 52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 7 at Haddon Musings

I had written eight posts about my melanoma treatment. I need to write one more to complete my story. I emerge it as part of my Thankfulness. So this week I am thankful for going through the journey of cancer treatment and have been in remission for almost eight years.

August 13, 2009

My bio-chemotherapy came to the end. I just needed a couple more procedures done before the completion of treatment.

When I had my first cancer surgery in October 2008, the surgeon removed all the cancerous tissues except one cancerous lymph node. He sent me back to my primary health care provider and oncologist for chemotherapy. Due to the lack of communication, the referral didn’t get any attention until two months later. I went to the oncologist’s office, sat in the waiting room, demanded for attention. Finally a case caretaker came to talk with me. I cried and complained, saying that my last surgeon requested chemotherapy within four months before the cancer entered my brain, and it had been two months already.

The next day she called the case management office. The supervisor of the office took over my case. She made all the arrangement of tastings and obtained the authorization of referral to a melanoma specialist.

By the time I started my first cycle of treatment in January 2009, the cancer in one lymph node on the right hip area had invaded the whole set of inguinal nodes on the left. So the cancer went from stage II to stage IV.

I went through two cycles of bio-chemo and one surgery and two more cycles of bio-chemo. At the end of June 2009, I completed four cycles of in-patient treatments and one surgery. By this time, the first cancerous lymph node had shrunk into a dead tumor. Dr. O’Day, the melanoma specialist, and the surgeon agreed that it was a good idea to have one more surgery to remove the dead tumor. I had the second surgery done in early July, 2009. The surgeon removed one larger tumor plus 15 smaller dead tumors.

The final procedure was the radiation. Dr. O’Day ordered two sets of radiation. The first set was five days a week for four weeks in the pelvic area. The second set was once a week for four weeks. I met with the radiologist. She aligned me with the radiation machine, marked the tattoo on my body so that each radiation would be done in the same position. She further explained to me the side effect and the possible damage of the radiation. My husband is a radiology technician. He discussed the situation with Dr. O’day. Dr. O’Day decided that the damage would have outweighed the benefit. Therefore he cancelled the first set of radiation. I only needed to do the second set. I started the second week of July and completed it in the first week of August 2009.

Before I entered this journey, I didn’t know where it would have taken me. I only knew that if God didn’t say He was done with me, I had no right to decide to quit. I had to take the chances presented to me and trust him to guide me through. All I could do was to take one day at a time. There were so many nights that I didn’t have any sleep because the chemo drugs burning continuously. My body was so hot and the skin was so sensitive. Knowing that I didn’t have to go to work the next day helped to reduce my anxiousness. Throughout my treatment, my family and friends were my greatest support.

I do believe there is a reason for every season, and for every suffering. With God’s help, I could look beyond the suffering, even when I was right in the middle of it. In the end, I was able to count the suffering as my blessing.

Post note: The highlighted links are linked to the previous 8 posts. I continue to suffer lymphedema (swelling) on left leg, and nerve damage on both legs resulting in tingling and poor circulation.

 

Please share your thankfulness by participating at Haddon Musings

Gratitude Moments #7

April 29, 2009

My surgery was on March 12 and was discharged on March 19. The melanoma doctor, Dr. O’Day, said I could rest for six weeks before the next bio-chemotherapy. During these six weeks, I had to get strong physically and nutritionally. By this time, my vomiting had subsided. My appetite was increased. It was a good sign because I could eat as much as possible. I needed to gain at least six pounds in six weeks. With this mindset, I ate whenever my stomach allowed. I ate ice-cream every day. One friend teased me by saying that, “Go ahead and eat ice cream before you have to worry about weight gain!”

 Several of my neighbors had been our friends for twenty some years. They invited us over for dinners. One neighbor, Doris was especially hospitable, she invited us almost every weekend. Her son, Randy, my husband’s best friend, barbecued steaks. Doris said, “Miriam, eat. The meat will help to replenish your blood.” I did, I ate the biggest piece of steak on the platter. She was so pleased that I could eat. She told everybody included her dental hygiene patients that I ate the biggest piece of steak.

The chemo drugs burned all the cells in me, good and bad. I was down to skin and bone. Another issue was the burning that dried up my skin. I soaked in the hot bath for an hour each night. After the tough skins got soften a little bit, I scrubbed off the dead skin gently. After drying off, I put layers of lotion, and thick cream, and then lotion all over my body. The cream only served as sealing of my skin. As soon as the cream dried up, I felt itchy everywhere. It would take months down the road for the new skin to be the replacement of the dead skin. Soaking in the bath before bedtime helped me not to feel itchy at night. There were a few nights I could not get enough hot water for the bath, my husband boiled the water on the stove and carried pots of hot water to fill the bathtub. I could never forget about what he did for me!

As far as my body temperature, it was very difficult to describe. On one hand, I didn’t have enough blood to keep me warm, so I bundled up from head to toes in a warm spring time. Yet the drugs continue to burn and made my skin sensitive and hot. Bedtime was a drag for me. When I went to bed, I put a sheet between my legs so they would not have direct contact. With covers on, I would be too hot. Without covers on, I would be cold. So I just put a sheet over my upper body. I took medication to help me sleep, yet all the discomfort took three or four hours to be calmed down before I felt asleep. My husband kept very quiet when he got up in the morning. I had the mask on so the sunlight didn’t wake me up. It was about nine or ten o’clock when I woke up.

During this time, the world was thousands of miles away from me. The pain, discomfort, and weakness were ever present. This was also a time I felt the Lord was right next to me. I talked with Him all the time. I just said to him, “Please help me through this. I need to get well. I need to be well for my husband and my daughter.” His assurance gave me hope. His Word gave me strength and endurance to take a tiny step at a time. I knew I could make it.

Daily Prompt:  Replacement

Daily Prompt: Hospitality

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