I haven’t updated my blog in a bit primarily because each time I sit down to write I have to try and avoid the elephant sitting next to me that demands a forum.
It’s been tough to ignore. And trust me, I am well schooled in the art of denial. I’m practically the poster child for it.
It might be why when I found a lump in my breast, I assumed it was nothing. And, actually, it was. But the rest of what was found there, after the ultrasounds, and the MRIs and the biopsies, turned out to be more than nothing. Each day changed the situation. It went from, “This is nothing,” to “This might be something,” to “You’ll be fine, we caught it early.”
I quickly became educated in the sliding scale that is “fine” and how different that scale is when you’re sitting in an oncologist’s office. “Fine” used to mean Neosporin and a Band-Aid. Now, it means you’ll need surgery, maybe some radiation, but you’ll live. It’s like suddenly getting thrust into the alternate 1985. Only there is no time machine to fix this, no Doc Brown to find 1.21 gigawatts of power.
Thank you for that heaping serving of perspective with my morning coffee.
It could be worse. I know that. It’s what I tell the people who look at me with weepy eyes and want to hug me in support. I don’t need any of that. After all, I’m FINE. Or the well-meaning, encouraging friends who tell me I can fight this when they don’t realize that at this point, it’s a passive fight. It’s a civil war within myself and I’m letting the armies secede with hopes that they don’t leave any cellular spies behind. It’s a fight that plays out in operating rooms and MRI machines and consists of me laying prone while getting stabbed multiple times. Always followed by, “You’re fine.”
I’ve spoken to many people, friends of friends, who have gone down this same path and have echoed that sentiment. And then I hear about the other ones. The ones that aren’t “fine.” The ones whose prognoses include words like “hospice” and “palliative” and “terminal” and nothing near my own horrible new version of “fine.” Those stories slap me in the face, shove me against a wall, and yell, “How dare you complain!” to my laughable, curable prognosis.
I’ve sat with my friends and did the math and realized that I am the 1 in the 8 of the statistic that I keep hearing. I tell them that we should keep getting together in groups of eight so that they can beat the odds in some kind of twisted Final Destination fate game. Hang out with me, and statistically you will all be better than FINE. You will be the 7 out of the 8.
I am lucky. It has taken some time to wrap my head around that idea, but it’s true. I dodged a bullet. This could have been much worse. I might have a difficult year ahead of me, but I will eventually get back to the 1985 I know. And while I don’t have plans to turn this site into a cancer blog, I know it might dominate some of the posts as I am launched onto this journey.
But don’t worry. I have nothing to mourn. Nothing to cry over. I will have years and years after this blip on the screen. Years of bringing “fine” back into perspective.
And in the grand scheme of things, that’s fine by me.