HEALTH UPDATE: It’s treatment day! My 40th treatment of immunotherapy! Still kicking ass. F you cancer! I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy a few weeks ago. My colon is free of any polyps or concerns, yay! My endoscopy lead to a new diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus. I have yet to be consulted as to what this means exactly although the nurse told me it is not cancer. According to doctor googles, my best guess is that my hiatal hernia that still causes me to 🤮 has now caused cells from my intestines to now also be in my esophagus, where they don’t belong. It’s funny how a new diagnosis is like, meh…no big deal.
I’m at my 3 week appointment! I’m waiting for my room so I can get my miracle concoction. Turns out my miracle concoction is creating miracles for others as well! There has been an article floating around by CBS about a small trial of people with rectal cancer. They have all had their tumors disappear! This very exciting drug is like mine but through a different company. My oncologist compared it to being like Coke and Pepsi! Isn’t that something? They all have many mutations, like me! I’m still the only one with the crazy, practically unheard of disease though. Yeah. I think I’m liking being the odd ball. Lol.
While I’m thrilled that these new drugs offer so much hope and are literally saving my life and the lives of others, I can’t help but feel my heart breaking. For all my cancer friends without mutations, the alarm bells and the headlines won’t likely help you. Too many cancer warriors are left behind. I see you. I feel your disappointment. Why was I chosen to be with the lucky crowd that gets to celebrate?
I’m sitting here at UW Carbone, waiting for care. My cancer friends and their incredible caretakers sit with me. It’s the same each time. So many sad eyes. Sick eyes. Concerned eyes. There are still no faces as covid just won’t die. Every time I’m here, I want to sit by each person and hold their hand with both of mine. I want to hug them with my eyes and silently communicate to them to hang on! You are not alone! But that would be weird.
Instead, I invite people come to me. I offer my voice on my Hello Cancer Friends podcast. It makes me feel good inside I invite everyone to reach out, if they like. I’ve met many incredible people and have made friends to last a lifetime. To say this is my passion would be correct.
A few days ago I participated in a rainy 5k walk to support UW Carbone Cancer Race for Research. Like the hills on the fresh cut grass trails, the walk was full of ups and downs for me. I did this one solo. Not without assuring my bff sister Melanie, over several days, that it would be OKAY if she did not come this time. She wanted to go. She always wants to be there with me. A part of me needed to go alone. I needed to process. I needed to be one with nature. I wanted to feel every ounce of appreciation for my miraculous second chance. This event did not disappoint! To be surrounded by so many people, all walking and running in the rain, to raise funds for this incredible cause was exhilarating. It’s so moving and I was proud to be a part of it.
While walking, I let my inner chatter go wild. No interruptions or talking myself out of sad or negative thoughts. My purpose was healing. I’ve realized that although I’m mostly joyful, there is deep seeded trauma that has come with my cancer experience. I cried tears of joy and sadness. I remembered where I started and how far I’ve come. I really lost it when the special song that I dedicated to my Dad randomly played. I know it was his sign to me that he was with me. It hurt but it felt good too. The whole experience was like a cleansing. It was so much more than a walk to me.
Another lesson learned. Take time. Take time to sort things out! Take time to feel your best. Emotionally and physically. Take time!