Thursday, January 28, 2010

And suddenly there was conversation

Sorry for the bombardment of posts... really, I had decided to pre-write a post a week until at least after the Bar was over so I didn't spend so much time doing it... only to start randomly have things happen, so now I've got like 6 weeks of pre written posts lined up, and still keep throwing things in the middle.

But, yet another extraordinary thing has happened thanks to the Peace Corps nomination. My friends are actually talking to me about my cancer situation.

I'm floored.

Its such a taboo issue, and had settled so far back into people's minds, that every time I tell them about the nomination, but warn I still have to pass the medical, its sort of like a reality smack. For most people its the first time I've told them that the docs told me I would probably always have cancer. For others, its explaining the risks, and talking about why its even an issue. As far as they can see, I'm fine.

I told my best friend the other day that I would not be getting radiation again... ever. She bout damn near flipped. Her sister, a couple years after me was diagnosed w/ Hodgkins... I can't imagine how she must feel. But I explained to her the new thyca guidelines. How 5-600 mCi accumulated in a life time significantly increases the risk of secondary cancers, and I've already had over 500. I told her about how I'm not going to do biopsies on things that are smaller than a centimeter anymore, and how I would need good reason to cut back into my neck for a third time considering how much scar tissue is already built up. It was a conversation I hadn't even really had with myself, but it all just spilled out. I am tired of aggressively fighting my cancer, and its time to take a step back and reevaluate things.

Further, things have caused me to think a lot about whether I realistically could do the Peace Corps. I understand entirely why they wouldn't want cancer patients. But, my meds are level, I'm getting into great shape. Overall, I'm pretty healthy. I'm not going to die or have ridiculous symptoms that would need me sent to a hospital. I would be fine just getting some blood work once a year to keep in check. I am a fully functional human being. I'm surprisingly confident about all that.

So what is it that makes me a bit of a neurotic cancer patient? I think its the little things that go along with cancer. Its being jobless, and going over the what-ifs. Its the loss of independence, and the constant reminder of everything I've done. I'm angry and I'm frustrated that this stupid little thing could have any impact on my life. And I'm worried, and justifiably so, that it will continue to do so. I'm not afraid of cancer, or it coming back, I'm afraid of how that might effect the life I've built. And I'm afraid of building that life in case I lose it again.

1 comment:

Daria said...

I love your last line ... I'm afraid of building that life in case I lose it again.

That is so true ...