The Hidden Cost of Cancer.

When people hear “Cancer” a lot of things come to mind but what is most often overlooked is the fact someone is about to pause their life while the people around them keep moving forward. They will most likely have to put their goals and dreams off to the side for however long it takes for them to get through this crazy time in their life. (Unless they are a super hero, who just power houses through whatever lemons life gives them, but I am not one of them.)

The hidden cost of cancer is not a dollar amount… though, I will admit, that every time I get another bill I puke in my mouth a little, but that is another story for another day…The real cost of cancer adds up to be the little things, like time. Time you would rather be doing anything other then dealing with being sick. You miss family time, you miss events, you miss traveling, you miss just about anything you would want to do but can’t. You spend more time in doctor offices, hospitals, clinics, labs and testing then you spend at your own home (and trust me, you spend A LOT of time at home.)

You spend a lot of time worrying about what will make you sick. “Should I go here?” “What will that cost me? My energy for the week?” Β “Will I be exposed to something? Will I catch someones cold?” Little sicknesses can really be awful for a weakened immune system. The thought of even shaking someones hand can be scary and costly for your health. Most of the time you would rather stay home then risk a trip back to the hospital. When you do venture out your most likely leaving the house with only half a battery because your energy level drains just trying to make yourself presentable.

Today, August 31st, I am six months post-op in attempt to rid my body of this tumor that has wreaked havoc on my body. I will have my six month follow up where they will preform an ultrasound on my neck to check for regrowth and other oddities. They will decide my progress and the direction my health is headed. They will draw blood and adjust my medications. They will chart their findings.

Cancer has cost me this:

113 vials of blood
14 doctors visits
2 MRI’s
1 Chest X-Ray
6 hours in surgery
8 Days in the Hospital
25 Physical Therapy visits
14 Prescriptions
2 Trips to the ER (post-op complications)
180 days of pain caused by nerve damage
17 Anxiety attacks (medication induced)
6 Missed parties
4 Colds because my immune system is gone
1 Photography Studio (closed)
6 Months of not being able to do what I love. (Photography)
34 Sick days at my replacement job
180 days of not being able to feel anything on the right side of my face and ear
180 days with no trapeazous muscle to work my right shoulder
180 days of fighting that I will not get back

The list goes on, but my post today is nothing more then a reminder. I wake up, I put a smile on, I go about my day. I don’t want the people I interact with on the street to know anything other then what I show them. (This blog is where I tell everyone how I really feel).Β My cancer is just a touch of what other people go through. A lot of cancer patients go through so much more then I have. Those numbers continue to increase for different types of cancers and stages. I was lucky because cancer can cost people a lot more then what I lost. It can cost people their hair, body parts, organs and even their life. I got to keep most of those and for that I am thankful.

I feel like my post today is a little disorganized and all over the place. When I write out of frustration it is difficult to keep my thoughts in one place. I started this post weeks ago, but every time I would come back to it, I felt like I was complaining too much.I am not trying to complain, I am just trying to show a new perspective of my last 6 months.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo,
Ashley

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