The below post was written the day I received some not-so-great news in early February. I’ve been sitting on this news, sharing only with a few and as the weeks have passed, sharing more in person with what’s on the horizon, which essentially is a giant bag of shitty unknowns.
I told myself I didn’t want to burden anyone with the emotional rollercoaster that is my health. What I realized was I didn’t want to burden myself with the stress of having to repeat, over and over again, that we don’t know anything yet, that there’s nothing to be done, and that we just have to wait. And we know my feelings on waiting are: fuck that.
Thank you for giving me a space where I can be honest — I’m overwhelmingly grateful for the support you have provided. Fact is, the emotional roller coaster of living with cancer is overwhelming. The highs and lows take a toll. And, since we’re being honest, getting news I can do nothing about until I have more information made me turn inward, instead of outward.
No “RALLY THE TROOPS!” this time around. We’ve been here before, and while its devastating to consider a third round of treatment, that’s not what I’m facing. Yet. Or at all. We just. don’t. know.
I needed the space to be alone with my thoughts and to sit with the feelings that come. Frustration. Sadness. Hope. Anger. Gratitude. Fear.
So much fear. Because the unknown IS fear and vice versa. So, before I share my news (which you may have already guessed is not the great), here’s a reminder from Elizabeth Gilbert, about allowing emotions into our lives, but not letting them control it.
” Fear: I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still — your suggestions will never be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps; you’re not allowed to suggest detours; you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But, above all else, my dear and old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”
February 13, 2018
One minute, you’re celebrating one lab result; the next, a gut punch of another. This is cancer. Hell, this this life.
Peace of mind is an illusion. It’s an imaginary space we build inside to protect ourselves from an impossibly unpredictable world.
My CA-125 levels doubled in the past month. My oncologist is concerned. The next step is a PET scan, which is scheduled March 1.
We’re hoping the PET simply confirms the accuracy of my clear CT from last month. The problem with a PET is that it shows minutia, and radiologists tend to report anything and everything they see within it.
My oncologist told me he has another patient whose CA-125 levels are over 300 (far above where mine were when I was first diagnosed) and her PETs are negative, so there are false positives. A glimmer of hope, perhaps.
As I said to my doc, it’s obviously disappointing to receive this news.
But of course, what I really mean is, this fucking sucks.
I have a follow up March 9. We will go from there.