Cracks in Armor

I went to the Emergency Room yesterday. I started having throbbing pain under my ribs while I was at work and after all that has happened, I’m acutely aware of every feeling in my body – or in some places – the lack thereof.

After arriving home and putting Shiloh down for a nap to cure what is left of our jet lag, I curled up in bed next to my husband and could not fall asleep. It was a sinking feeling – like the covers were drowning me. My mind quickly ran through every scenario while mulling over whether I should bring it up to my husband or call my gynonc. I already planned out how I would survive more chemotherapy, how I would deal with hair loss again, and how I would mourn the normalcy I finally feel.

I’m a rare case – rare clear cell cancer – rare survival rate – so everyone, including my doctor, wanted me to go into the ER just to double-check everything was okay. We all know the numbers. They already called down from upstairs and my wait time was a fraction of what it was for others by the time we arrived. I know the road by heart and can answer all the questions before they are asked:

Yes, all information is the same.

No nausea or fever or danger of falling.


Yes, Eliquis 5mg twice a day.

Stage IV Clear Cell Ovarian Cancer

complete hysterectomy with gall bladder, appendix, and resection of liver

This is my good arm.

I didn’t call anyone other than my parents – I texted only two people – and told my husband not to tell anyone. I wanted this done quietly – discreetly – and without every checkup screaming the possibility of recurrence.

My ultrasound and blood work was perfect, and I was prescribed pain meds again. My good ole’ friend Tramadol, but I walked out of the hospital with the same ailment I walked in with – fear.

Most days I’m really strong – I prance through the day with a lust for life only surviving cancer could’ve given me. I’m armed with my faith, family, and try to let my light illuminate the darkness around me. But then there are other days when there are cracks in my armor.

I’ve been writing a collection of poems about my journey – in hopes it will give others comfort and a glimmer of a future. I need to find a way to dip into the past without it drenching my present.


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