WARNING: Following blog post filled with whining and anxiety. Writer is surrendering to a cancer-fueled, impatience-inspired pity party. Read at your own risk.
That was 9 weeks ago and simply put, 9 weeks is a long, long time in the life of a cancer patient.
It is an eternity when you know there are badly behaved, potentially lethal cells rapidly dividing in your body. It is an eternity when every uncomfortable twitch, stab of pain or dry cough can conjure up all sorts of frightening images of metastases to the bones, the lungs or the brain. It is an eternity when you are a starkly impatient and inherently impulsive person who just wants to get on with it already.
I was diagnosed with cancer an eternity ago, and guess how much curative treatment I have received?
None, and I don’t even have a surgery date yet. None, and I have already been on medical leave for 5 weeks. None, and I have no idea if I will need chemo or any other adjuvant treatment.
Did I mention that I have cancer? That’s a big deal, right? At least, I thought it was. But nobody in the medical industry seems to be in a hurry.
I can’t tell you how insane this has made me, how crazy I feel right now. My life has been paused by some force beyond my control and I feel like a caged animal, pacing back and forth, back and forth, trying to find some way out of this situation. I am losing my mind.
I have no control right now. I have no control over surgeons’ schedules. I have no control over when a nurse will call me back. I have no control over how quickly test results will be available. I have no control over when I can get back to work permanently. I am not really a control freak. I can be relatively flexible and adaptable, but dammit, I would like some control over my life’s circumstances. (I warned you about the whining…..)
This is where a good theologian would insert a profound piece of wisdom about how being vulnerable and powerless can, ironically, be a perfect opening for God to touch my heart. A wise person might suggest that I use this time to work on mindfulness, being present to each moment even when in discomfort and confusion. Maybe I should dig around for a good quote from Howard Thurman or Barbara Brown Taylor. There has to be a website dedicated to pithy sayings of hope just for people with cancer.
But I ain’t got nothing. And I don’t want to go looking for something either. I don’t want easy answers. Or lofty ideals. Or saccharine sayings.
I want a surgery date. Period.