Just over 2 years ago, I woke up to bright lights, loud beeping machines, Doctors and Nurses running around frantically and my then partner and Mum were in tears. I was in the Emergency department and had just regained consciousness.
Rewind an hour and I was on my bedroom floor, tears running down my face and my body was contorted in unimaginable or indescribable pain. Paramedic's were called, I was cannulated in my bedroom and I was administered morphine, carried out to the ambulance and was continually fed morphine, still no relief, more morphine, still no relief, more morphine and this continued until my arrival at hospital, where the same process continued. One minute I was rolling around in exponential pain and the next my loved ones were screaming to doctors that my eyes had rolled into the back of my head.
Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep,all over red rover, kaput, game over, St Peter had my wings on express order, beep beep beep beep, hang on, bloody hell, she's done it again! I was revived!
Yep, I literally came back to life, I was admitted to the Cancer ward at Gosford Hospital and the pain continued, bladder stopped working from my pelvic tumours, left foot was paralysed from a tumour causing nerve damage and the nausea, Oh My God, the nausea. You get nausea from the copious amount of pain relief you're being administered, so in between the pain, your vomiting relentlessly. I was so drugged up that I wasn't able to communicate properly. Family and friends had gathered from all over the state and all I remember in between rambling and hallucinating was repeatedly asking "am I dying?", why else would people be visiting at 3am in the morning, I was obviously dying!
I asked my mum "am I dying?" And she responded, only I could determine that. At this point Mum was in that place that people often talk about, when a loved one is in so much pain that there's nothing you can do and every painful scream is like a dagger to your heart , she was actually praying for it all to end, please just take her, no more pain, please God just take her! Dad was in QLD and a nurse had rung him and told him to get in the car NOW, because there's a good chance Lisa's not going to be alive if you leave it any longer. Dad, Steven, Marianne and Ava did that 10 hour drive in what I can only imagine would have been in a cloud of disbelief, the whole trip was probably a blur, they got there though and I held on.
Doctors crying in the hallway telling my loved ones that there was no more they could do, "Lisa won't make it through the weekend, take this time to tell her you love her, tell her the things you never got the chance too, even though she may not understand, still take the time to do it". My local priest came in and I questioned his presence, he was there to give the last rites. Now I don't know about you, but that's pretty confronting!
I made it through the weekend again and thankfully the wonderful doctor's at Gosford hospital decided to put me in for radiation to stop my tumour bleed that had caused all of this pain. After the radiation I started a new tablet chemo, but it immediately made me violently ill, I couldn't eat and I had no appetite, which wasn't good as I was only 30 something kilos already. The doctors ceased the chemo as it affected me so badly.
Then came my favourite part, the talk, palliative nurses come into your room and they have a sweet but sad look on their face. They introduce themselves and then come the words, the words that have been hanging in the air like a stale fart that just won't disappear, the words that you knew would eventually be said, but you never want to hear. "Lisa, you're dying, we know you know you're terminal, but we need to discuss community nursing and palliative visits, things are bad and they're not going to get any better". My response "how long do you think I'll have?" This question is such a stupid one, no one can accurately predict your death timeline, but it's an immediate reaction, as soon as you hear this, that's your first thought. It doesn't matter that you've already been told you're terminal, that you're dying, when you're told it's days or weeks away, it's fucking scary, it's worse than your worst nightmare, no words can truly describe the feeling of being told it's only down hill from here. No matter how many times I've been told you won't make it through the night, you won't live a week, it NEVER gets easier, you never really accept it.
So in that one hospital stay I was told I wouldn't make it through the night, then the weekend and the response from palliative nurses to my question "How long?"......."You won't make it to Christmas" and here we are two years later, we are still going, still gripping on to life by the skin of my teeth, hanging on the edge of my cancer cliff by one hand and each finger is slowly slipping.
Cancer isn't just a bitch, it's a hateful mofo with a huge chip on its shoulder and it's only purpose is to cause death and destruction. It rips through family's like an unannounced tornado and the souls that it destroys in its path are left to clean up and repair the irreparable. Cancer is one scary opponent, we are all light weights fighting in a heavyweight division.
I'm no fool, I know one day the Grim Reaper will tap me on the shoulder and probably say some smart ass comment about borrowed time, but as long as my weakening body will allow me, I will keep running, dipping and dodging the dealer of death until I can run no more.
Stay fabulous Rockstars ❤️🤘🏼
My name is Lisa Magill and I have been navigating the minefield that is cancer since just months after turning 30, people have been saying to me for years that I should put my thoughts into writing and as time has progressed I thought I had left it too late, well here we are nearly 4 years in and for some unknown reason I've decided to start to write today.