Friday, May 22, 2009

I feel great

Since we got the news that the lump is cancer, everyone asks me how I’m feeling.
I feel great.
It makes no sense to me that I have a disease, but I feel fine. I feel like a fraud because I feel so good and have told everybody I have cancer. In fact, I may actually be in denial myself. Unless I feel for the lump, I really don’t feel any symptoms.
If there is an adverse effect to report it's mental. I feel compelled to read about cancer, cancer treatments, what happens in advanced stages. It can be intensely depressing. One of these days I will get tired of it and read a novel.

There are fatalistic thoughts hanging around in my consciousness as well, “Maybe I should write myself one of those convenience checks the credit card company sends me every month”.
Until I was diagnosed in 2002, I never, ever thought about my mortality except to think that for all the adventures I’ve had, I ought to be dead already. Since that cancer diagnosis happened though, I am constantly aware of my mortality.
I recently saw a Sundance show with Quentin Tarantino, who said he’d always felt invincible because he knew there was something he was supposed to do in his time on this Earth. He did lots of crazy things, knowing he wouldn’t die until he’d done what ever that was he was put here to do. He said he began to think he was mortal again after ‘Reservoir Dogs’.

In reading about cancer symptoms, it seems most of the symptoms come from the tumor growing and pressing on nearby organs or nerves, sometimes the tumor releases toxins that produce feelings of tiredness or sickness. Since my tumor is pressing only on a silicone implant and my skin, which because of the mastectomy really has no sensation, as you know it, I don’t feel any discomfort. The rosebud tattoos I got where my nipples used to be were truly the first painless tattoos I’ve ever received!

Doing the detox and the supplements is really giving me an energy boost. I got up two hours earlier than usual this morning and did yoga! The difficulty comes in social situations. I had to say “no” to a dear friend’s birthday celebration, because I know myself well enough to know I can’t just say no. I love a good cocktail or five with friends.
I am happy enough eating raw fruits and veggies, but I have no will power when Damon cooks. Fine food and wine have been a big pleasure in my life, a big part of what drew me to my husband & I feel angry sometimes that cancer is having me choose to change my lifestyle.
I keep telling myself that this drastic change is only for three months, but in the back of my head, I know this may be a more permanent thing. This is a choice I am making myself.

Choice A. Helplessly submitting to the best that modern medicine has to offer- and I do mean submitting, from what I’ve seen those treatments are torture.

Choice B.
Taking my life into my own hands and feeling powerful and proactive – the fact that natural therapy doesn’t hurt is a big plus, too. I’m a total wuss.

No matter what, I always feel grateful to have such wonderful friends and family who understand why I am not going out for cocktails. I appreciate when friends ask how I’m doing; it lets me know they care. I am most appreciative when my friends & family get the non-verbal cues that I just don’t want to talk about it today and back off. It takes a lot to deal with a cancer diagnosis and it isn’t going anywhere right away.

1 comment:

  1. I think I speak for all of your friends and family when I say that we're over the moon that you're not feeling ill. (Just remember: at times like this, you're allowed to feel anything and any WAY you want to.) You're a powerful, determined woman and I have no doubt that you'll make the right choices.