Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Winding Down This Blog: Part One...

This will be my second last entry, as I feel like the time has come to call it a day with this "blog". I'll save a farewell note for a date in the near future that I have etched in my mind.

Since September of 2012, I've used this forum to talk about my cancer treatment in many different ways. There has been general information, some photos, my feelings of anger, the frustrations and some occasional attempts at humor. The beauty of it all from my perspective is that I have been comfortable with total ownership of the content, even those entries that may have compelled me to second-guess.

Occasionally I have probably tried to be philosophical as well, but this would probably be a little self-serving. I do not consider myself a great thinker by any stretch, but I am much more informed now as far cancer treatment is concerned. Sure, I know that the disease is a monster with many heads, so to speak, but I have witnessed first hand how the "system" deals favorably with cancer patients. And, there is most definitely some continuity among caregivers, the group of people affected by cancer who soldier on in the shadows of the cancer victim.

A year ago today, I had two chemotherapy sessions under my belt. I had undergone just over half of the 35 prescribed radiation treatments. I was about a week into life without the use of my taste buds. All of the treatment "promises" were coming true. Frankly, I was miserable...barely keeping it together from the neck up. The six weeks that followed were excruciating.

When I fast-forward to the present day, it really does all seem so very recent to me. As I reflect on the past year, how I have progressed on the health side, it is pretty easy to be thankful. I still deal with the effects of treatment throughout every day, the major and minor inconveniences that are in fact permanent now, along with the effects that may eventually disappear. I am amazed at what I have been able to accomplish, yet I am frustrated by circumstances  that have held me back. And of course, there is always the fear that new or persistent cancer cells will return and wreak some havoc. Indeed, it still is a mental game.

When I reflect on how I have changed emotionally through all of this, I am certain of a few things. I am much more compassionate when it comes to dealing with people who have been touched by illness. I think I am relatively safe when I say that "I feel their pain". To a large degree, I have "been there", so I have some understanding of just how difficult it is to look toward the future with confidence that hope has some merit. I admire the stick-to-it-iv-ness these people display, and I am thankful for those who have the support of their spouse, their families and their friends.

I also recognize that this entire adventure has changed the way that I choose to deal with unnecessary bullshit. I simply have no tolerance for the self-centered among us. I have grown weary of immaturity and blatant stupidity among adults, the misguided sense of entitlement that drives so many people to a state of complete ignorance. Admittedly, I have allowed myself to be roped into situations that ultimately result in me becoming a complainer at times. The reality is it's all just very unproductive for everyone.

I am about two weeks away from my fourth 90-day consultation at the BC Cancer Agency. So, yeah, that'll be about one year post-treatment. I am healthy on the outside, but I know there is still plenty of healing to come.

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