Monday, February 22, 2010

Belated post -- not about art but about life

Yes, this is a long overdue post, for which I apologize.  However I think the reason justifies why I haven't posted in over six weeks.  Sadly, the news is not good, and has to do with my health.  On January 9th I was diagnosed with metastatic cervical cancer which had spread to the bladder.  I was admitted to the hospital on January 8th, and in my seven day stay, had two emergency surgeries, one to cauterize the bleeding and then one to perform right and left kidney nephrostomies.

I was not in good shape when I was released from the hospital.  I've spent the time since then trying to recover from the surgeries, and the news of my diagnosis.  Although I've had urges to make art, I simply haven't had the energy or stamina, and art has been put on the back burner for now.  I've never been through anything like this before, and am a total newbie at it.  I expect to get back to making art when I'm strong enough and the timing is right.

I know many of you may already know this news, because I made a short post about it on my yahoo groups a few weeks ago.  But many of you may not know, and I felt it was important to share this news with you.  As an UPDATE:  I am doing better, I am improving.  Progress is slow but is being made.  Right now I'm waiting to be accepted by Medicaid.  My file is in the pending status and hopefully will be approved any day.  Once that happens, I can begin 6 weeks of chemo and radiation.  Until that happens, I'm hanging in limbo regarding treatment -- not a good place to be in.

I have good days, bad days, and some really awful days.  As a newbie, I'm still learning how to deal with all of this.  I'm on narcotic pain killers, for which I'm grateful in the sense of how they help control the pain.  But I don't like the side effects at all.  They often mess up my mind to where I can't think straight or focus or concentrate, and make me so drowsy I keep falling asleep even when I want to be awake.  They also cause severe constipation, which I don't need right now.  In other words, they have many undesirable side effects, of which the ones I've mentioned are only a few.  This is the first time in my life I've ever taken narcotic medication for pain relief, and it's worse than I imagined.  But I need them so I take them.  My mind would work better without them, but the pain would be unbearable.

My family and friends, including online art friends, have been wonderful support to me.  I so appreciate that and thank all of you who've emailed me or sent me cards or art gifts.  It means a lot to me.  I especially appreciate prayers said for me, because I believe there is real power in prayer.  I am a Christian who believes in Jesus, and my faith and trust is in Him.  Yes, I am merely human, and often fall short when it comes to trusting God as I should, but I continue to try to the best of my ability.  I know that He knows every detail of what is going on in my life, and is able to meet my needs.  Perhaps not according to my own will, but according to His.  He has this under control and I am not alone.  I look to Him for comfort and strength, because I don't have the strength to walk this journey alone.  Thank you for reading this.

Val, who is in the fight of and for her life right now.