In the movie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Ferris wants a day off from school and he's got an insane plan to pull it off. Ferris, his friend Cameron, and his girlfriend Sloane take the Ferrari to Chicago for the day. Meanwhile, principal Ed Rooney is convinced that Ferris is, not for the first time, playing hooky for the day and is hell bent to catch him.
I never went to Chicago, but some thought that I was playing hooky. Administrators said it was convenient that I was sick. I heard about teachers in class talking about how they didn't think I was sick at all.
Others, well... You know how small town gossip can be. There were a few folks who would check up on me and snap me. That helped a lot. Being at home, alone, feeling terrible, was rough. I went from running around 16 hours a day to nothing. Nothing at all.
In November, we got COVID and the weekend we were supposed to be out of quarantine, I didn't feel good again. We went to the doctor and I tested positive for strep. I got some antibiotics and thought it would be 2 days and I would be back and feeling better. That was 7 months ago.
I started throwing up blood and we headed to the Emergency Room. The first of 4 trips to the ER over the course of my illness. We changed my antibiotics and things got a little better until they weren't. We headed back to the ER and the tests and referrals started.
I saw a gastroenterologist and did MRI's and CT scans, labs and swallow studies, and upper and lower coloscopies, dozens of office visits and consultations, and so many pill bottles and potions... all of them ruled things out but none of the gave an explanation or a diagnosis for what I was going through. We signed forms, joined studies, tried stuff to see what might happen and waited.
Every day I was throwing up 6-7 times a day, having consistent diarrhea, and stomach cramps. I couldn't sit up, stay awake, or think straight. It was the most horrible thing I've ever endured. It's been a really long 8 months.
April 8th, I got my second COVID vaccination and I felt terrible. My mom read that some long-haulers get better after getting the shots, so I went. VERY reluctantly. Then when I felt worse - a lot worse - and I was ticked. It was awful. Flu like symptoms on top of everything else. Not cool.
Then about 4 weeks later, my symptoms weren't as violent. Then they weren't as frequent. Then soon, I had a good day. A really good day. Now I've had about 9 really good days in a row. I'm so very thankful.
I'm not out of the woods yet, but I'm no where near where I was.
Soon, I may be ready to have a little adventure!
I know that I'm still here for a reason and have a lot left to accomplish. When we got the results of the colonoscopy, the doctor told us that they found a polyp. It was a very aggressive form of cancer. He said, "All of this probably saved your life. By the time you started having symptoms and figured out what it was you would probably be dead by 23." God wastes nothing. Even though I went through some horrible days, nothing about my senior year is what I'd thought it would be, and I'm not quite over all of this yet, I know God's got more for me.
You're still reading? Thanks, man!
It was my last night of youth group tonight. It is tradition that seniors share some advice, things they've learned, and encourage the younger students to keep living out their faith. I've looked forward to this for years.
When it came, it wasn't what I expected. We've been through lots of changes. Things look different now. But the Lord is still working and He is still good.
At the end of the night, Jason Fisher asked the young kids to come up and pray over us. He prayed for us. This is what he said....
Took some snaps in my new school uniform. This semester has been a trip!
Seeing the oncologist for the 2nd time was kind of a relief. We came in for labs yesterday. Just a quick blood draw. After reviewing the numbers, the doctor said he didn't really want to see me again.
He does want one more round of labs to check on my LDH levels in a month. They are on the high side of normal. LDH is an enzyme. It's a marker they use to diagnose lymphoma.
The doctor and his fellow had no ideas about a solid diagnosis. They said some doctor words and told us it was a BS diagnosis that they tell people when they don't know what's wrong. At least they don't think it's cancer. It would be a one in a billion if it was something.
My follow up GI appointment happened today. Getting all of the test results. The doctor said all of this probably saved my life. They found a polyp on my colon that was a very aggressive form of pre-cancer. In 4 years it would have been full blown aggressive cancer. It has nothing to do with his symptoms though... but like Zack Holder says, God doesn't waste anything!
Now I'm also lactose intolerant... and I'm super bummed about it.
Now we have 2 new tests and 2 new prescriptions... and a path forward. Nowhere near the end, but we are moving!