I'll start the way I always do ..... It has been quite a while since my last blog but for all of you that do follow my journey through my social pages, you know what mayhem was bestowed on me in these last three months! Let me take you back....
So, I last left you with the PET scan that was booked in for the 10th December, this was necessary as the bloods had once again showed an elevated number in the CEA and CA 19-9 markers the previous week. The scan was a piece of cake, really lovely staff that made me so comfortable and I will forever book in to have scans completed at this facility at Gateshead, Lake Macquarie.
I'm due to see Dr M the following week, on Wednesday 16th December to discuss the results from that scan.
Whilst this is all happening I'm organising book launches with venues around the Hunter Valley, collaborating with other authors and also entertaining family that have come to visit for the Christmas holidays. I was having the time of my life!
Did I believe that cancer had come back? Well this is what I know. Something felt off in my body (I wrote about this in my last blog, and discussed it in one of my FB 'lives'; the infliximab infusions were wreaking havoc on my body, I hated them. I was swollen and carrying extra weight that would not shift, even with my intense gym workouts. I suddenly began experiencing skin issues on my legs and tummy, highly unusual!; and most importantly whilst performing a self healing and connecting to my inner self/power/soul....the message was loud and clear that something was wrong.
And so it's the 16th December and hubby and I are have arrived at Dr M's rooms in the hospital. (Little did I know how much I would come to loathe hospitals in the next few months!!!)
Dr M gets straight to the point and pulls up the images from the PET scan.
Dr M: 'There is something situated here in the pelvic area which I believe to be a recurrence'
Me: 'So, what cancer is this then?'
Dr M: 'We need to do an MRI so we can lay all the images from all the scans across each other to determine the next steps'
I could write another page worth of this chit chat between myself and the doc but you will not get any clear answers on exactly what the next steps will look like. You will become as frustrated as I was with the wishy washy BS answers that my questions were replied with.
I had received an urgent call the day before from my previous surgeon in Newcastle, Dr P. The one that performed the emergency surgery back in February 2020 due to the full bowel obstruction, three weeks after the initial proctocolectomy that left me with a barbie butt and a permanent stoma bag, my beloved 'Stella'. I was due to see him the following Monday. I had assumed that Dr M had informed Dr P about my latest bloods and PET scan results, hence the urgency in wanting to see me. However I expected to get straight answers from my oncologist which absolutely did not happen. Dr M kept repeating that Dr P would be the best person to discuss what options would be best!
Can you imagine how pissed off I was? I could not get a clear picture of exactly what was going on! I had to wait until Monday 21st December to hopefully understand what the f@#k was to become of me!
Now unless you are very new to my page, or do not follow me on my socials (my links are below peeps, click away) I had the unfortunate, dreaded bowel obstruction show up on Sunday 20th December. I was in hell! The excruciating, teeth clenching, sweat induced agony had me in absolute fear. Oh no, not this again! Please God let this pass. The only saving grace was that Stella was working a tiny little bit and so I thought if I could just do some home remedies that would hopefully sort it out. At this stage I wasn't projectile vomiting. Bonus!
No sleep on that dreadful Sunday night whilst I spent the entire time writhing in pain, getting into a hot shower, heating the heat pack and rocking back and forth....the joys! I was a zombie the next morning and off we went to see Dr P to find out what my options were for this pelvic anomaly. Lo and behold, we almost arrive (a 45 minute drive), and we receive a call from his secretary informing us that he is still in his early morning surgery and could we come back later! FML!
I was already sweating a bucket in the car with the obstruction pain and this woman wanted me to come back?!@ Ah that was a HARD no! I asked for a phone call back when he was out of his surgery and we turned the car around and headed home.
Dr P called and apologised profusely, which I was appreciative of. Then he hit me with the cold hard facts.
Dr P: 'Sabrina you will need a massive surgery, if it is feasible to get to the site of the cancer in your pelvis'
Me: 'What do you mean, if?'
Dr P: 'I'm going to be straight with you, due to all the scarring from your previous surgeries, it may not be an option and then we will be considering palliative treatment for you'
Me: 'Palliative? As in I am going to die from this?'
Dr P: 'We are referring you to the Royal Prince Alfred hospital in Sydney. They are world leaders in this particular surgery and recurrent cancer. Whatever they recommend is what we will do. After you get your MRI, I will put your file together with Dr M's and also Dr G's (Crohn's specialist) information and send it through to the Colorectal team at RPA.'
Me: 'Doc I'm at the moment also suffering with a partial obstruction but I'm not going to the emergency, I'm not throwing up so I'm hoping it will pass'
Dr P: 'If it becomes worse get yourself to the hospital and have them call me, I am on holidays but I'm around'
And so I thanked him, wished him a Merry Christmas and hung the phone up. I then proceeded to cry quietly in my bedroom.
I had believed that an early detection of a second cancer would be as clear cut as the first time. It's identified, they remove it, I recover and everyone gets on with their day. I can handle that.
I was so wrong.
My body had undergone so much in this last year, the removal of my rectum, anus and having a stoma bag for life. Dealing with this with as much grace and courage as possible.
Fighting for my life with a life or death surgery not four weeks later. Finding the power within to battle through this.
Turning my experience into a positive, inspirational book that was published less than a year from my cancer diagnosis that has already helped so many people around the world.
Ready to share and teach and provide my energy healing services to my community.
But cancer decided it wanted to try and take me out again.....it was a lot to digest.
So, it's the week of Christmas, we have family staying with us. I'm on the lounge, not able to eat, not able to move, and yes the vomiting started. I refused to spend Christmas in hospital and so I literally willed myself to get a little better so I could at least enjoy part of Christmas day with my family. It worked, as I knew it would and I have some amazing memories captured on film. What no one knows and it is not something I have shared with anyone is that I was watching everyone that day; their conversations, their laughter, their banter, their drinking and toasting, their enjoyment of their lunch and just soaked in the loving vibes. I was cherishing each moment and burning them into my mind.
If this was going to be my last Christmas, I didn't want to forget one second of it.
I was rushed into emergency on the 27th December, the obstruction had gotten worse and I could no longer sit up without vomiting and I had not eaten for 7 days. The usual routine of a canula being inserted, a blessed injection of morphine and up to the ward for fluids etc.etc.
In my head I kept repeating that I was not spending New Years Eve in hospital and that morning I was given the 'gastrograffin' to throw down my throat. That stuff is disgusting, but lo and behold it did the trick. Stella decided to work suddenly and I had to keep emptying my bag. I was so relieved. I ate some toast and I was discharged.
I called in the New Year with hubby and my daughter and for that I was eternally grateful. However Stella decided to stop working again and all the pain I had been experiencing started to manifest again. It took another three days for the agonising and overwhelming pain to send me back to emergency.
I spent all of January 2021 in hospital. I suffered with malnutrition, pneumonia, staph infection, biological infection exposure, an arterial puncture, fevers, cold sores, isolation, IVC site infection, poor pain management, ICU death on the bed right next to me, psychological torment, a patients urine being splashed all over me, a sadistic nurse, faeces sprayed all over the shared toilet with nurses refusing to clean it, blood transfusion, catheter infection, excruciating drain removals and my mental health taking an absolute beating!
My FB live that I did on the 26th February has me going into extreme detail about most of these horrors and the feedback is still coming in. So many of you were shocked and in pain listening to me speak about the 6 weeks in what I now refer to as the asylums!! I'll warn you now, grab a coffee or glass of wine if you are interested in watching it. It's a doozy!!
Today, I'm in awe of myself. It is 6 weeks since the pelvic exenteration surgery that removed the cancer, along with my tailbone, s4, s5 bones from my spine, upper vaginal wall and a resection of the small bowel where the obstruction was. This surgery was 8 hours long and every man and their dog was present! I wasn't prepared for the violence of the lower back pain post surgery and it is something that I continue to struggle with. I am forcing myself to strengthen my buttocks and lower sacral area by walking every day, squatting a little everyday and moving around as much as I can. It hurts to sit for a long period of time and I become exhausted if I have a short outing. But.......I am still thrilled with my recovery and so grateful that I am here and sharing this with you all.
I see my oncologist Dr M this Wednesday the 10th March and he will explain what Chemo treatment I will be having and when it will commence. He was kept up to date throughout, by my new medical team at RPA. I will of course share with you all what this treatment will look like.
This time around I am not waiting to see what chemo will be like or tip toeing around the fact that I may get another obstruction..blah, blah, blah.
I am ready to kickstart my dreams.
Today I have launched my first online workshop that is going to be so much fun! I cannot wait to connect with all the beautiful souls that are ready to take charge of their dreams. I cannot wait to share my insights and proven tactics that enable that connection to power up and live your best life.
I have been invited to speak at a cancer event to raise much needed money for research and I am putting it out there that I am ready to inspire and motivate audiences around the world with my story.
I am writing my second book and am excited to work with some incredible people to bring this to life. It will be ready by November this year.
I will not allow cancer to stop me living my best life. This is it, one life and making each day count.
If you would like to register for my event, please click the link below and it will take you directly to the booking page.
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Love and Light to you all