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 Post subject: Say what?
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:35 pm 
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I really did not want to go to the ER. Luckily we’re not far from the ER so I didn’t have much time to dwell on it. I figured, well, there’s a real possibility I could be dehydrated and the doctors will be able to pump me back up. It’s all for the best.

So, as always, they start by taking your vitals. My BP was way high and my weight was way low. We waited a while in a small private room for the doctor to come see us. He asked lots of questions and I was having difficulty remembering and relaying to him what had transpired over the last 3 days that brought us there. Rob helped fill in the gaps when I faltered. The doctor asked if I ever had a CAT scan. I said no. He highly recommended that we have one done now because the endoscopy I just had the week before may have missed something. He also ordered a myriad of blood work so they hooked me up with an intravenous needle in my arm.

I agreed to the CAT scan still unworried but finding it a bit odd because this has nothing to do with being dehydrated. Rob followed along with me as they rolled me down the hall and into a relatively small room that was crammed with equipment. Rob had to wait outside the room. The scanner is a huge circular thing that resembles a Krispy Kreme donut without the glaze. XD

I was instructed to move off the gurney and onto the scanning table and to lower my jeans just below my thighs. Then they covered me with a blanket. They scanned my wrist band ID and my name appeared at the top of the digital readout on the CAT scanner.

I was instructed to place my arms above my head and to do what the AI tells me. The scanner begins to drone a constant steady hum. The table begins to move forward and I close my eyes. — Breathe in. Hold it. Breathe out. —- the scanner instructs me multiple times.

When the imaging process was over, I slid off the table, pulled up my jeans, and put myself back on the gurney so they could roll me back to my room while Rob followed beside me.

We waited quite a while. When the doctor returned he looked different like maybe a little more serious. He immediately stated that all the blood tests looked great. Yay, I said. Then he asked me where I was from and where Rob was from. I didn’t get what he was driving at. But then he said the images did not look good. They revealed an abnormality on my liver and it’s cancer.

Okay. That was random. I mean seriously. Did he just use the words liver and cancer in the same sentence? And was he talking about me? That was the last thing I expected to hear. The moment he finished that sentence I could feel the blood drain from my face. My ears closed up and I couldn’t hear the next several sentences he spoke. I think my eyes dilated because I realized I was suddenly staring away from the doctor but not focused on anything in particular. I more or less managed to snap myself out of it and continued to listen intently to what the doctor had to say. I turned my head to the right to glance at Rob and the expression on his face was pure shock. I turned back to face the doctor again. Rob began asking questions as he tried desperately to wrap his head around what was happening. There wasn’t anything else that the doctor could do at this time so he said goodnight and we waited for our discharge papers. I was given an anti-nausea Rx in the event I start vomiting again and one other Rx.

As we began the discharge process I began to shake uncontrollably and I worked extremely hard to suppress it but I think my chattering teeth may have given it away.

By the time we were heading to the car I seemed to have calmed down. We got home around 4-4:30am. Neither one of us could sleep but we were both exhausted. Rob and I just cuddled in bed until we fell asleep.

I don’t even know if they checked me for dehydration. I guess the blood tests answered that question.

_________________

Just call me Baldino. It's what you get when you combine Balder with Paolino.

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     Post subject: Re: Say what?
     Post Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:27 pm 
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    I cannot imagine... hearing the word "cancer" when you expect "yeah, dehydration"... surreal.

    <3

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    Thank you to Yshl's daughter for my new avatar. I love it! 3/4/2018

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     Post subject: Re: Say what?
     Post Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:19 am 
    This user is a Tool! Was an active Tool on Free Cards Day
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    My prayers are with you. I know it doesn't sound like much but I hope it helps.

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     Post subject: Re: Say what?
     Post Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:20 am 
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    E is for Erfworld Supporter Battle Crest Pins Supporter Print Book 2 & Draw Book 3 Supporter This user is a Tool! Year of the Dwagon Supporter This user was a Tool before it was cool Shiny Red Star Pin-up Calendar and New Art Team Supporter This user is a part of Erfworld canon! Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter Mined 4 Erf Won Mine4erf for the Gobwins Won Mine4erf for the Marbits Was an active Tool on Free Cards Day
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    I remember CAT-scans. I excitedly went into a CAT-scanner on the prospect that I would receive images of my own brain. (spoiler: I did not.)

    Yeah, this sounds in the ballpark of my reaction on saturday. I'm still struggling to formulate a coherent response. My body has this weird emotional response that interferes with my rational thinking.

    All that I can muster at this point is that I am dismayed by the news of metastasis, but uplifted that people in a far better capacity than I have, have invested themselves in this effort.

    I hope to be able to respond in a parsonable and rational way soon.

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     Post subject: Re: Say what?
     Post Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:49 am 
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    Okay, I don't usually talk about my personal information on the internet, but this is more important to me.

    First off, I'm a cancer survivor. In my case, it was Periosteoscarcoma, which translated into English roughly reads 'you have a lump growing out of your jaw that is getting way out of control'. It was discovered almost by accident, and before it had metastasized. Or so we thought.

    Two years later, a new, very small lump showed up in roughly the same area. Called up the doc to push up my next appointment to the next day, despite the fact that it's in Houston TX and I'm in Dallas TX at that point, and hey... whadday know. We got this new technique we'd like to try out for you. Which, by the way, not only shows this new tumor quite spectacularly, but over a dozen little nodes just itching to become fully fledged tumors. So yea... Chemo time. That was fifteen years, three months, and two days ago.

    So, when I say "I understand", I want you to know that it's not just this polite little phrase some random guy is saying. The first time they confirmed my diagnosis? Well... you know how in the action adventure movies they do this whole 'muffled sounds with a high pitched whine' thing trying to emulate tinnitus? I think some of the CoD-esque games do it too. Yea, I was right there when he dropped that word on me. There were probably two or three paragraphs worth of talking that just went in one ear and out the other. But it wasn't fear... not yet. I was just in shock. I appeared completely calm as I walked out of his office. I called up my boss, let him know the prognosis, and asked for the paperwork to apply for long-term medical leave. But I was just going through the motions.

    That night, though? That's when the fear hit me. I was all of nineteen at the time, but not all the brash young ego in the world could stave it off.

    So, why do I mention this? Because I have something to offer, something which helped me in my battle. Something that I believe helped, at any rate. It may not be much, but it is all I have to offer, and that I cannot, in good conscience, see someone in that position and not offer it. So, thus spake on the ancient man, the bright-eyed survivor.

    I offer not Hope, which is often fleeting and ephemeral. I offer instead stubbornness. As long as you do not give up, you have a chance.

    When I did six months of inpatient chemotherepy treatments, so weak I could not even move my arm to flip a switch already in the palm of my hand, so wracked with nausea that it almost cramped my diaphragm, so disoriented by vertigo that I not only didn't know which way was up, I didn't even know which way was *down*... trapped in an inert body, the very epitome of 'I have no mouth but must scream', I came to realize something.

    This, too, shall pass. Eventually. I might end up going down, no one is giving me any promises, but if I must, I will at least go down swinging. I refused to give up, to surrender. I clung to life not out of hope or love, but out of pure cussed stubbornness and determination that if I must go down, I shall fight to the last. I may be defeated, but I will never be beaten.

    But I also give you something I myself did not have: I give you support, and the knowledge that someone, somewhere, cares about your fate. Not because of Rob, not because of the fandom or the community around it, but because you stand where I once stood. Many people already have poured out their support, please at least permit me to add mine to theirs. I have been there, at that same battlefield, against the same foe. I know the trials and tribulations. And I have survived them.

    And so can you. You will be sorely tried in the coming battle. There will be times when you wonder why you keep going. Do not let that stop you. You have Rob, you have us, and more importantly, you have *YOU*. As long as you refuse to give up, for whatever reason, you have a chance.

    By fair or foul, through cleverness or carnymancy, you can win this day. You have but to retain the will to do so. All else may be out of your hands, indeed as any commander of forces must discover, you have surprisingly little to do directly with your victory. It is not by the commander's hand that the battle is won, but by the forces he has marshalled. This is your Side, you have already marshaled an excellent Chief Warlord to lead your troops into battle, flanked by your Warlords ready to stand in support. You are the Queen of your Side. Your will reigns supreme. So as long as you do not disband your side, your people will fight for you to the last of the last stands. Give them that chance, retain the will to fight on, no matter how bleak it may become, and victory shall be yours. So do I Predict.

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     Post subject: Re: Say what?
     Post Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:13 am 
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    Regarding the latest update on the main page I am stupefied as well. It makes me think of a certain Christmas song:

    Four cancer experts,
    three thousand income,
    many "two cents" posted
    and one potential liver-donor.

    I mean, wow! O_O And yes, a lot of posts were more than two cents and the income is above 3100 already, but making references is kinda restrictive at times, sorry. :)

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     Post subject: Re: Say what?
     Post Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:12 am 
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    This user is a Tool! Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit Won Mine4erf for the Gobwins Was an active Tool on Free Cards Day
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    Website: http://heroesandtreasure.com
    I'm glad to see Rob's post about the support you have. But I think it's worth noting that that's not just from a bunch of people.. it's from a community that exists because of what you guys have built here. It was the ultimate "pay it forward" and you had no idea you were doing it.

    The image in my mind is, of course, a thousand strings pulling someone back from a bad outcome, until they fall into Jed's rooftop pool...

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     Post subject: Re: Say what?
     Post Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:13 am 
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    Oh, I can't even imagine the shock. I wish there was more I could say or do to help than just comment on here. **hugs**

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     Post subject: Re: Say what?
     Post Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:33 pm 
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    A medical machine looks like a krispy kreme...Linda may still be a chocoholic when this is over if that makes you feel better any.

    I can well imagine the shock, the best that can be said is you have a lot of people pulling for you,as I said to Rob in chat, I saw the con photos, it looks to me like you have a large extended family since that is pretty much what this community has shown itself to be in the wake of this news.

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     Post subject: Re: Say what?
     Post Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:09 pm 
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    I am so glad that the Erfworld family is gearing up to help with the healing process. I work in the medical field (nothing directly related to your condition or I would have already offered my assistance) and I know how important it is to have a healthy support system. I'm not surprised that this web comic has attracted experts in many fields and I'm thankful that they are willing to help. Please know that I (and many others) care about you and will do all we can to help, even if that takes the form of a kind word here and there.

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     Post subject: Re: Say what?
     Post Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:56 am 
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    Linda, you have the full support of us all. I finally became a tool instead of just mining because my mom beat cancer and damn it I want you to do the same!

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     Post subject: Re: Say what?
     Post Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:39 pm 
    This user is a Tool! Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit Won Mine4erf for the Gobwins Was an active Tool on Free Cards Day
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    Dear Linda and Rob,
    I have never personally dealt with canser and can thus not even begin to fathom what you are going through - but know that my heart is bleeding for you just the same - and know that what you have created is touching people all over the world, and that there are people pulling for you from far, far away too!
    All the best wishes from Søften, Denmark <3

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     Post subject: Re: Say what?
     Post Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:38 pm 
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    i just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this. My wife has been struggling for a few years now to get doctors to listen to her. She's keeping a strict diet of around 1500 calories to try to control weight and energy levels. She's talked to nutritionists, endocrinologists, obstetricians, etc, and they either think she's lying about her calorie intake, that it's purely psychological, or in one case, that it's just lady problems and she needs to be on birth control to regulate her period. The latest doctor she saw, no joke, said she needs to eat more fresh vegetables, despite the food log showing how much of those she's been eating. She's never read the comic before, but your openness here has really touched her personally, reading about some of the issues you had getting things diagnosed. So, thank you again, for being open and honest and sharing your story here.

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     Post subject: Re: Say what?
     Post Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:00 pm 
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    At some point, I imagine you're going to get tired of everyone feeling the need to say "WE LOVE YOU, WE'RE SUPPORTING YOU, AND WE'RE HERE FOR YOU!"

    Simply put, from my own experience with health issues, and when my sister had cancer, there are days where "WE LOVE YOU, WE'RE SUPPORTING YOU, AND WE'RE HERE FOR YOU!" felt tiresome, insufficient, or merely boring words that carried no weight. And the honest-to-goodness truth is that at least when I saw it happen, it was a function of chemo, or tiredness, or chemo and tiredness, or a million other issues that drove the meaning and comfort from those words.

    But in time, eventually, those words came back over and over to mean more and more....they became a mantra, a soothing truth that could be relied on. There were days they felt meaningless, and there were days that they became the most important thing to hear.

    And on the days they felt like they meant nothing? It wasn't because they DIDN'T mean anything, that they weren't sincere: It was just that cancer, that illness, that the crappy way the day or month or even year had gone felt like the defining feature of my sister or my experiences. But on good days, those words meant something else entirely. Rather, it (being sick, cancer as a whole, vomiting, chemo, whatever the issue of the day was) was a pain in the ass, a stupid road-block on life's journey, a speedbump that was unpleasant, but not defining. Because, in the end, the thing that defined life was being loved, supported, and having people here that cared.

    So, when the day comes that it gets tiring (if or when it does) I hope it can bring you a bit of light to remember that the frustrations, doubts, pains, and trials are not what define you: Rather, the things that matter, the things that define who you are, are things like how loved, supported, and cared for you are. You have that in Rob. I hope you have it elsewhere, offline, but if only in Rob, that's still an extraordinary amount of love, support, and caring.

    And ONLINE, you have a community that you worked to build and foster where you have found people that love, and support, and care.

    So: To be as repetitive as possible, and to belabor my point NEAR to, well, the breaking point:

    Linda? "WE LOVE YOU, WE'RE SUPPORTING YOU, AND WE'RE HERE FOR YOU!"

    I feel confident, in this one singular instance, in speaking for more than myself. Because if I've seen anything, so far, it's the fact that I'm not alone in being here, in any way your fans and friends can be.

    Good luck.

    Fuck cancer.

    And we're all here when you need us.

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