When you have cancer, or any disease for that matter, the internet can both be your best friend and your worst enemy. From the internet, I learned things I didn't want to learn about my cancer (survival rates, procedures, effects of treatment), and I've learned some things that have been invaluable for my continued struggle (in some cases, the very same things I didn't want to learn, including survival rates, procedures, and effects of treament). Among the greatest thing the internet provides, however, is support: you find other people like you. People who understand what your going through, people who have been through what your going through, and people who turn to you as someone with more experience than them.
I've talked to many different folks, and I've read very many stories. And most of the time it's a great experience. You don't feel so alone. You feel like you have allies in a terrible war. You see the wins, and you just know your gonna be a winner.
Oh man, are there ever too many buts when it comes to the net.
Today, I had a major kick in the ass, and I felt so god damn horrible that I felt the need to blog. Yes, kiddies....when I'm blogging, I'm usually not in the best state of mind.
Honestly, in the past couple of days, chemo has been kind of kicking my ass. Just to update you, I got my chemo on Thursday (second last, thank the gods), and as per usual, days 5 to 8 are the worst for fatigue. Not only that, but everything hurts and the chemo brain is in full effect. Luckily, in the last couple of chemo sessions, I've found out about the magic of Dilaudid. I try not to use it too often, but makes me feel about a hundred times better. Anyhow, today I took 4 mg in the very morning, and decided to get through the rest of the day without any more if I could help it. I was doing pretty good....oh, I felt like a horrible bag of ass, but I was dealing.
And then I went interneting about cancer.
And I found this girl. A absolutely beautiful girl. A ray of sunshine. Sunshine darkened with stage 3 breast cancer at the age of 27. I read her stories about her chemo. She was having a rough time with it....rougher than me, that's for sure. Not only that, but she has a daughter....Ray of Sunshine #2. And as I read some of her posts, I saw a lot of similarities between us. Okay, she's religious and a lot sunnier than me, but there is truth in her words and "the real" in her heart. And the best thing was that she seemed to be doing well.
And then I skipped to here last post in June of this year. I wanted to see what was happening with her now that she was finished with her chemo and radiation.
Her latest post was on how it felt to be a Terminal Patient. How it felt to know she was dying. How she is trying to fight for enough time to get things set up for her daughter. She has a lot of support, and I'm sure her daughter will be well taken care of by her father and grandparents. But how the hell can you ever be sure everything will be alright....how can your daughter grow up without her mother?
And kiddies, that fucking post broke my heart. I cried for about half an hour. Then I took 6 mg of dilaudid and thought about my own future.
I have hope. I do. But you never know how things go. You don't. And I've decided that though I do want to live a nice, happy long life, right now......a couple of years of feeling good, a couple of years of being able to kayak, and camp, and hug my friends and family with the strength of a man without cancer would be good enough.
I wish I could say that I'm gonna stop my internet searches. It might be good for my health, I don't know. But I do know that I can't. Because if there is anything that I need above all, is the "the real". The real can make me cry, it can make me angry, but it can never stop me from giving up. It gives me a strength that I just don't get from denial.
Oh...and about that beautiful girl...well, I thought about providing a link to her blog. I thought you guys might want to know her. But I've decided against it....I don't want her to link back to here. I don't want her to know she has affected me so strongly, or to feel any feeling of guilt. I'll let her be.
Thank you for listening.