Living.

I guess I forget sometimes what exactly I'm living with. I mean, there's not more than a few minutes that goes by that I forget, but on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis, I sometimes do. I don't *feel* like a cancer patient. I don't *feel* like someone who has gotten some kind of doom and gloom diagnosis. Mainly? I don't feel like anyone in the world has the right to say that I fit into any type of statistic or give me any type of prognosis as to how long this life of mine is going to last. Of course I know that statistics are based on a sampling of people that fall into a certain test study group. I also am well aware of the fact that aspects of my life put me into certain groups that studies have been done on. I'm intelligent, I'm educated, and I've been through this. What I think people don't realize at times is that medicine and technology are a dynamic, living, breathing, growing transformation. That two years can get me 10. That in 10 years, there may be a cure. That 10 years can turn into the 50 I'm looking for. Until then? There's not a chance in hell that I'm going to let someone tell me where I *won't* be, or where I *can't* be, or for that matter, what I *can't* do.

You want know what I can't do, according to what I "should" be doing? I can't hike 22 miles two days after a chemo treatment. I can't handle elevation without getting nauseous. I can't run 5 miles every other day. I can't possibly go to work as usual and keep up the same pace. Oh wait. Most people without cancer can't do that either. But wait...EFF-that. I just did.

One of the first times we were in the oncologist's office this time around, we read an article about the differences between early stage cancer and metastatic cancer patients, and how so many times, there is an enormous rift. Whether it's the fact that the metastatic patients represent the worst fears of the early stage "cured" patients, or that the early stage patients seemingly have it so much easier than the patients who are dealing with mets and multiple rounds of chemo, coupled with the fact that whether people are patients or not, cancer is scary as hell for everyone. I never realized there was such a divide.

The strange thing is, I see it even around me. Some friends are convinced that I beat this once, no problem. Pardon the interruption, I'll beat this again. Others are trying to wrap their thoughts around the fact that they think I now have a measurable timeline here in this world. Cancer is such a personal thing, and I find it fascinating that one person's story can range from incredibly inspiring and uplifing to unbearably painful to follow. Same person. Same story. Different perspectives digesting the same information.

I'm grateful for the ones that believe in me and know that I can beat this. The ones that see me as inspiring, rather than terrifying, because that's how I feel. I wish I could alleviate the fears of others, and perhaps this is my time to shine, to do some good to someone else. I can't really account for the ones that are scared of me, or of what I am going through, because cancer is a highly personal experience whether you are living with it, or just exposed to the reality that it exists. I suppose I just need to let people digest the information they have and the opinions they formulate about my condition or prognosis thereof on their own.

Me? Perhaps I'm the eternal optimist. Perhaps I know that there's a bigger plan for me than cutting this time short. Perhaps I know that if I spent precious time on the 'what if' I'd miss the now, because cancer or no cancer, there's not a single one of us that knows what the next day will bring.

Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it.

7 comments:

    On August 20, 2007 at 7:26 PM Alyson said...

    don't you know it sister..

    On August 20, 2007 at 7:32 PM Nighty said...

    Well, there ya go! I'm not sure what prompted this post, but I'm glad you got it out. There is NO reason you can't do whatever the hell it is that you feel like doing - to me, letting others dictate that would be like giving up and I think that unless you have had cancer, you can't really "know". It is a truly personal experience and no two are the same as far as I can tell. Cancer really majorly sucks, but letting it rule your life would suck worse, IMO.
    You just keep on keepin' on, Quiet Thunder and I know you will beat this - again. NOT UP FOR DISCUSSION!
    (And btw, I had no idea I could respond to your blog like this...... :) Kiss,Kiss

    hold up, now you're encouraging us to smoke?

    bad cancer patient, bad!

    ok, making jokes and being a pain in the rear aside, of course you're going to do what you're going to do, and nobody and nothing will dictate that: your life is up to you!

    as for the people who are afraid, who fear you, who fear this? they're coping with their own mortality. it's a huge process for a lot of people, especially those who've never really had to confront it before. how they respond to you, isn't really about you. just keep that in mind if it ever gets you down.

    xxxooo

    On August 21, 2007 at 7:15 PM Anonymous said...

    Juat wanted to tell you that I'm praying for you, and will be reading your blog daily...I love and admire you for the way you face what life throws at you...I could only wish to have a small portion of the strength that you posess...I know you will beat this, too...No doubt whatsoever...Much love, Ali(i-never-said)

    I fear you.. but because you can hike the mountain and run the miles!! Cancer or no.. you are one of the most amazing, strong, beautiful people i've every had the honor of knowing in my life.

    Claim it, be it and rock it sister!
    --Tat

    Just wanted to let you know that we are still bugging God with prayers. We love you!
    Steph, Ben and Malcolm

    On August 23, 2007 at 11:38 AM Anonymous said...

    sweetie, this is amazing. you're such an awesome woman. lovvveeee you. xxo. lyyn