Friday, June 29, 2007

Cancer Half-Way House

I was warned that there is a post-treatment malady. That it's psychological not physical, but nonetheless prevalent. I've head it called "The Void" and I think that's a pretty accurate description.

When all the treatments are over and you are no longer talking to your doctors and nurses every week there is this void. I spent all my time and energy fighting - fighting cancer, fighting chemo side effects - and now I wake up every day, still feeling a bit crappy from lingering chemo in my body, and I think. I think about whether we've done enough to fight the cancer, I think about my job (Is it really what I want to do? If not, what do I want to do next?), I think about my now completely depleted savings account (which usually brings me back to my job), I think about my relationships and where I live and how I live and if I've made the right decisions with my life....

And through it all there is a sadness. I can't really explain what the cause is, but I feel like I've lost something. Some sort of innocence or naivete. I look at the photo I have posted on my blog and I feel like I'm looking at a photo of someone else. Someone who hasn't gone to war. Perhaps we should bring cancer survivors and soldiers returning from Iraq together. I bet we'd have a lot to teach each other and a lot to share.

I now know the power of my strength as well as the depth of my despair. It's all yin and yang - I experienced both extremes. The point is, maybe I didn't want to know. But I didn't choose and I can't go back.

All I can hope for is that the Emerald City is up there ahead. And that these stupid flying monkeys leave me alone. The only thing worse that evil, trained monkeys are evil, trained monkeys with wings.

2 comments:

Ed said...

Keep your chin up, Megan! I choose to believe that the "new" world of post-cancer-diagnosis is a more flavorful version of the pre-diagnosis one... I feel like I am less naive, sure, but I also feel like my (currently, chemo-addled) senses are more attuned to everything around me. I recognize things as important that before I would not have noticed at all.

Goodness and clarity will prevail. Your journey has been illuminating for me, so you should feel proud of your efforts.

Jules said...

Hi Megan

I know exactly where you are coming from "The Void" is a strange place - im my case it took 2-3 months to "normalise".

Being 6th months post chemo. I had my CT scan in May for my first annual check - initially I was given the all clear, but I was called by my surgeon last Thursday night - he explained that the great & the good of the oncology world had reviewed my CT scans. Now there is nothing he wants me to worry about and he (& his colleagues) are being cautious - but there are three 3mm nodules (granulomas) on the lower lobe of my left lung. Probably, they have been there for some time, scarring caused by some forgotten chest infection, but because of my young age & the severity of the primary cancer (mucinous adenocarcioma) they are going to do another chest CT scan in August.

It probably will be fine, but it could be the early signs of metatastic lung cancer - we don't know & won't know until September - so, the cancer bubble is back & life is thrown sharply into perspective.

Best wishes

Jules