the emotional build up of a long week
I met with a geneticist this morning. We went over all the possible gene mutations/syndromes I might carry, and what it means for each possible scenario. We discussed my risks for future cancers in each case, and what my life will be like as far as treatments and testing goes. I would rather have waited til the tests were done to find out what I actually have and then discuss what that means for me. Knowing all the possibilities before hand plants all the seeds of worry in my mind. I feel a heaviness I cannot shake today. I keep hearing people tell me I’m too young for cancer, and how bad that is for my future, how likely it is this will be a lifetime struggle. The surgeon said he would take out a hefty portion of my large intestine, but the geneticist says I might need my entire intestines removed to prevent the return of cancer. Oh and I think I have colon cancer, too. Maybe? I don’t fully grasp everything that’s going on in my body right now.
My family, my friends, my doctors are all surprised that I would have cancer at such a young age. I’m not. I’ve never known good health to be easy, and I’ve never expected anyone to get what they deserve. Nice people suffer all the time, and I’m no exception. I was heartbroken when I was told I could never dance again because of my knees. I don’t think I ever really came to terms with that, but this cancer I am accepting of. I feel I have, one tragedy at a time, been preparing for something this extreme. I’ve never really understood why, but even in my childhood I felt this sense of being ready to overcome. It is as if, above all else, I am suited to overcome the deepest of pains. My favorite book as a child was The Diary of Anne Frank, a girl who proved to be unusually strong in her circumstances, with a sense that even in the darkest hour, the darkness is less important than the desire for a boyfriend. I imagined myself as her, and it made sense. I too would be more concerned about my love life and every-day things than the clear and present danger of my circumstance.
And so I find myself not in fear of cancer, not in fear of my health, but the prospect of losing my house is most present in my mind. I want this house, I want to throw parties in it. I don’t care if I’m bald for the rest of my life, but this house is where I want to be bald and sick. I think it would be more common to suffer depression from my health, but I’m just worried about whether I’ll have the cash to host a fun party this year where I will enjoy the love and company of cute boys. I mean friends.
The question that never crosses my mind is “why me”? I’m supposed to feel that way. I’m supposed to ask that question, the paperwork says I am. I don’t because I already know the answer. Random chance, that’s life, and it doesn’t work that way. I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason. I do believe that I can find purpose and meaning in anything that happens. In cancer, my purpose is to survive as long as possibe, and my meaning is to figure out how to be a light to those who find themselves in a similar situation. I don’t need to believe that I have cancer for a predetermined reason. In fact, to believe that this is anything more than random chance would devastate me. I can emotionally deal with the randomness of this universe, but to believe that there was any purposeful plan to put me through this is a dark and depressing thought. Maybe I’m blind, but I cannot find peace in the idea that this happened for a reason. I find much greater comfort in the idea that it just happened. How much better I feel to know that as far as the universe is concerned, I am a real person in my own struggle, and not some pawn in some asshole’s greater, predetermined plan. That would piss me off. We all have whatever beliefs we need to have to cope. I need to believe this is random, that it is a story I am writing. My strength comes from ME and the love of the people around me.
I’m stubborn and my heart contains the deepest pool of hope. I have the love and support of more family and friends than I have time to soak in. The more followers I get on this blog the more my spirit is lifted. Being cared about is what I need. I very much appreciate your comments, your jokes, your prayers and your offers to babysit me. To know that people care about me is the best mental medicine I can have. You shake off my heaviness and keep me afloat.
“One doesn’t know, till one is a bit at odds with the world, how much one’s friends who believe in one rather generously, mean to one.” -D.H. Lawrence
You mean a lot to me. Thank you.