It took me awhile to write this. Not necessarily because I think people will read it. I have a small following but it was the act of admitting it in public. In November, my oncologist had decided I had cancer - advanced endometrial cancer and we began a series of explorations into how severe it was. I went through the gambit of CT-scans, MRI's and a biopsy. It was a terrible learning situation. I came out with a healthy respect for the medical practitioners who work with people in the cancer field. They are to a letter (for me) kind, sympathetic, compassionate people who chose this field because they love people. I have never met anyone yet who is in Cancer work for the money. It was a worrisome time. I felt fairly bad since I had extremely large fibroids that were preventing several of my organs from functioning well. Originally I was going to start with a hysterectomy but it appears now that that will occur later. For now I started Chemo therapy.
My best friend had had cancer and I helped him through chemo.... driving up from Austin to Dallas once a month to spend 4 or 5 days with him. I'd clean his house, make him meals to reheat, take him to chemo or the store. It taught me to respect how brave he was - and how much he went through to hopefully become healthy. He is and is over 4 years in remission (it might be five). I love him to pieces and now it's his turn to help me. I have my wonderful fellow who has cheerfully done as much as could for me - sometimes more than I want him to but there you go. You learn to rely on others in order to help yourself and I've been an independent proud person who has been reluctant to accept help.
Cancer is hard. There are days when I am sick and cannot feel positive about getting through this. I am poisoning my body to kill cells gone wacky. I am purposely making myself die to live. What a strange thought. Cancer is hard because it spreads, it's not picky what it attacks or attaches itself to any organ or body part. You wake up one morning fine and twenty minutes later feel like you cannot move and inch because you are so tired. Your hair falls out and you feel ugly or you get a red scratchy rash over your entire body. And the nausea is always lurking in the background somewhere
And yet through this time, I am also getting rewards. I am touched by the people who care enough to keep track of me, to say hi and send me hellos. The neighbor down the street who caters and brings me leftover food from his catering jobs. The friend in Oklahoma who sends me hellos and hugs over the Internet to cheer me up. The friend I hadn't seen in over 2 years who now comes by and sits with me to watch television and be normal. I get rewards in seeing the sun light outside or enjoying the winter air and how crisp it is or how a total stranger will smile and say hi or hold the door open for me.
I also have come to appreciate the fact that I love myself enough to put myself through this... to make myself so sick that I can get better. That I try to make all the health professionals happy to see me and give them sometime to smile about even if it's just me being silly. That I appreciate the people in my life even the ones I'm not so crazy about because they encourage me to grow. That to be healthy is to be strong and to be strong is to cherish yourself. Sounds trivial but it's important.
I guess this has made me realize that my resolution for the New Year is just one wish. To be more mindful of my life and to see something positive out of every situation. I think I'm up to the challenge.