“The future is uncertain but the end is always near.”
― Jim Morrison
After my cancer diagnosis I felt for sure that I was going to die. In fact it was not until my follow up that I heard the doctor say to my husband for the first time…. “Do not be mistaken your wife was dying. To be honest her body had already started the process of shutting down. Hearing those words provoke a lot of emotions. Some of those which can no longer be tamed.
I am somewhat of a control freak in life. After the surgery to remove my whole left kidney, which was consumed with a tumor the size of a new born, I was told congratulations you are now cancer free go live your life! What…wait…what?? Nothing in life is EVER that easy or that simple. SO I came home to recover and did what every other cancer patient does…..that’s right I researched everything there was to know about kidney cancer. Statistics, recurrence, treatment, I joined forums. Kidney cancer not only consumed my kidney but it was consuming my life.
As the days went on and my body started to heal my mind began to unravel. For the first time in a long time I felt good almost great but yet I still feared death. Then one day as I sat crying, writing and responding to a thread on a forum, I received a response that for the moment gave me a new perspective “Before you were diagnosed with cancer, you had no idea when you were going to die and now that you have cancer you still have no idea when you are going to die…so go live your life.” There it was again those words..”Go live your life.”
~I took those words and clung to them as my daily mantra. ~
The day finally came for my first post op scans. When you hear cancer patients talk about scanxiety let me assure you this is a very real feeling of fear. We had the scans and met with the Dr. Fingers crossed, prayers being said, heart beating a mile a minute…. “You have a small mass in your remaining kidney.” Wait…what…wait, but you said I was cancer free. You said go live your life………
Yep there it is death…at least in my mind but wait it gets worse. What’s worse than death you ask? Coming home to tell my children yet again that moms cancer is back. Looking at the fear in their faces, watching as they try to pretend everything is going to be ok because those are the words they are hearing from my mouth. Looking to their dad for reassurance.
We made a plan. A good one. We were going to burn out the very small tumor and if successful mom will once again be cancer free. The day came. Nerves in full gear. I kiss my husband as they take me back telling him “No worries babe, I got this”. I wake up to no pain. It doesn’t take long before I realize that the procedure did not happen. The Dr. comes in to tell me that the procedure was aborted due to the fact that there was not one mass but two masses and that I need to call my Urologist. I didn’t call him I went to his office. Of course in true bad luck fashion he was out of the office. However they emailed him asking him to give me a call.
As the minutes passed there it was again, death that feeling. When you are faced with your own mortality it is over whelming. There are no words to describe it. I never knew so many thoughts could occupy the mind at once. Thoughts of your children. Their voices, their smiles, their future…… Thoughts of your husband. The plans you have are now becoming the plans you had and the phone rings.
My DR schedules me for repeat scans assuring me that there has to be a mistake and we will know more after the follow up scans. The scans are done and again we wait….. I cry not my husband. He remains very stoic but I see it….. The phone rings and I hear the words it was a mistake. There is only one tumor not two!!! Wait…what? We are going to continue with the original plan only I am referring you to Seattle.
For those of you reading this that actually know me. You know that in the days between kidney removal and post op scan I also had my all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed, a spot of Basal Cell skin cancer removed from my face, and a questionable mammogram. I also have severe trust issues in fact there are very few people I do trust!
So here we are. Friday I will be headed down to Seattle to talk to a new Urologist and I will meet an Oncologist for the first time. Hopefully we will get my surgery scheduled and there will be no more hitches in the giddy up. Hopefully I can hold feelings of death at bay and try to enjoy the sunshine that is promised for this week.
SO Mr. Morrison although my future might very well be uncertain and the end for all is nearer than any of us will ever be comfortable with…. tonight I will spend my time relishing in the sound of my children’s voices and really take the time to enjoy the warmth and comfort of my husbands embrace. Tomorrow should the sun come up, I will rise, take a deep breath and go through the motions all over again……Thankful.