...I had my liver resection. A year ago, at the time I write this now, I was in post-op in searing pain, yet somewhere in the back of that agony was the idea that I was cancer-free. I had hopes that I would be the lucky one, the one out of a million, the one who had mets and against all odds, lived a long life. Three years previous, again in October, I had my mastectomy for early stage cancer, again thinking, post-surgery, that I was cancer-free.
Today, as we start the pink fest that is October, and the month I would dread (except my oldest child was born this month so I will always love it), I got news that for certain, cancer is back in my liver.
But still, only my liver.
We might ablate it again. I start Halaven, a new chemo (my sixth) next week. Amid the flurry of pink that October brings, with its celebration of all things survivor and the focus on awareness, I have become aware that this is a fight that I am destined to lose.
And, even the dumb war metaphors are starting to seem more realistic. I am so tired, and yet I get up every day, I go to chemo once a week, I try this thing and that thing, hoping to establish a beachhead, a place where I get the upper hand, but now knowing that the enemy, my cancer, will win.
And, why wouldn't my cancer be victorious in this metaphorical battle? My cancer is me, my cells. My stubborn, self-willed cells. Why would they be any less determined than I am to live, to survive?
They are dumb cells though, that don't know that when they kill me off, they die too.
The days are worth living despite the exhaustion. There are beautiful things that happen in my life, some I will share in the upcoming days, some big and some tiny. As I left my doctor's appointment today after hearing the news, I saw the most beautiful color car, maybe what they call candy apple red. So deep, it was like layers of color inside of color. I stopped to stare at the depth of the color. I can still appreciate these simple, beautiful things, maybe more than I could before.
But, it is extremely difficult to live your life on chemo, your body a continual battleground against the enemy, especially one who is merely yourself. I know that some day, I will get too tired. Death is inevitable for all of us, and the white flag of surrender will go up. I will be a casualty in this pink war, forgotten in the culture of survivors.
But not yet. I fight on.
Pain and Frustration
1 week ago