Living with Terminal Cancer

If you’ve read the short bios on my Facebook page or my blog, you already know this information, but I’ll share it with those of you who may not know yet. On Thanksgiving Day 2018, I was rushed to the hospital with severe pain in my abdomen.

It turned out I had two forms of endometrial cancer; one somewhat sluggish and passive and the other one super-aggressive. The aggressive one had formed a tumor the size of a grapefruit (which I called “Wilson” after the soccer ball in the movie “Castaway” with Tom Hanks) in my abdomen which is what was causing the pain I was feeling. You can see a video of the CAT scan that was done HERE.

Wilson was removed in mid-December 2018, but not before he took the opportunity to rupture and spew cancer cells throughout my abdomen (which I now call “The Sons of Wilson”). There’s no way to tell where the cells will attach themselves to next, and the prognosis is not a good one.

Bottom line, I may only have a few years left to live. We’ll see…

Rather than spending that time having chemo treatments which would make me miserable and not guarantee me any more time, I’ve decided to forego treatment and spend my final years doing what I love: nature walks, photography, and sharing my naturalist knowledge with others.

So, there you have it in a nutshell. Hugs are always welcome; sad faces are not.

And, if you’re so inclined, and want to donate funds to help me out with medical bills and health insurance expenses you can also send donations through my PayPal account at: paypal.me/estebansmom

2021 Update:

Well… the Sons of Wilson have made themselves a complete pain, literally, especially the larger of the two lesions.

For almost a year I’d been experiencing increasing pain in my lower left abdomen and hip: white-hot electrical pain in my abdomen, groin and thigh that made walking very difficult. Physical therapy did nothing to alleviate it,and pain meds sometimes didn’t touch it. The Sons of Wilson had emerged: a large lesion and a smaller one behind it.

On September 23rd, I had a video chat with my doctor to set up a date for surgery. She showed me the video of the last CT scan and the lesion/mass looked a lot bigger than I thought it would. I was expecting to see a little 1-inch guy, and it looked like it was a 3-inch lump of… whatever in there.

The doc says it looks like it’s sitting right on top of the psoas muscle, and is a little closer to the iliac artery than she’d like. She’ll go in laparoscopically (like she did last time) trying to use the same spots as she did before, but if there’s artery involvement, she’ll have to get her hands in there and that will mean a larger incision and a couple of days in the hospital. We both hope that won’t be necessary.

If she can get it laparoscopically, she said, I could go home the same day (like I did last time), and because this lesion is much smaller than the mass/ ovaries/ uterus Wilson-thing she had to take out before, healing time should only be a couple of weeks (instead of six weeks). She’s hoping that once it’s out, the nerve pain I’m experiencing will stop. I certainly hope so.

Wish me luck!

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Travels of a Certified California Naturalist