Tragedies and Triumphs of 2019

By
Real Estate Agent with Falcon Property Solutions
https://activerain.com/droplet/5lkJ

Looking forward to 2020

 

My husband and I are amazingly healthy, which may be why we pulled through so well this year. But it started out rough and took a turn for the worse somewhere along the way.

 

January – I began the year in bed with pneumonia. Got up only to attend the funeral of one of my dearest friends who died unexpectedly from an allergic reaction to medication they gave him before going in for routine surgery. (Hate allopathic medicine.)

 

February – My hero of a husband, Dave, fit and hardy and works like he’s still in his 30’s, had a colonoscopy and found out he would have to have his ascending colon removed because of a slow-growing tumor. I attended several appointments with him, loved his doctor, and we scheduled his surgery for July of this year.

 

March – During blood work done the previous month, we found my husband’s PSA levels had risen drastically. He had advanced, aggressive cancer of the prostate. The doctors would confer to see which one would be the first to treat him.

 

April – On the14th of the month, I turned 66. Two days later I was knocked to my knees in excruciating pain. The friend I was with rushed me to the emergency room. I had had no symptoms leading up to this. As you can see from this picture taken on my birthday, I was feeling hale and hearty.


After a CT Scan, the ER doc came in (I disliked him on sight), told me they were taking me back to remove my ascending colon (seriously?) and they would start chemo immediately when I was done. When I told him I wanted a second opinion, he told me I’d die if I left. I told him to give me whatever paperwork I needed to be discharged, I was going home.

 

The next morning I called my husband’s doctor, asked if they could read my reports from the previous day. The doctor looked at my records. His nurse said that I was, in fact, in imminent danger, but they had no surgery appointments until July. A short time later they called to say that it just so happens the doctor was on call in the emergency room at a different hospital and if I presented myself there, he would be the one who would operate on me. I was on my way.

 

After a series of tests it was found that my malignant tumor had perforated 3.5 of the 4 layers of my colon, but I was so anemic from the tumor they ended up giving me blood transfusions over the next several days. I was, obviously, not allowed to leave the hospital.

 

On Saturday, April 20, they removed my ascending colon and a small part of my transverse colon. Instead of the massive incision that was a real possibility, the magnificent doctor was able to perform the entire procedure through a small incision in my belly button.

 

On Tuesday, April 23, I was able to go home with little-to-no pain and was completely able to perform normal tasks.

 

The following week it was found that three of the eighteen lymph nodes that had been tested from surgery were malignant. I would have to undergo chemotherapy for what was found to be a genetic mutation of the PMS2 gene – also known as Lynch Syndrome. (My daughters and granddaughter find the PMS2 hereditary malfunction easy to remember.)

 

May – My girls and husband and a dear friend gathered to meet with the oncologist. It was determined I would need two types of chemo, one administered over several hours in the hospital each session, and then I would go home for three days with a pump. I would be infused every other week twelve times.

 

The kind and gentle oncologist hugged me as we met in that room and told me I was going to be just fine with the kind of support I had with me that day. The surgeon who did my April surgery was the one I selected to insert the port in my chest that would be needed for chemo.

 

A few days after I had my port inserted, I sat with my eldest daughter as she had a hysterectomy. Several days later I began chemo.

 

June – My dear husband had his ascending colon removed but didn’t fare as well as I did during the aftermath. After nine days in the hospital, I finally told them I was taking him home. He had been throwing up since surgery and hadn’t been able to keep any food down. He had lost 20 pounds from his already-slight frame (really? men!) and I knew I could take better care of him. As soon as we got home the nausea stopped. Come to find out, the anti-nausea medicine they were giving him in the hospital was causing his nausea! (Have I mentioned how much I hate allopathic drugs?) 

 

July – After several chemo infusions, my white blood count got dangerously low. They can’t administer chemo with the blood count that low, so twice it was delayed. Instead of being done by Halloween, it would now be Thanksgiving when I have my last round. But the good news was that Dave would not need chemo.

 

August – They started prostate radiation on my beloved. Forty-five days, five days per week. We were supposed to be done on the same day. It was not to be. Through it all, I have been working one of my busiest real estate years ever.

 

September – Daughter #4 was found to have a malignant skin cancer under her eye. I held her hand during that surgery. My oncology department found a drug that would keep my white blood count up (Neulasta) but the side effects are severe (more severe than the chemo). On day three of chemo they attach an on-board injection system to my arm. The medicine is dispensed twenty-seven hours later. Since it is stripping the bone marrow, the symptoms are similar to arthritis.

 

October – Dave has been doing wonderfully well with his radiation and has not slowed down. He goes for his appointment every morning and is working by 11:00 each day. He will be done on the 29th of this month.

 

My symptoms grow increasingly harsh each round but I only have three more sessions left. I am psyched to be done.

 

November – My last infusion will begin on November 25. All of my kids and grandkids will be with me on November 27th when I get to ring the bell announcing the end of chemo. I get teary just thinking about it.

 

December – I plan on taking the month off and taking care of me and my adored spouse. Our developmentally delayed daughter (#5 - she’s 32) wants a special Christmas. I’m thinking a beach somewhere.

 

We’ve never lost hope, but let me encourage you to SCHEDULE A COLONOSCOPY. Most of this would not have happened if we had had regular testing. There are discouraging days, but being part of such a loving support group of family and friends, the blessings have far out-weighed the heartaches. I wish you all a peaceful and joyful upcoming Holiday Season.

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Rainer
241,054
Caroline Gerardo
CMG Financial - Newport Beach, CA
C. G. Barbeau the Loan Lady nmls 324982

I will keep your family in my prayers.  

Oct 21, 2019 12:29 PM #30
Rainmaker
676,901
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Wow what a year this has been for you and your family. Prayer sent and positive thoughts. 

Oct 21, 2019 03:24 PM #31
Rainmaker
468,235
Sondra Meyer:
Star View Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO
See It. Experience It. Live It.

Mimi, I am so sorry that your year has been full of so many challenges.  At the same time, I am thrilled about the triumphs.   

I pray that your entire family will all be feeling better soon.   I am also praying that once you all finish your current treatments, I hope that it will be years before you see the inside of a hospitial again.   

Hugs.   

Oct 21, 2019 04:55 PM #32
Rainmaker
578,322
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

Hi Mimi,

I am sorry to hear how hard 2019 has been for you, I hope 2020 will be a much better year for you and your family. Enjoy your time on the beach at Christmas and your much needed month off.

Oct 21, 2019 06:01 PM #33
Rainer
156,050
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

This year sure has had a lot of trials and tribulations for many of us. I, too, hope 2020 is a better year.

 

And, incidentally, I had a colonoscopy last week!

Oct 21, 2019 07:23 PM #34
Rainmaker
637,055
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

You are amazing to be able to keep your positive mode glowing with all you have been through. I am in awe of your strength.  May this holiday season be full of peace, love, healing and family. Cheers to you and yours  God Speed

Oct 22, 2019 01:02 AM #35
Rainmaker
797,387
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

It is no fun hearing you have cancer, the fears and doubts rise up straight away. Glad you have all this behind you, and thank you for posting and encouraging others to get tested. It is so inmportant and we are all lucky to have such wonderful medical professionals to hand. I know, personally that none of this is fun. And ringing that bell is such a good feeling, glad your whole family will be there to celebrate. Keep celebrating life and enjoy the beach.

Oct 22, 2019 02:42 AM #36
Rainmaker
243,961
Alan Grizzle
Chestatee Real Estate - Dahlonega, GA
Full Time Realtor, Lifelong Resident of Dahlonega

Keep up the positive attitude. Glad you are able to keep working. 

Oct 22, 2019 04:38 AM #37
Rainmaker
311,663
Dennis J. Zisa & Associates, Inc.
Dennis J. Zisa & Associates, Inc. - Camden, NJ
29 years in So. Jersey and the Greater Camden area

God bless you, your husband, and your entire family!

Oct 22, 2019 04:58 AM #38
Rainmaker
626,512
MaryKay Shumway
The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948) - Sister Bay, WI
Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert

Thoughts and prayers to you and your family. 

Oct 22, 2019 06:36 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,254,582
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Mimi Foster

It is your determination and positivity that is getting you through this. They say you can move mountains if you think you can and you and your husband have proved that.  Schedule that Christmas holiday and put 2019 behind you. 

Oct 22, 2019 06:40 AM #40
Rainmaker
527,055
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

What a compelling story!  It is just unnerving how a diagnosis can completely change your life and schedule within a day's time.  So glad you are doing well--and your husband--also hope you have excellent health care!!

Oct 22, 2019 08:56 AM #41
Rainmaker
475,876
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

What a challenging year you have had! But through it all you have grown stronger! Your story and strength exhibited throughout is inspirational and a reminder to all of us to take the proper steps to be checked. Just know you are loved and many of us are praying for you and your family. Looking forward to your next update with all the Praise Reports for 2020! 

Oct 22, 2019 11:43 AM #42
Rainmaker
67,365
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-507-7510

Mimi Foster Mind-boggling story,  Through it all you're so inspiring, so strong.  Aan amazing example for your family, for all who know you and  everyone here in the rain.  To 2020 Thriving Health and Happiness!!

Oct 22, 2019 07:50 PM #43
Rainmaker
2,782,419
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Life’s ups and downs are pretty Avenue catching up and down in a lot of places around the world.

Oct 26, 2019 11:19 PM #44
Rainmaker
2,782,419
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Mimi Foster I don’t think I’m as shocked as you are but in this day and age, people do you have the resources to do this.

Oct 26, 2019 11:21 PM #45
Rainmaker
1,346,648
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

All I can say is... Oh My Gosh!  What a crazy year.  I'm so glad you have such an amazing support group!  I'm pleased to report I have a colonoscopy scheduled for November 4th.

Sending hugs and healing thoughts to you all!!!

Oct 27, 2019 05:37 PM #46
Ambassador
1,345,231
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Mimi, in knowing you in years past, you have ALWAYS had a huge support system of grand family members and that is like a miracle drug! And YES, to taking your health into your own hands and saying enough to the typical medical system's way of handling things. I'm a huge proponent of being your own health advocate. HUGE. 

I am soooooooooooooooo ready to kick 2019's ass out the door! It's been a year filled with trauma in our household and cancer and chemo and death and fractured skulls and and and. I think 2020 sounds so fabulous that I just like saying it out LOUD! Bring it on, baby!

 

Oct 29, 2019 06:48 PM #47
Ambassador
3,098,387
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

You had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at you and came out on the other side smiling and appreciative of what you have.   Here's to 2020 being uneventful and downright boring.

Nov 03, 2019 08:45 AM #48
Ambassador
3,034,409
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Mimi Foster 

Thank you for having the courage to endure this year and share it with all of us. Here's to a complete and speedy recovery to you and Dave! 

Nov 07, 2019 05:51 PM #49
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