I’m sure it’s been said before, but the unknown, while at times can be exciting… say, space exploration, can also be scary, especially when that unknown is confined to a small box of possibilities; one or more of those being the end of one’s life. Before I get too dramatic, no, I am not dying… at least not anytime soon that I know of. However, I am now faced with finding out some new information that could potentially shorten whatever my biological clock had in store for me.
I always knew that the cancer could come back. (That is a line I will use if it actually does come back, too). When I finished chemo in March of 2012, I got routine blood tests that checked for abnormal levels of various things that could indicate cancer cell activity. Several weeks ago, one of those tests suggested something elevated in my liver that shouldn’t be. I had a CT scan two days ago and now I have a PET scan scheduled for next week before my next oncology appointment. The worst case scenario is that the cancer had somehow spread to my liver and has started to grow. At this point, I don’t know how aggressive it could be, how long it has been there, or if that is even what is going on. There are other possibilities too – I believe something as simple as an infection could also produce these results.
In the mean time, before my PET scan and before my oncology appointment where I get to hear the results, I just have to sit and wait, and hope for the best. I guess. Is that what I’m supposed to do? I’m good at hiding my emotions, but I’m not afraid to communicate how I am feeling, and I am feeling scared, anxious and depressed. I hate the waiting game. The anxiety builds and builds and builds. I try to fill my days with distractions while I wait.
So, yesterday, I saw a movie called After Earth with Will Smith and his son, Jaden. The premise was intriguing, the overall plot was nothing special and the acting left much to be desired. I didn’t hate it, and I appreciate what Will and M. Night attempted to put together; but, some better decisions could have been made. At any rate, I am not here to bash the film. Will Smith’s character is all about not being afraid of anything. He even states, “Fear is a choice” and, I am paraphrasing here, “Fear is merely an illusion created by the mind’s thoughts of the future.” I think his philosophy about how fear is just being unsure of the future is somewhat correct, but I don’t think I could ever be as robotic as to just turn it off as needed when the unknown is a premature death; which, by the way, is my biggest fear. I suppose if I had accomplished more things in my life, I would be more at peace knowing my time could be short, but I am not there yet.
Then, there’s Alex Lewis. A good friend that I did not get nearly enough time with on this earth. Several years younger than me, he died last year on this exact day – June 5, 2012. In fact, there’s a blog post about it if you look several pages back. I don’t know if he had the same fears as me, but I do know he wanted to accomplish more with his life, too. Looking back at Alex, and my first diagnoses in August, 2011, it’s not like I haven’t been trying to accomplish things in my life; I have, but with little success so far. I’m not giving up, but I don’t dig the increased setbacks. Perhaps my disappointment with what I consider success is too tangential for this blog post.
I wish there was some final positive point I can bring this all back to, but there isn’t yet. I am thankful for the people I have at my side like Cierra, who are there to comfort me and remind me that I am not completely alone. Maybe I do have something positive to say. Experiencing these trying times adds to my personality and grit; and surviving them makes me stronger and wiser.