Is Vox having issues? I can't reply to anyone using my Mac. So annoying.
Feeling crappy is so relative, isn't it? Your personal worst (physically) could be someone's pretty good day or conversely, your personal best day could be another's downer. I imagine my best day would be horrific for my neighbor, who seems semi-athletic and healthy but who is a bit of a hypochondriac.
Those of us on the cancer wagon seem to be going through the Tunnel of Progression. Yep, it's dark days of tests, scans, waiting, terrifying results, crappy care by hospital staff, doctors who aren't there, treatment options, sadness, panic…and the inevitable I-probably-need-to-plan-for-the-end-but-I'm-not-ready-to-go roller coaster. It's a roller coaster in the dark, at the top of a pinnacle, and the Devil's working the controls. The cancer tunnel/roller coaster is a unique torture, not for the faint of heart. It is infinite.
I feel terrible, sad, angry. I am pained by the suffering of my friends, by the uncertainties we all face when our treatments fail or develop resistance, when we wonder if there's another rock in the pond to jump to, and if there is, how long or stable will it support our weight? When I feel good, as I did on my last trip, I indulged the fantasy of living another year or two, of going on a few more trips. "I can do it. I can still see Egypt and the Great Barrier Reef. I can still get my affairs in order. I'll get healthy and extend my life." Fantasy Island. Who am I kidding? It doesn't seem like it's up to me, to any of us. Our bodies have become aliens over which we have no control. Those we love, well–sometimes we can't do much about their suffering, nor can they help with ours except to be there to cry on.
Helplessness is a feeling I detest, but oftentimes, there's no way around it. At the most rudimentary level, just surviving is a battle with helplessness. "Just surviving" trivializes an anguished fight to live. Is "just surviving" enough of a quality of life to keep going with treatments that make one sicker than well? Can the dream of living beyond helplessness, to enjoy a bit of life a little longer be realized after withstanding so much horror? How much can we put our caregivers through?
I think we all cling to that dream, that hope. Without it there's no point in going on. It's a selfish dream, and I urge everyone to encourage those whose faith may be faltering to be steadfast in the conviction that surviving is worthwhile. I can say this now, but have I ever been in such a horrific state that I didn't think surviving the torture would be worth it? Probably not. I don't know at what point one would throw in the towel, but to you, NM, I still believe there's hope, and I know you have a will of steel. I haven't been through a tenth of what you've survived, but please believe that there's light and life waiting at the end of the tunnel.
This is the seventh month I've been on Tarceva as a single agent since my six month break from it. I know I have to look for options but until now I've been complacent and rebellious. Childish, it's true, and one can't really afford to be that way towards one's treatment options. Some days you just don't want to be grown up. It's so tiring. I can't believe I actually wondered if my snowboard would be any good anymore. So yeah, cancer…snowboarding…cancer…food…cancer…what?…cancer…cancer…blah. Fuck cancer.
The higher you fly, the harder the fall. If I don't stop being immature, I'll be in for a horrible surprise. I have a primary tumor in my left lung with numerous mets all over my spine, both hips, both femurs, at least a rib and a shoulder, and last summer I had new nodes in my right lung. How can I fantasize about anything other than getting through the day? How long can this pill-a-day hold off the monster within (or, how long will my luck hold)? And how many more options do any of us have? Luck. What a freakish thing to rely on. Yet sometimes that's what seems to be in play.
Hurry up, scientists and pharmaceutical companies. HURRY. This is the 21st century, for crying out loud. (I say this, knowing there's still malaria and typhoid in a country controlled by the Catholic church.)