Rambling Thoughts ...
Article Author: By Ingrid Buehler
I had hoped to keep a personal health crisis under the radar screen, but I should have known the Polk County rumor mill would pick up on it sooner or later. Since I’ve spent the last 30 years trying to keep the rumor mill honest, I guess I have to do so even when it’s personal.
I have entered Cancer World with a recent diagnosis of lung cancer.
It started with chest pains, leading to thought of a possible heart attack, which led to a hospital stay and turned out to be pneumonia. Tests from there revealed the tumor lurking in my lung with no symptoms. It took several weeks of diagnostic tests and excruciating waits before the final results were in and a treatment path of chemothereapy and radiation could be designed, but the battle has begun. Hopefully, the poisons will knock the cancer back, although there’s a good chance it will return.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to continue doing what I can with the help of family and friends. After the first round of chemo (three days a week, then three weeks off), I’m not suffering the notorious nausea that used to accompany the treatment. A key concern is staying away from germs, as the white blood cells as well as the bad guys are getting zapped.
Thus, my long-term retirement plan is accelerating just as serendipity has played a role in Cheryl’s staffing plan. While Cheryl had been in tune with the news since she was ten, we knew when she took over the paper that help would be needed eventually. Emily Dilbeck of Ducktown, a budding news junkie, appeared to apply for a job about the time I went into the hospital. She’s already jumped into covering Copperhill and Ducktown, as well as routine office chores (with a staff of three or four, we all do everything) and is seemingly ready for whatever we can throw at her.
On the revenue side, Silvia Holiday is learning the ropes and helping local businesses take advantage of the community newspaper to grow their own businesses.
With a strong staff in the making, I’m afraid one of Cheryl’s major distractions is going to be questions about how I’m doing. A big problem with a family business is that, at times like this, it’s necessary to deal with the personal impact of having a family member affected by illness as well as a having to make business adjustments for a key worker. Cheryl and I are learning to switch hats around to try to keep a separation when talking about the newspaper vs. the personal. That makes things a lot easier, and I would hope those of you who need to contact her will do the same. Please keep in mind she won’t be able to tell you how I’m doing.
The big unknown, of course, is what’s going to happen to Mama? The truth is, nobody knows. When the doctors and nurses ask me how I’m doing, all I can say is “You tell me.” All I can do is report on lack of symptoms, other than some fatigue at this point. I have no idea what’s going on inside my body. All I can do is think positive thoughts, take my anti-nausea medicine, and eat foods that are known to help fight cancer. It’s no fun feeling helpless, but on the other hand I’m not going to just sit around moping or worrying.
Well, maybe a little. I have no idea what to expect, and that’s pretty new for me. I’m not ashamed to admit this is all pretty scary, as I’ve been unbelievably healthy all my life. I can tell you when every local government meeting is held, but juggling a medicine schedule is totally alien to me. I’m still not sure what makes for a good blood pressure reading but I am learning some of the acronyms for medical procedures.
Cancer World is a frightening place with lots of dark corners and no guarantee of a future, but here I am. I’ll try to keep you posted as I continue on their journey.
Polk County News | P.O.
Box 129 | 3 Main Street | Benton TN 37307
phone: 423-338-2818 | fax: 423-338-4574 | email
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