What I Learned After My Heart Attack

After being diagnosed with Stage 1 Esophageal Cancer, I learned that my greatest fear was not that I would die of this cancer. No, my greatest fear was that I’d never recover and never get to live a full life. There was so much I could still accomplish and live out! I was able to finish my degree, get married, open my own restaurant, travel the world and more. I was finally able to let life go so I was finally able to be comfortable and feel normal and not be sick all the time.

I was diagnosed with Stage 1 esophageal cancer in the summer of 2008. This was a rare disease of the esophagus and, fortunately, they were able to remove all of the tumour that the surgeons found. Unfortunately, the surgery didn’t leave me without permanent damage to my digestive system, but I’m fine today. I was able to finish my nursing degree in 2009 and opened a restaurant with my husband in 2010. My life as I knew it went on. But I also learned what I’ve learned over the years, and I’m still taking care of myself and my health as best as I can today.

In 2011 I suffered a serious heart attack and my life really turned down. I was able to get through it though, and I had two surgeries. This was my first time having those two surgeries and I had to be extremely careful with what medications I took.

Unfortunately I still have some chronic diseases including: Diabetes Cancer Arthritis Lupus Depression . I’ve had to learn to take care of myself and my health. If this was my first heart attack then I know what that feeling is like.  But this was my second heart attack that the doctors didn’t see.  Because the surgeries I’ve had were so hard it is really no surprise that I did have to undergo another.

With those two heart surgeries you can’t help but think about the ones that you’ve not had yet.  That’s exactly what it was like for me.  I was already in so much pain from my first heart attack, and now this! I’ve always considered myself to be a tough person, but I am really not.  I have tried to make things better for myself so when I went through my third heart attack I really couldn’t help feeling like I wanted to do everything I could to end it sooner rather than later.   So much so, that I would have done anything to stop.

There are going to be more tough days ahead.  As a woman you know there are going to be times when you feel you’ve had enough. There is going to be times where you need to cry and cry and cry.

It has hit home what it is like to be in so much pain, especially when it is your own body.  The day after my second heart surgery I lost 30 pounds as well; the biggest loss of all from my entire life.  It was my own body, my own time to feel normal, just like it had been after the first two surgeries.  I was able to get around and get out of my apartment and finally be able to have the life I was meant to have.

It’s the days like this that really get my blood pumping…

I am grateful and grateful for life still. I am thankful for you guys. I’m thankful for my life today and the days to come.  And I’m thankful for life.  I’ve lived more than most of us will ever know in this earth and I’ve lived a wonderful life because of it.