One of my last patients of the day came in with an oxygen tank, her bald head wrapped in a scarf, and a positive attitude radiating from her tired body. I haven’t seen her since February. She was healthy then. Part of my job is to make sure that I don’t disturb my patients by registering negative shock when I see them in a different state than how I previously saw them. It took all I had to keep my smile from faltering as I watched a woman so full of life, lose just a little bit more with every step.
She’s having a problem with a cyst in her eye, but rather than talk about all of that nonsense, we talked about her treatments, her prognosis, how she was feeling in general. She woke up on May 31st with trouble breathing -out of nowhere. She went to the doctor and they figured it could be a blood clot in her lungs. They did a full body scan and found that she had Stage 4 Breast Cancer that had spread throughout her body into her lymph nodes, her back, her hips and her left leg. She has a port in her right hip, she has gone through the chemo. Hair fell out at week 2. She had both breasts removed, but laughed as she told me “I woke up with them bitches at 12 years old. Be gone, now!!” She said her husband told her he didn’t care that her breasts were gone, he didn’t care that all of her hair had fallen out, he was just glad that he still had her. She’s about to start radiation, but she said she is just borrowing time at this point. The cancer will eventually kill her, it’s just a matter of time. It breaks my heart, but she has been so positive about it. Even when I allowed my empath abilities to take over, I felt nothing from her but happiness and positive energy. It was inspiring. I wanted to hug her, but I knew that if I did, I would break down. I thought about how my uncle had beat leukemia in the 90’s only to turn around and be killed last year at 45 years old in a car accident. My patient told me that her prognosis is anywhere from two days to 10 years – they just don’t know. But man, she’s still fighting. Every smile, every breath, every step, she is fighting to live. That’s admirable. But make no mistake – this disease will be what kills her, most likely anyway.
She’s only 58 years old. This life is too damn short to waste it on dead-ends, broken promises. settling for things and people that don’t deserve you. We could all die at any time – we all have an expiration date. Do you want to go out of here having done nothing, having settled for someone that treats you like shit? I don’t think so. I don’t want to. You shouldn’t, either.