Thursday, February 28, 2008

What to say?

Life goes on?
Time is a healer?
The longer you're in remission the easier it gets?

I dunno.
I'm approaching "appointments week" next week, and, up until today I was doing not bad. Buried myself in my work and had been focusing my emotions on other people. Today, however, has been pretty sucky.
Every twinge is cancer.
Every itch is cancer.
Every cough is cancer.
The confidence that I'm still clean seemed to vanish today and I can't explain it. Usually I'm pretty calm about seeing my onc and my nurse. I would see these meetings as a safety net... a reaffirmation that I was still OK, still clean, still normal... still alive.
Now I don't want anyone to examine me. I don't want more bloods taken. I don't want more scans. I don't want prodded and poked.

I don't want to be told I have cancer again.
I don't want to know.
I want to live in blissful ignorance.

Can I do that? I can't be forced to attend appointments, can I? They can't drag me into a CT/PET scanner. They can't force a needle into me.
I know the signs of this disease. I know the ins and outs of this fucking curse better than any GP. Can I not look out for myself now? I really don't need the reminder of what I've been through that appointments bring.
Just as I begin to push cancer to the back of mind I look at the calender and there it is.

Taunting me.
"You have an onc appointment."
"Your bone marrow appointment is in a couple of months."
"The radiation team want you in on this date."
Remember you had cancer? Oooooooh! Is it still there? Has it come back? Fancy more chemo? Side effect still bad? Secondary cancers?

I do think I know what is wrong with me this time and I'm man enough to admit it.

I'm afraid.
I'm scared shitless that it's all going to be taken away again.

I've been here, in this position, already. I've had my life back before and had it ripped out from under me. I've been back to work in the past thinking it was all over. The memories are still oh so fresh; of that day when I was told cancer had come back. It wakes me up at night and I'm sure it always will. I haven't been this strong, physically, in 2 years. I couldn't face giving it all back again.

But... if I have to... I will.
Because I want to live; just a little bit longer.

Also, I've discovered I'm an orange... which is kinda disturbing for a green Irishman like myself.
I nicked this "highly personal" quiz from Baldylocks and I am a bloody orange. If you haven't read the Adventures of Baldylocks then check out her blog asap. It's linked in my links menu. Check out her art work. I don't "do" art... I'm an art heathen/atheist... but the creative works she has produced stir something in me.
And her surname is the same as mine so you know she rocks :-)

You Are an Orange

You have a zest for life, especially for anything colorful, wild, or dramatic.
You have a unique take on the world, and you're not afraid to be a little funky.
You are a bit reserved toward people who don't know you well.
You have a thick skin, which can protect you from anything that goes wrong in your life.

Once someone does get to know you, they totally get and appreciate you.
Your friends see you as a bright person with a refreshing take on life.

Is it accurate? I'm not totally convinced!

Next up, my old puppy Kelly was sent to the great kennel in the sky. I miss that doggy so much. Below is the last photo of her with Becca.

Finally, just the usual note of thanks to the people who have helped me on my journey so far.
A special thanks to the people I have picked up on the way. It's different for you guys; my old family and friends had no choice really but to help and be supportive :-) ... you newbies came in when I was probably at my worst and accepted me as I was. Some of you had cancer and some of you didn't. Some of you were mere acquaintances pre-cancer but stood up to the plate when it would have been easier to walk away and we've became close friends.
I'm very grateful to you all.

Currently on iPod :-
Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly - Find the Time

I was a Cub Scout - Save your Wishes
Ice Cube - It was a Good Day
Vampire Weekend - A Punk
Prodigy - Charly

Man, this post took a few tunes!


Bekah said...

I am not in awe, of many men in my life. You know probably two of them. Besides yourself.

Being sick on and off for years, never fully knowing when things will get ripped away.

We have, so much to fear. If we didn't we wouldn't feel human.

The knowledge of being aware of this fear, of knowing what could be of loss, of seeing this beautiful picture of your puppy and Becca.

As days go on, whether you decide you are a man of fear or strength. I know you are a man, I stand back and say am in awe from.

You, V and the family keep going. You keep going, we all keep going. And someday, it'll really all be behind us...

In life, we always have choices. You and I both know that. You help me choose to keep going. I help to remind you how absolutely beautiful you and V are!

I just wanted to thank you for your thoughts today, dear.

You are always, an inspiration.


Kelly Kane said...

Wullster, I'll be thinking of you lots and lots next week!

I know it sucks, and it's scary. But your wife will totally kick your ass if you don't do follow ups, and if she doesn't, I will!


laulausmamma said...

Wullie - I just can't wait to give you a huge ((HUG)) in person!! You are one heck of a man my friend. Reading your post I can feel your emotions...feel your fears...feel your strength that like everything else that's happened to you in the past couple of will get through the upcoming appts..and you will be FINE. We have a lot of celebrating to do in Boston...I can't wait to meet you and my pal Veronica. 118 days to June 27th

((HUGS)) to all the Curries


Duane said...

Hey Wullie,

I'm thinking of you and looking forward to hearing news next week. But I know it's easier said than done. Boy, isn't that true. :o

And I completely know what you mean when you described those strange bodily feelings that raise doubt about your health. I just learned recently listening to one of Sloan-Kettering web casts that "somatization" is the word used to describe "conversion of a mental state (as depression or anxiety) into physical symptoms; also : the existence of physical bodily complaints in the absence of a known medical condition." Interesting, heh? There's no doubt that I've experienced this feeling or sense repeatedly and I agree that I'm not sure if time makes it easier to bear.

Let's just continue to push forward working and living with the hope that we - not cancer - has control over our own dreams and destiny. Let's continue to hope for the best.

Sending both you and your family love and kindness.

CalifGuy Brian said...

What an amazing and thoughtful post Wullie. It's so on point for how I feel (and I just got my clean scans back on Friday). This jaw pain won't go away and even though my scans came out clean I can't stop wondering (and I'm going to see the dentist). I hope things do get easier and more remote with time and with repeated clean scans, which is what you will have! Best of luck this week and stay strong. You beat it and let's keep it that way!


Chris said...


If I say 'look forward and not back' will you take it the right way? You have been through so much that these feelings are only natural. Be strong and think positively and you will breeze through the appointments and come out stronger for it.

and KYPU


j said...

please suh
i want some more


Adrienne said...

It's wonderful that you're able to share your feelings and fears. Seems so "unbritishlike" but wonderful nonetheless. Best wishes at your checkups and nothing but good news, which I'm sure it will be. You know that song: "Don't worry, be happy." I know it isn't easy but humming a little tune never hurts.

Love, Alison