Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cancer Sucks! Part 1

     When your young and just married you are so ready to start the new chapter in your life together as a couple. Your first year of marriage is suppose to be a constant honeymoon full of date nights, laughs, and bliss. This is how mine started out but soon changed into hospitals, Dr's, and tons of medicine.

November '02    
     How exciting we were going to our first Bed & Breakfast for the weekend. Dur & I both enjoy going to antique shops so we found a Bed & Breakfast that was surrounded by lots of of them. This was a great weekend that I still remember to this day. Coming back after that weekend I noticed I has developed a rash on my legs and arms not only was it a rash but it itched like crazy. I brushed this off as a being caused by the new bubble bath I had just purchased on the trip. This rash continued and the intensity of the itching was becoming almost unbearable.

December '02
     I had finally became use to the rash and itching, it did not seem to be going away so I just accepted it as dry skin from the cold winter weather. Little did I know the worst of these symptoms were on their way. I woke up one morning with a cough that stayed around and would not leave no matter how much cough medicine I would take. I broke down and went to my primary care Dr. He gave me the ususal cocktail of cough medicine and antibiotics. He thought the rash was nerve induced or even could be allergies but, he did not seem to think it was that big of a deal so he brushed it off. I took the medicine and decided to wait it out. After 2 weeks of no relief and now I was developing bruises under the skin from my nails constantly digging at it I went back into see him but, yet again the same diagnosis was given but he decided to change my medicine. Not a thought was given to the itching.

January '03 
     Still itching, still coughing and the rash was not going away now I also added on the constant bloody nose, cough so bad when I would bend over I would almost pass out and  the newest of the symptoms I could barely swallow anything without it getting stuck in my throat and causing me to choke. I decided I had enough symptoms now that I could get the Dr. to make some sort of diagnosis besides upper respiratory and allergies. I remember that appointment VERY vividly. I went in and explained to him what was going on and also the new symptoms that started to pop up. I asked him to send me to get a scan of my neck maybe they could see what was going on in there.  He looked at me and said "Shelly, I cannot find anything wrong with you. at this point I cannot help you any farther." Yes this is what was said! Now let me see here is the list of my symptoms at this point:
  • Rash that itched
  • Constant cough
  • Bloody nose
  • Problems swallowing
  • and the newest I felt like my internal body temperature was on "fry"
Really???  Nothing wrong with me. That weekend I became so hot I went and set outside in shorts and a tank top to cool off. Did I mention it was 37 degrees outside that evening! I set on my mothers front porch for over an hour and could not get my body to cool down. At this point my mom knew somethign was wrong and told me I needed to get a second opinion. These symptoms had become a constant in my life. I was starting to think I was making them up in my head. Did I really want to go see another Dr. so he could tell me this?

March '03 
     I decided to go to CareNow and see if they could figure something out or if they were going to tell me I was Crazy too! When I got there I went over my symptoms with the nurse and she called in the Dr. He said I needed to have a breathing treatment, cough medicine w/ codeine and yet again more antibiotics.(at this point there was no way any infection would be able to live in my body) I started to feel a little better after the steriods and breathing treatment were completed. So I took the medicine and went home excited that this could be all over with. That night I went to take my first pill and could not get it to go down. I tried several times and it was going nowhere. I called the Dr the next morning and explained to him the pill was to big and that I was unable to take it. He called me in a new antibiotic which I started taking that night. I took the medicine and was excited because I left the DR. feeling better. Could this be it? All this time I only needed Steroids and a breathing treatment. Relief was here but was met with the symptoms rushing back in 4 days later...

April 4, 2003 

     Not any better but WORSE! How could this be! I have taken everything on time and not missed one dose, but I was steadily getting sicker. That day at work I bent over to pick up a pen I had dropped and this caused me to go into a coughing spell that almost caused me to pass out because I could not get any oxygen into my lungs. This was it I was going back to CareNow and DEMANDING a chest X-Ray. I knew I had Pneumonia. I made it to the office at 8:00 pm Dur dropped me off and took Meghan over to Old Navy to shop while I was waiting to be seen. I was called back at 8:15pm, I demanded a chest X-Ray and was soon being shuffled to the room to get it. Once the X-Ray was taken I was left in the room and the tech said he would be back with the Dr who would read it as soon as it was developed. As I was setting in the room getting ready I could hear the tech and Dr talking to each other as they were looking at my films. "I don't know what this is do you?" "Nope I have never seen anything like it" Okay I was by myself in small room listening to this and just remembering my body going numb. The Dr came into room and said "Ms. Manley you have a LARGE mass in your chest and we have no clue what it is." "We have called ahead to the hospital and they are expecting you. You need to go now" He shoved the films into my hand and walked me to the door. Outside Dur was setting in the car with Meghan. I looked at Dur and motioned for him to get out of the car. I explained to him what had happened and told him we needed to go to the hospital and they were expecting me. I was having such a hard time telling him what was going on I just remember being so numb that I could not cry it was almost as if my body no longer had any feelings. I turned and got into the car and smiled at Meghan as she was showing me the new shoes she had just got. We took Meghan to moms that night and headed over to the hospital, the same one I had delivered her at years earlier.


  1. Wow, Shelly! I never knew all of the story leading up to the diagnosis. I remember Dur calling Mark the night you all found out. We just couldn't believe it. We came to see you in the hospital that Sunday. It's weird how I didn't even know you that well then. It seems strange now that we're such good friends. Thanks for sharing such a personal experience.

  2. Wow, I have some how forgot all the details, but as I read your blog I started to remember it Luke it was yesterday and I started to cry. I will never forget that call at 1:00am. I love you and thank god everynight for not taking my sister away from me.

    Love, lissa