It Lurked

It lurked around the corner.  Stealth.  Ready to pounce.  Not all at once.  No, slow and steady fit the bill.

She went about her day in a merry way, thinking the way was clear.  The threat had passed.  The day was warm.  She was content.  A certain confidence dared enter her thoughts.  It was over.  She was unscathed.  How foolish to not have known the pain’s achilles  tendon before.

It waited in the shadows.  Darkness cloaked its intent.  A night strike would disarm her.  Slow and steady fit the bill.

A pleasant dinner with family.  She had an appetite.  She breathed in and out as though the chemicals would escape her life and limbs carried over her lips.

It stabbed.  Too much weight?  Was the plate too heavy?  She gasped, paused, and breathed.  Perhaps it was nothing.  Besides, her daughter was watching.  Yes, it was nothing.  She stood to continue.

It lurked in her bones.  It waited until she was vulnerable.  It would take her breath away with each spasm.  Not all at once – slow and steady wins the race.

She knew better.  This was it.  She was no hero and no intention of being one.  An anti-inflammatory would be necessary – and quick.  She lay on the couch to rest her body.  Her bones protested.  “Don’t you damned well move us,”  they seemed to chastise her.  She had become her own enemy.  Her heart beat against her swollen ribs.  It was a double beat to be sure.  Boom, boom!  Boom, boom!  All too clearly, she knew … “it” was waking up.

It was difficult to breathe.  Each breath ached.  Any movement was like a vice-grip on her life.  Yes – the pressure was intense.  “Don’t move”, she convinced herself.  “You are going to be okay.”  Her husband moved closer.  The heat of his hands on her legs seemed to sooth the grip.

“Maybe a bath would help, Stacey?” he suggested.  And so off she went.

The blood pumped against her chest and her breath escaped in response.  It was no longer lurking.  It was laughing.  It laughed as she cried.

The heat seemed to sooth.  Snap!  Her bones burst in pain.  “Don’t move!”  I can’t!  Another burst, followed by another.  Gone.  A reprieve.  She needed medicine.  She hurried through the motions to get to her room.  Snap!  Gasp.  It stunned her.  Tears rolled down her cheeks with humiliating incontinence.  Hurry!  Hurry!  Take the pill!  Boom!  Her back seized.  Her breathing became like shards of glass against her chest.  Bang!  It was no longer lurking – it was alive and well.  The battle had begun.  She had met this pain once before…. they were not friends.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  She summoned her courage.  This was round two – a battle she would not forget – fought in the dark of night.

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About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
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18 Responses to It Lurked

  1. Gwen K says:

    Ah, man. How awful. Rats, rats, double rats!! Hang in there kiddo. Adding an extra prayer tonight for ya.

  2. Jan says:

    Is it the neulasta, Stacey? -Damn…
    Prayers & positive energy coming to you. – not to mantion lots of love.

  3. kiwiskan says:

    This pain you describe so aptly we can feel the way it strikes. Hang in there Stacey…

  4. Oh Stacey…..I know that I truly have no idea….but your words took me to the edge to ‘watch’. You were ready though. You are tougher than the pain, it’s not going to last. But you are. I pray it has gone by now….

    • inmycorner says:

      A sleepless night, Colleen, but it seems the meds have finally taken off the edge. Off to Toronto now to see surgeon. (long car ride I’m hoping will be okay) sigh. You are right – now is the time to be tough. This is most definitely the hard part. Thanks for being there.

      • And I just read your post from your appointment with the surgeon. 🙂 I’m glad the edge was taken off. That is “something”. I hope that every single minute that passes is one minute past that gets you closer to the finish of this medicine.

  5. April says:

    When I read your words, I’m reminded of my lung surgery. I knew pain for many months after, and prayed I wouldn’t never have to go through it again. The only hope I hung onto was that I didn’t have to have chemo or radiation because the doctors snagged the cancer in the early stages. One day, you will realize just how physically strong you are. Keep hanging on to the peace of mind you have been writing about.

    • inmycorner says:

      Oh dear. I cannot imagine the pain of lung surgery. I guess you did well as you seem to be so positive now. It’s crazy what we are capable of doing when we least expect to be able to – and the motivators seem to appear too. Thank-you for showing me our common ground. It helps to know you have “come through” it. That – is inspirational all in itself.

      • April says:

        I wish our common ground wasn’t related to cancer. Today, you persevered. Realizing that there is more to come can be daunting, but think of the days you came through so far. By the way—I try to be positive, but I have strong anxiety issues over cancer recurrence. Healing wishes to you today. 🙂

      • inmycorner says:

        I agree – it would be nice to “not” share cancer – nonetheless – I guess that makes us unique! Hmm. I understand the anxiety. I wonder what long-term impact the chemo will have on my brain – and no doubt part of the anxiety is related to the chemicals you’ve been exposed to? How do you deal with your anxiety?

      • April says:

        Cognitive therapy and medication help me with the anxiety. I keep repeating, *at this moment I’m healthy until told different* I don’t always listen to myself though. 🙂

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