i’m starting to think that my grandma is right and i’m changed, not the same as i used to be. not in a good way. a pansy now. perhaps when death has brushed your cheek with its cold hand, you do change. perhaps only some people do – the weak among us. perhaps the strong move on embracing everything and living more ferociously. that was my plan. but, not quite five months beyond my surgery, i seem to be faltering. i seem to still be sick all of the time, having hot flashes all of the time, not adjusting to my HRT well, still having lots of hormonal migraines and actually getting more symptoms and more pain instead of doing better.

a couple of weekends ago, after spending a few days in total pain, i went to bed on Friday evening (without taking any medicine) and woke up on Sunday afternoon. my roommate was freaking out and had tried to wake me and my phone had been ringing by my head and i hadn’t moved. i thought that he was messing with me. but, it was Sunday. and so, i started to be gripped by the epic fear again. is Cancer stalking me? what else? what could have happened to me as a result of the experimental treatments? the chemicals put into my body with the hormone suppression to stop the disease from ravaging any further my reproductive organs and my abdomen? the non-FDA approved treatments and meds that were pumped into me time and again to further research for diseases that no one understands yet. at the time, i didn’t think about this part – the part after the disease…when the possible side-effects from being saved would come into play. and although we spoke very briefly of the immune system problems that would result from both the treatments and the disease, especially back-to-back the way i experienced it, i didn’t expect this.

i expected my surgery to be the gateway to a better life. i was so excited to have all of those diseased organs out of me and i thought that that would be my bridge to being ‘me’ again. now, i am seeing that it was a tool to finding wellness, but that there is still a lot of path to travel as my body has been badly damaged from the war that was fought. this week, i had 16 doctor’s appointments, 2 procedures, received 11 new prescriptions and 4 new diagnoses. and, i spent $1,000 in copays that honestly, i don’t have right now. i think the hardest thing for people who have diseases like cancer in the aftermath is that people think they have it, they have the treatments and the surgeries, and then they’re fine…but we have this ongoing health issue, and cost, and fear. and it takes a long time for us to get back to anything even resembling a ‘normal’ for us. but we probably always live with something resembling ‘epic fear’. it’s as if the Cancer™ is stalking me. and until those results are back, i’m keeping my fingers crossed and sleeping with one eye open.

i am Angie, i am 30, and with the will and strength of the gods, i am struggling through my 30th year in Los{t} Angeles

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