You read that title correctly. Usually, in the movies and novels, the main character goes from patient to survivor, not the other way around. That was me in 2015, but things have certainly changed – for better or worse.
The first post-op MRI has shown that a significant chunk of the tumor has now been removed via the surgery and another chunk has been annihilated from the 30 day radiation and 42 consecutive days of chemotherapy. Now what remains is another 12 month chemotherapy battle. Despite the intimidating sound of this, the 12 month process is what I experienced back in 2014-2015, so in my eyes, I have been through the worst of this current battle.
However, the reason for this blog post is not to simply give you an update on my health. When I began this blog, my intention was to take my cancer experience and turn it into a life lesson for all, regardless of their health. Unfortunately, I sit here, with a significant amount of hair loss, a rare skin disorder in which doctors are yet to identify, and several medications next to my bed, not to mention the mental difficulties and stress both within me and the giving of stress to loved ones. How, in the world, am I supposed to give advice to any reader? When I created this blog, I was a strong, confident, and healthy cancer survivor. Hopefully I will become this survivor again, but for now, I accept the fact that I am, once again, a cancer patient.
Stay strong? Do not give up? Work hard? Are these the things I should be writing to you, the reader? Not today. Today, I am going to get as simple as I can by quoting one of my favorite actors of all time – Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. “Breathe, Just……Breathe.” With all of these doctors appointments, inability to work full days quite yet, and dependance on medications from numerous doctors, I need to realize that my own breathe, my own mindset internally, are the only types of action I am able to fully control. I am assuming that a few of my readers will roll their eyes towards this blog post. If that is the case, everyone else would be jealous of you because you are probably not going through the stress that the rest of us are experiencing.
For those of you who know exactly what I am speaking of, please take a pause from this blog post and breathe…..just breathe – even once. We give our lives away all day, every day. Working, relationships, friendships, anything. As I go through this cancer battle, I am reminded, from back in 2014, that life is moving forward whether you like it or not. Your ending time is unknown, so try to be aware of your present moment. I have found myself losing mental strength due to stress about the next doctor’s appointment, the next MRI, the next medication that I need to take. It is easier said than done, but we need to decrease the utilization of the word “next”. I do not mean to completely remove the word, but just attempt to increase the idea being here now.
I need to battle this final round of treatments in order to become a survivor again, once and for all. To the reader, hopefully you are experiencing something a bit less disturbing than this, but the same idea still applies. Understand your mortality, but do not obsess over the next step – try to focus more on the current step. I hope you are able to do this, because I am certainly struggling from it recently.