Posts by smanem81

Four weeks, five pulmonary punctures and a kiss*

Pulmonary puncture does not hurt. The complications hurt as hell’s flames. So after the first attempt, which failed, I confidently proposed to try again at Sanador, as I ment from the very beginning. Although I wanted a certain surgeon, two hours before the scheduled time of my consultation, it was canceled and ended up to consult with a former student of a surgeon who I fear like the mice fear water. I was very nervous after consulting with the young doctor who, for 150 lei, informed me that despite recommendations from my oncologists specialized in my cancer, she would prefer pulmonary resection. I got out of the hospital and on an outdoor in front of me I saw a black cat drawn and figure 13 and I imagined how God bites his lip and laughs in the cluttered clouds above me.  I had a new puncture withe the same surgeon and this time the puncture was excellent and we became friends. Four weeks, five pulmonary punctures and countless emails later, I’m almost ready to start a new treatment. Third line. Brigatinib. I flew to Perugia to meet with the new team of oncologists who wanted to know me before giving me the new treatment. So, Tuesday, I dressed up, I went to the Santa Maria della Misicordia clinic in Perugia at at 10 o’clock meeting with my new doctors. After I got through the labyrinth hall of the hospital, i reached the N building, I registered and waited in the waiting room until 13:40. I was finally received by the oncologist’s assistant who had ordered me in Perugia to meet me. Not the doctor, the nurse, along with which I filled out some forms based on documents already sent to Perugia by my oncologists in Rome and then Arrivederci! They will let me know when to return to Perugia for treatment. I’m a little dazed by all that meeting, which seemed to me to be useless. But all the bad can be good, depending on the angle from which you look at it. After posting this article, I’m going to visit the chocolate factory, the famous Baci Perugini factory! 🙂 *kiss – bacio – Bacio...

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Three years and 6 months

When you want time to pass faster, as when you wait for the results of the analyzes, it staggers! Or when you want it to stop for a moment, it just runs away. Time is not my most loyal ally. For example, I just saw that it’s been more than three months since I last wrote. Although there were a lot of things I could tell you about, I did not have the time to write about. Today, on the other hand, when I’m staying at home and waiting for my CT cd-s to be delivered to me from Rome, time feels like pudding … On June the 9th, I’m going to have a new bronchoscopy based on this CT I’m waiting for, because in Rome they found that although most of my metastases are behaving well under the control of Ceritinib treatment, a new one, 25 mm different from the others, appeared on my lung. As always, the bad news that my apparent path to healing was interrupted by a new metastasis has ruined me. For a day. Or at least that’s what I pretend. When I found out that most patients like me died six months after diagnosis, I tried to accept that the healing is only a chimera and the only real thing I can hang on is life like a raft in the middle of the ocean that will never touch shore,  a suspended survival in time of 3 years and 6 months, and...

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The Melancholy

I was tired but proud of myself. I managed to cope for three years with an initial diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer. In December, however, when the two new brain metastases appeared, I realized it was time to be  brave in a different way. It was time to accept that the story featuring my life is approaching it’s end. A melancholy took over my feelings, I was longing for the life that I have not yet lived. I tried to hide my emotional state of mind from my loved ones. From time to time, a sigh might’ve gave away my melancholy. I tried every day to find something to be thankful for, in the evenings, during my chats with God. When I could not find any, I thank him for giving me another day of life. My last hope, the next possible brain surgery, pushed nearly all other thoughts out of mi mind. I searched for solutions to promote our café, desperately! I knew I had the know how, I did this before, for others perfectly fine. I even won awards! Yet, almost every day, Melancholy paralyzed my mind. I was counting the days until surgery. I hung the Portraits of Love exhibition on the wall of our Cafe, two days before the exhibition, to make sure it will come out nice. I went home, I did my baggage for the hospital: pajamas, slippers, book, medical records, took a shower and the next morning I went to the Bagdasar hospital. The staff at the neurosurgery department, they know me and call me by name. They took my medical documents, told me to put on my jammies, then they put my catheter on and took me to have my pre surgery MRI scan. While waiting my turn, other patients came out of the doctors cabinet with metal frame screwed into their skull. I remember the feeling. I also had that metal frame screwed into my skull. Twice. Doctors now jokingly call it “coronation”. So I’m waiting among the “coronated” for my own “coronation”. Time passes. I begin to read the book I brought along when, the surgeon makes his appearance. His prying eyes and his smiling face were looking for someone. Finally,  he turns his gaze to me and says “Smaranda, the nurses made a mistake. They sat you in the wrong half of the waiting room. Here are the patients who will have surgery, you do not need surgery today.” And then I could see all his teeth from ear to the other. He was smiling happily! In his study, he showed me, like every time, pictures of my brain MRI, and told me he had no explanation...

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The shedding

Recently I dreamed that I was walking along a group of people. We were on our way to somewhere. I do not know where. We were all naked like the day we were born. No one was concerned by the others nudity. We were a group of 4-5 people. I was walking ahead of the group. Looking down, I saw some small blisters on the palms of my hands which later broke and then the skin began to flay in thin layers. It didn’t seem important and I continued to walk forward. Soon I felt a breeze and I noticed larger pieces of skin on my body that began to flutter just like waving flags. With both hands, I caught a larger piece of skin on my abdomen and began to slowly peal it of my body. I felt no pain, while, joyfully I noticed a new layer of skin under the one I was shedding. Then, I woke up! I choose to look at this dream as a good sign … even if I have two new brain metastases (two new tumors on my...

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Kisses from Daddy!

My first visit to Rome, of this year, confirmed the emergence of two new brain tumors. I tried to make fun of my trouble. I tried to be present in my present. I tried to be grateful for being alive. However on the way home, my thoughts slipped into the past, to my father, to death. My father and I, had a difficult and confrontational relationship, like most father / daughter relationships  in Romania are. None of us managed to give the other what one wanted. He wanted me to give him grandchildren, I wanted his total, unconditional, eternal and uninhibited affection. Instead of this I got ill with cancer, while him, frightened by the possibility of burying his own child, hid away in his interior labyrinthine world, got lost and wandered in it until the day he died. I could see that, with every passing day he became more and more confused and the only manifestation of affection was yelling, over the phone conversation I was having with my mother: Kisses from Daddy! While he was alive, I never dreamed of him. But now, less than two months after his death, he appeared to me, in my dreams, three times. He emerged as calm, protective and wise. I miss him and the relationship that I would have wanted to have with my father when he was...

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