See, while technically 'cancer free' for the past several months, I still feel the effects of $236,000 in treatment. I'm only 29, but I get out of breath so easily, exercise is so tough. It's a pure hell to me.
I mean all I had was Non-hodgkins lymphoma. That's the Cancer you want to pick if someone says "You have to get cancer, now pick one". 8 months of having toxic chemicals pumped through my veins... A catheter in my heart... A scar and 3 tattoos to remind me about what I went to, though I can't ever forget.
My biggest downfall is I handle it all in stride outside. When I was rushed to the HCMC ER, almost unable to breathe, a tumor the size of a dinner plate inter-twined around my heart and lungs, pressing against them..
I thought I had pneumonia. After all, for a month or so I had the sniffles, a cough, a weird rash on my arms and horrible horrible night sweats. I'd easily miss 2 day sof work a week, so tired I cant move.
The doctors, well several oncologists, enter the room and quietly tell me I have cancer. I think they expected me to freak out when I simply looked at them calmly and said "Ok. Let's take care of it". And I think it bothered them a tad when I made the joke "Hey, at least I'll lose some weight now!".
But I didn't. The prednisone steroid made me nauseous, so I had to eat a little bit all the time. The chemo destroys any fast dividing cells, like taste buds, so cherry laffy taffy became my comfort food (And I have yet to eat it since I got better!). I think I destroyed a really good relationship that occurred at the wrong time, with a woman I love very deeply.
Radiation wasn't bad. In fact, compared to 6 hours in the Oncology unit for chemo it was a breeze - 15 mins and out. Quick and painless. Free parking. Good deal.
It's been months, and I'm still so tired. My sleep schedule is destroyed - I'm up 40 hours, then sleep 18. Or maybe I'll be in bed by 10 every night this week. Or maybe not. I want to exercise, but it's so hard - I can do so little. And at 6'1", 280 lbs I look like I should do a lot more. More then being winded by half a flight of stairs.
It also sucks, because I don't know who I can talk to about it. People think it's so hard... It wasn't, it's just a different struggle... But they hear the C word and think the worse... I never thought I was going to die. I found out later I was a week tops from dying from my tumor.. But I just knew it wasn't my time. I remember saying that to my girlfriend, tears welling up in my eyes... It's not my time. It's not my time.
But the results, the shell of a man I'm left with.. Maybe I did die. Maybe emotionally and spiritually succumbed to the cancer. I don't know any more. I go to work, clean my apartment, I do the things people do - but I'm hollow inside. I'm missing something and I don't know what it is.
I'm scared. I'm sad. I'm lonely. I'm a lot of things.... What I'm not is the old me. I miss the old me... I hope I come back