This past Monday I had new scans. (Wait. Do I hear myself here? I’m talking cancerspeak. “New scans.” Ugh. Okay, here we go.)
I had a new MRI, to look inside my pretty brain. And I had a new CT scan, to look at my bodacious bod, or at least the weird lumpy parts inside it. Scan Day was long and involved two hospitals, a doctor visit, a ton of waiting on dubiously-clean chairs, two IVs, and a lot of walking down halls. My beloved was at my side the whole time, no easy feat for a man whose back had seized up and could only crawl just a few days before.
I’m getting ahead of myself. You want the results, don’t you?
NO NEW TUMORS.
That’s very good news. Incredibly awesome, magical, unheard-of news. Most people who have what I have die. There is no good medical chemo-type treatment that does more than buy people a few more months. There are doctors who think I should be dead by now.
But wait! There’s more!
EXISTING TUMORS ARE GETTING SMALLER.
Again, this does not happen. Yes, they see good results with the Gamma Knife radiation treatment I had for the two lesions in my brain, but as another doctor explained, zapping brain spots is like whacking cockroaches with a shoe. You get a few, sure, but there are thousands more that you can’t see and eventually they come out in the light. You can keep whacking and keep whacking, but unless you deal with the cockroaches systemically, eventually you get too tired to whack them anymore and everyone just says WTF and packs it in.
My radiation oncologist, who has bug-zapped countless people and is well regarded in her field, said the number of cancer patients she has seen who are healing the way I am is ZERO. Nada, nil, zilch, zed.
Take, that, cancer. Nyah.
It’s not over yet.
I’m still crazy-tired.
I had this idea in my head that if I had good scan results, people would think I was just, you know, normal now. Like I can get up and run that marathon, or at least do my own juicing so my soulmate Kahuna doesn’t have to. I had the idea that people would point fingers at me and wonder what the hell is wrong with me that I’m still on the couch. Surely, if the cancer is receding, I can work now. Right?
That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
So not only am I still sick, still tired, and still hurting, but I am judging myself for being in that state.
Every day I push myself just to stand up. Ten zillion times a day, or whenever I need to drink a juice, pee from all the juice, eat something, wash a dish, pee again, or do an enema, I push myself to do it. My day is about trying to find an intricate balance between not-doing and doing-too-much. The line between these two states in unbelievably narrow. I still haven’t found it, because it changes every day, every hour, every minute.
But mostly I am exhausted. Every single damn day. This won’t be over for me for more than a year.
We need help. Lots of it. Now.
It’s a full time job to do the things that are keeping me alive. And note — that’s keeping me alive, not getting awesome. To get awesome*, we would have to do even more. Way more. But I’m exhausted from running all those marathons and Kahuna is doing his best but he has his own challenges. We can’t do this alone. We need help.
Pretty soon we’ll tell you what help we need and how you can contribute. I’m excited, because frankly, you rock. I soak up the love in each and every comment and note, and you have helped sustain me through some awfully dark times. I am so glad you’re on this journey with me.
*My definition of “awesome” = Decades with my soulmate. Full, glowing health. Serving the world in some small way that lights my heart.