There was a time in my life when I thought 1969 was the worst year of my life. That was the year I lost a child and lost my mind.

Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could possibly compare to 2018.

Early in the year, I found out that I had cancer (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma). The news was unexpected and left me questioning if I could possibly survive everything that was about to happen to my body.

A week of tests to determine the stage of the cancer and the strength of my heart followed. Stage one. Healthy heart.

Then a port was implanted … a way for the poison to be injected into my body every 21 days for six rounds of chemo. I experienced every possible side effect and every possible indignity for six months.

Losing my hair was the least of my worries. It’s true. Bald is beautiful. Pale skin, not so much. Severe weight loss. Frightening.

But, I survived even during the times when I said, “No more!”

In October of 2018, the love of my life passed away very unexpectedly. It was a shock … one that makes me sad to this very day.

December rolled around and a week before Christmas I was taken to the hospital via ambulance because I could not breathe. Two days later and a failed heart catheter, I had two open-heart surgeries in one day. Double by-pass and one to stop the bleeding.

I knew of nothing going on for four days. In fact, my hallucinations were so severe that I thought I had been kidnapped by people pretending to be hospital employees, and they were trying to gas me to death. Once I was fully awake, I whispered to my BIL to call the police because I had been kidnapped. It took a little doing for everyone to convince me that I had gone through surgery and was really in the hospital.

That was how we spent Christmas Day in 2018.

Recovering at a rehab facility followed, and finally, after being away from home for almost a month, I went home but not for good. Three additional hospital stays followed … one to implant a huge defibrillator in my chest, and others to get my heart and medications working properly. I had in-home PT for months with follow-up visits to no less than six doctors.

So … here it is 2021 and I’m alive. Just like everyone else, I’ve done the social distancing thing for a year. I’ve got a supply of masks and gloves that I still wear and will continue to wear a bit longer even though I’ve been vaccinated. I’ve not seen my family in over a year, and we rarely talk. Seems politics did a bit of damage to our relationship.

I hope to make it to 2022 … God willing. I pray you do, too.

© Catherine Evermore. All rights reserved.

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