The Long way Home

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March 12, 2016 - Vancouver, Washington

Hello All My Name is Michael Albertson and this is part 1 of my story that I want to share with those of you who are undergoing treatment for cancer. Especially those of you who have been given diagnoses that was given to you by your doctor or doctors that you only have a short time left and the cancer you have is fatal and you will be passing away within a short period of time. I was told that I should prepare myself and family that I had a fatal form of cancer and that I only had 6 months to a year to live. That was 15 years ago and I have no plans to leaving this planet anytime soon. I was diagnosed with a tumor in my head the day after Thanksgiving 2001. So let’s start there. It was November 25th 2001 when I woke up with a massive headache and I didn’t feel right. I had been to my primary care doctor about a two weeks earlier complaining of headaches. My doctor had prescribed me Flonase and 800 milligrams of Ibuprofen tablets. My day was planned out to take my two children to meet their mother in the Dall’s Oregon so they could spend the remainder of the holiday in Yakima Washington with their mother. So I took 1600mg of the Ibuprofen and a couple snorts of Flonase before we left and proceeded on our journey. This drive is an hour and half just to get there. My headache never went away all the way down there. In fact it was getting worse as time passed by. Upon our arrival I turned to my son Ryan of 15 at the time while transferring their luggage and told him that there was something wrong with me and I was headed to the hospital in Vancouver when I got back. He replied are you ok are you going to make it back ok. I told him not to worry everything was going to be fine. When I got to the hospital I told the nurse at the counter what was going on with me. She told me to have a seat in the waiting room and they would call me back as soon as a room was available. I thought to myself great now I have to sit here in this load room for an hour or two before I even get a room much less another hour or two before I get to see a doctor. Then to my surprise it wasn’t more than ten minute’s and they called me back. I didn’t think anything of it at the time just wow these guys have really improved cool. Went back with the nurse and she started the questions. I remember her asking me on a scale of 1 to 10 what level of pain are you in I replied quickly that I was at 25. She said wow ok and excused herself for a minute. She returned about 5 minutes later with an iv an orderly with a gurney and a doctor who explained that I was being moved to the imaging department for a cat scan. So off we went. I could already feel the pain starting to get better on the way there. After the scan was done and I returned to the room the doctor came in and proceeded to tell me the scan reveled a tumor in my brain and that he had called in some specialists to come in and tell me more. The two doctors came in sometime later don’t remember exactly I was given some really powerful stuff to reduce the pain. They introduced themselves as Dr. Marcus Braun of Compass Oncology and Dr. Michael Harrison of Rebound neurosurgery. Now I was scared out of my mind. They don’t call in people like this unless its bad news I thought to myself. So they proceeded to explain to me what their diagnosis was of my situation. Dr. Harrison asked me if I was married or had family members in town. Wow yes I just got married a few months ago I replied. He continued to explain to me that I should call her and have her come to the hospital. That she needed to here this to. So they left the room for a few minutes I called my wife and told her the story she told me she would be right there after she dropped her kids off at her parents. So while the three of us started to talk all I could think about was what the heck is going on. Dr. Harrison started to ask me questions about my new wife and the six kids we had put together. So I explained to him the story after which they both commented wow the Brady Bunch they both proclaimed. So I couldn’t stand it anymore come on guys what’s all this about. Dr. Harrison finally spoke out and told me what they were thinking. (Well Michael we both agree but would like to do some more testing but you have a brain tumor that is causing your headaches. It’s attached to your cerebellum. These unfortunately are generally fatal.) My heart fell to the ground and the tears began to fall. Oh my God I’m going to die. But I just started a new life what’s going to happen to my wife and kids I thought. Just then my wife finally arrived. She caught me with the tears rolling down my face. Something she had never seen from me. She grabbed my head and made me look her face to face. What is all of this Michael why are you crying? I explained to her what the doctors had told me. She exploded in tears and said baby you can’t die we have to many plans and all these kids you can’t leave me. Both doctors who stepped out for a moment came back in and began to console both of us. And explain that I was to go into surgery for a resection then a very heavy course of Chemo therapy and radiation treatments. Ok I haft to leave you all here but I will continue my story if you all would like to hear it. But for me I haft to put this in sections 15 years is a long time and a lot happens in that time. To say the least I was absolutely flabbergasted in complete despair. I want to remind all of you that was 15 years ago. So there is hope. No diagnosis is 100% no matter what they say. We all have the power in us to change anything that happens to us. Nothing is absolute. Through great amounts of prayer and perseverance I have lived so far without assistance buy a care giver and I just received the results here a couple months ago that the Glioblastoma level 4 in my head has little to no growth so I’m excited to me that tells me that its going to be a long time before before I go anywhere. Those of you reading this that have been told the same thing you can make it through this. I’m not saying its not easy its not it’s the hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life. BUT YOU CAN DO THIS My favorite saying when someone asks me how I’m doing? I’m still kicken they haven’t got me yet. God bless all Keep up the fight You can do it!!!!!!