Thoughts and Feelings

I thought long and hard about what to say here. I still don’t know for sure, but I decided to just start typing and see what happens, so here goes.

I drafted this blog post maybe 50 times. I’ve struggled with how much to make public vs how much to keep private, how personal I want to make this, whether or not I should give in to my impulse to hide away from the world and isolate myself completely or share everything and reach out to the friends/fans/supporters who are, by now, probably either wondering what happened to me or have moved on entirely.

I ranted a lot in previous drafts, venting my ire about how unfair it is that I have cancer and I’m not even 29 yet (That happens on Sunday. Happy Birthday.), how scary and awful and painful biopsies are, and how it feels to know that a part of your own body has gone rogue and executed strikes against you, then I shifted the other way and wrote about how strong I am, how I’ve always been strong, and how I won’t let cancer change who I am as a person, but that’s a load of mushy self affirming bullshit, regardless of whether or not it’s true… and on top of it all, none of that felt quite right, so I scrapped it and started over.

I tried weaving the tale of how this whole mess began, starting with headaches in 2010 that were misdiagnosed as a sinus infection and migraines, all the way through this past summer when the true cause was revealed to be a large, cancerous tumor pressing against my carotid artery. I described the biopsy process, the countless MRIs, CAT scans and ultrasounds, the hell of waiting for results each and every time, and the crushing fear that came with each “irregular but inconclusive” result.

I talked about my surgery and how it ended up taking nearly 3 times as long as expected, how I suffered severe calcium deficiency right afterwards, and how I ended up with an infection (which happens in less than 2% of patients! Aren’t I lucky?) which will probably result in an even uglier scar.

I described that fateful phone call, which came around 8:00 at night as I played Guild Wars 2 with my gaming buddies… the way it felt when my doctor told me I had not one, but two cancers and that one of them had spread beyond my thyroid. The way it crushed me to have my feelings of safety and relief (Thyroid’s gone, that’s the end of it!) ripped away and replaced with uncertainty and fear.

I tried all of these things and more, but none of them felt like the right thing to say.

I find myself fighting the urge to push people away, people I care about, people I trust, people I need to help me get through this, just because I don’t want to make them worry and fret and stress. I’ve gone radio silent on Facebook and Twitter, and not just because I wasn’t really feeling up to posting. I guess this blog post is a step towards trying to thwart that, a way of reaching out and letting people know what has been going on so I don’t feel so alone. Although I fully admit the seclusion is of my own making and I still don’t know if it’s what I truly want or not. Part of me fears actually publishing this, because I’m not looking for attention or pity or for anyone to pat me on the head and go “There, there.” But I’m not exactly sure of what it is I do want. I just know that I don’t want to alienate people or leave those that might care in the dark.

So I guess that’s all. Anyone who wants to contact me has the means to do so. I’m around.

And I’ll be ok.

Really.

2 Replies to “Thoughts and Feelings”

  1. Well said. You know you won't get pity from me, but you'll get support and whatever help you need, simply because I know you'd do the same for me if our roles were reversed. And you will be ok.

  2. Do you have cancer? Uh, yeah and that absolutely sucks but I promise I will never tell you, "I know how you feel" because I don't. But it's okay to have a hissy fit and it's okay to have a spaz attack if that's how you feel. Do it. Vent all you like – it's okay. And if you feel like hiding, that's okay, too – just don't hide too long because it's too easy to do that and those who love you need to know you're still around.

    Just know that it helps to have a sense of humor and if you have to go to Chemo, some thoughts …

    1. Find a new nurse, one with a pleasant manner
    2. Go up to that nurse with a sweet smile and motion for her to lean close
    3. Whisper, "Are you scared? You should be" and cackle manically

    After that, the rest is cake.

    I will echo SimonGodofHairdos with the wise words: I will support you, I will stand with you, and I will be here for you.

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