September, 2017 My Non Small Cell Lung cancer
It’s Back again
Some of you know by now that my non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is back again. This is draining way too much of me and Dave, both emotionally and physically. I was not afraid of the treatments that need to be done or the months to heal. And I But I am afraid that after this that it will come back again. That I will need to go through this again. I was given twenty extra years from my first diagnosis in 1997. I have had many many CT scans, MRI’s and a couple of PET scans. This is how my cancers are picked up early. The recent news was just as shocking as the first time I heard it in 1997. Shock turned into depression.
After learning the results of the scan I became depressed enough that I would lie in bed in a fetal position. I coiled myself around my legs, my pillow and comforter hiding me, I whirled around the hurt. Sometimes I would have the TV on and just stare at it hoping that I wouldn’t think. I felt so disconnected to the outside world. Nothing made sense. I felt a crushed by of loneliness, a deep abyss. I called this my cancer frame of mind: angst: anger, lack of patience, of guilt and dissociation. Great fear. Thoughts of my dying – it’s such a primal instinct to be afraid of dying. It comes so quickly. This was my life. I’m on constant repeat.
I knew that there was be a good chance that I would have another non-small cell lung cancer. But you never think that it would really happen again. You are somehow more mindful. But not after just three years from the last cancer!! Please!! And this would be my sixth tumor, my fourth lung cancer. But I have had multifocal adenocarcinoma of the lung. I would definitely have more cancers. I certainly hope that after this one I can climb the next hill with more ease.
As the days got closer to my PET scan I started to become more focused on the test. I began uncurling myself. My silent pleas for help swallowed up in my sheets became fainter. I knew what the PET scan would show, as my lung surgeon had never been wrong about what he saw on my Computed Tomography (CT) scans. He was right this time too.
I made an appointment to go back to Massachusetts General Hospital and meet with my doctors and make a plan. Dave and I took the train from Rhode Island to South Station in Boston and transferred to the subway which drops us off right in front of the hospital. I felt surprisingly lighter and at ease, stepping more confidently down the last of the subway stairs. The closer we got the stronger I felt oddly healthy, and not depressed, and I began to walk. with a purpose, a direction, towards hope. I even smiled for the first time in weeks.