Jan 06, 2005 - 4:45 pm
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the messages. Just what I needed. I cried, I laughed, I cried. It was very good. I'm doing well. The good part about cancer and metastases is that you quickly master disappointing news. What's the cycle? I skip denial because it's a big waste of time. I love anger, fabulous stage, involves lots of swearing. I skip bargaining, again doesn't seem to work. Despairing sucks, but doesn't last long. And within 24 hours I attained acceptance. Back at school despite the crazy snowstorm outside in tights (everyone else is wearing long johns!), absurd shoes, a too-short skirt and enjoying myself. I went shopping yesterday (again, very good coping mechanism) and I'm doing okay. Still getting the occasional passing feeling of panic and experiencing a few tear-welling-up moments, but they are few and far between. I have decided the news is good, really pretty good. I am pretty much in exactly the same position as last year, so stable disease is good. They did manage to remove A LOT of tumors, which can't hurt. Yep, overall pretty good news. AND I still get to go off of chemo for a bit. Which is great. I'm going to so enjoy it. I deserve a break and two months sound wonderful. All my major organs and bone marrow are doing well - better than well. I could do treatment for a very long time if that's what I have to do. We are just taking a break now b/c my GI tract needs some time off from the 5FU and CPT-11 but, otherwise, I am tolerating treatment. It's been two years, which is also cool. I am going to look into some complementary therapies. I was sort of resistant before. Not because I don't think there beneficial, but I am just scared of spending more TIME doing treatment. I never explained my line of reasoning to anyone, but I know you guys will understand. I know metastatic disease is very serious. I know it could kill me. I know that I'm willing to fight hard to beat this, but there are no guarantees that I will. So, my quality of life is very important to me. I already invest so much time in treatment (4 days out of 14) that I am scared to invest any more. I need some time for living, you know? If I just do treatment, than I'll forget what I'm fighting for. So, I try to balance. I have done intense therapy, but I have always maintained a great quality of life. I'm scared to start introducing more "therapy time" because it will impinge on my "living time". Not to say that I don't enjoy myself on treatment days. I have learned that everything can be fun. I make CT days a whole day of fun. I make a friend take me, then we go for lunch and shopping or whatever. I bring all sorts of games to chemo so I can play while being infused. I know I'm still living those days... But it's not the same. I still feel crappy sometimes and that stuff they make you drink for tests, I swear. I am, however, swimming everyday now with my girlfriends. Going to stretch those lungs out so I am ready if they need to hack some more out or radiate. I am also going to continue with school. Since my diagnosis, I have wrestled with whether I'm sticking with it because I don't want to sacrifice another dream to the disease or whether that's were I want to be. I have come to the conclusion that I am a huge nerd and school is exactly were I want to be. I thrive on it. I love learning (please don't tell anyone), it makes me feel productive, it's a domain I excel in, it makes me get out and do, I just need it. I always wonder if it comprimises my health - if it's too much stress, ect. But I think it's good for me. Have any of you read Victor Frankl's "A Search for Meaning"? It's a psychologist's account of concentration camp survival. He maintains that humans can survive the most depraved conditions and inhumane experiences so long as they assign meaning to their experience and purpose to their lives. I think school offers some of that for me.
I love you all very, very much. Thank you for accompanying me along this journey. The next step is to consult with my surgeon so he can compare the scans more accurately and give his opinion. I'm seeing my oncologist at the end of January and my next CT is scheduled for February 18th. You are all so right, I lost one battle but the war is FAR, FAR from over. My best/worse quality (depends on who you ask!) is my extreme stubborness. I think my tumors get it from me! But I will outlast this cancer. There are many things that this disease will never take away from us, the important things like love, laughter, memories, friendship. I'm going to stop now because this is really long. I hope you are all having a wonderful Thursday!