Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cancer Redux

Well not really redux, but thoughts are. Almost a year ago (May 3 actually) I had my first visit with the oncologist. I had finally gotten the path report so I knew it was cancer (despite my vain attempts at denial). I started chemo on May 5.

So, it's been a year and it mostly seems a dream. Did it really happen? Yes, I have the scars to prove it, but it seems so unreal. Me, cancer? No risk factors. Almost all the things that mitigate against ovarian cancer on my side. Cancer happens to someone else. Heart attack, perhaps, stroke, yes, but cancer? And still it seems so unreal.

Most of the time it doesn't enter my mind. I know there is a possiblity of recurrence and when I think of it, I'm frightened. Not necessarily by dying, but by not getting to do all the things I want to do. By the possibility of endless chemo. By watching my body disintegrate over time. By not getting to run and swim and travel.

But most of the time, it is truly as if it hadn't happened. I know that those of us who have had cancer are supposed to have experienced some great insight into life, some life changing epiphany. My cancer seems to have affected others in that way more than me. An article in Call to Worship (forthcoming, not sure when) will tell of another's experience in shaving my head. Another person Tuesday evening spoke of her denial long after I had come to terms with it.

But, except for visits every few months to the oncologist, and for blood tests every few months, and the scars on my belly, there is little to remind me of last summer.

3 comments:

bean said...

i couldn't find a place to email you so posting this here. came to your site via gannet girl - a close friend. i'm not religious but humanistic i guess. started a blog that touches on some of your themes about cancer and life. want to link to your blog with your permission and here's mine:
http://beanygetsablog.wordpress.com/

my email: rebeany@aol.com

best,

bean

Gannet Girl said...

Well, I'm the last person to offer some sense that wisdom emerges from catastrophe. But sometimes we are the last to find out. On Good Friday, someone who should know said he sees my life filled with grace. Maybe yours is, too.

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