Picture this: I walked down the hall like I was drunk. I bounced off the walls. I couldn't focus on anything. I ended up going to emergency, where I was given IV fluids for hours. I was ultimately told I was staying the night … but that one night turned into a week.
I was moved to palliative care, still getting IV fluids. I was so dehydrated I must have gotten about 20 bags. I had to eat and drink lots of water before they would take me off the IV and finally I was able to start getting up and walking around a bit.
I also had a cat scan done on my brain. It showed there was something there, but they couldn't tell what it was because the bleeding and scan dye were mixing, making it difficult to read. They couldn't tell if it was a tumour, but I was bleeding from somewhere.
A few days later I had an MRI scan, which showed a tumour. It is very small but that is why my balance is off, I get headaches, it hurts behind my eye, I see black spots and I can't concentrate on anything for very long.
So now the plan is to send me to Halifax and operate and radiate at the same time. The oncologists, surgeons and radiologists are having a conference to see how they are going to handle this.
The cancer is taking a new strategy to get me but it will take more than that to take me down. I'll never give up the fight. Even if it takes another 14 years, I will hear the doctor say, ‘Kathy you are cancer free … only this time it will be for sure.’ None of the doctors or specialists believe that, but I do.
Thank you to everyone who came to visit me, for gifts and cards. The palliative care rooms are like hotel rooms and all the nurses are fantastic; they show so much compassion. Thank you to all the staff who took care of me.
By the way, I learned one way to tell if you are dehydrated. Lift your skin on your hand and see if it goes back down fast; if it doesn't then you need water. Coffee, tea and pop do not count as water because they have caffeine and that makes you dehydrated.
Have a good week folks!
Kathy Golemiec is a former resident and business owner in Stewiacke where she still has strong family connections. She currently lives in Westville. She is chronicling her struggles and challenges as she undergoes cancer treatments. Her column appears weekly in The Colchester Weekly News.