I had not been feeling exactly right for a while. I had chronic sinus infection and then my left arm began to misbehave. I couldn’t lift it. At all. No reason. It just stopped working.
I went to an orthopedist. He took X-rays and gave me a cortisone shot. Didn’t help. He advised that I probably had a torn rotator cuff, and that I should go to physical therapy for a couple of weeks to see if we couldn’t get my arm moving. I did that, and after week one with Physical Therapist, we both decided I probably needed an MRI to see the grand tear.
February 1st I had an MRI. My husband and I had just entered our house from the test when the phone rang. It was the Ortho asking us to come back to the office to discuss the results. When we got to the office, he asked, “Maureen, how healthy are you?”
I’m a person that walks 2 -3 miles a day, I walk to the health club and lift weights, so outside of this lame arm and a sinus infection, I trusted I was really healthy! He went on to say I didn’t have a torn rotator but that I had a tumor in my shoulder and I needed to see an oncologist immediately.
Deer in the headlights. This can’t be. What is he saying?
Within an hour, we found ourselves at the cancer center in the offices of Dr. Bayer, my oncologist.
Following was a whirlwind of CAT scans, MRIs, PET scans, etc. until finally the diagnosis was Stage 4, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Large B Cell Diffuse.
My treatment protocol would include six rounds of chemo—five continuous days in the hospital each time.
I’ve completed two rounds. First round was really tough. Second round was more tolerable. We’re now looking to do chemo every other week. I’m learning that the true meaning of “woman up” means to continue to put one foot in front of the other, moving forward, ever moving forward regardless of fear or the unknown. Moving forward, sometimes half day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time.
Today I start round 3. I’ll be 50% complete, and as I do I will continue to “woman up” in the process. I want you to know that this blog will not become a cancer blog. We’ll continue to talk about the disparity for women in the workplace and work to find solutions, but I did think I should let you know why I’ve been silent in the last few weeks.
Thanks for your prayers, your good wishes, and your encouragement. I am humbled and grateful by your response. Know that I am fighting hard, and I will continue to “woman up” as I beat this disease!