Wednesday, March 7, 2007

My Fear

Written in January before the initial consultation with MSKCC.
I am leaving for New York in less than 12 hours. It is not on my list. In fact, I
never dreamed that I could go back there. But go I will and happily with hope in my heart – skipping like a Disney princess toward her dream.
I don’t really have a choice. For the last five weeks I have been researching like a crazed person. Every chance I get I perch on the side of the chair by the desk and surf the Internet. Yeah, perch because I only can sit on half of the my but. Marvin has the other side (for those who don't know - I named the tumor Marvin)
I read and read. A medical dictionary open on one browser and abstracts on another. Boy I wish I paid attention in college biology. I also wish these guys would write in English.
I know that they are writing for their peers but what about their patients? In reality, there isn’t much information about my fat cancer. I know that there are five subtypes (I’m not sure what I am right now – first question for the doctors) and the subtype determines the outcome. After four death speeches from my doctors, the outcome doesn’t look good. So I go for second opinions. Ironically, the insurance company will help with as many second opinions that I get. Despite how many times, it’s still called a second opinion. Hm. Let’s hope my next one is not a death speech.
That’s why New York. I really need to visit a large cancer center that has seen what I have. God bless the doctors here but many haven’t seen this. I need someone who knows what they are talking about – researching it and curing it.
I spoke with a priest last and we spoke a bit about the end. At what point do I stop the cutting on my cancer and just go home to be with my family. I hear and write that statement and only hear – at what point do I give up?
I know that at some point, that is a reality. I have learned the difference between realism and fatalism. I clearly defined line in my head. Realism is that the odds are against me. Fatalism is that stop fighting. For me I will think ahead and plan but I am not going to stop fighting.
So again that’s why New York. If I decide to go the route of chemotherapy recommended by the doctor’s in Cleveland and it fails – then I go to the second round of defence. That’s why New York.
Does it sound like I am tyring to justify the trip? Yeah, it does. This trip is hard on my family in a number of ways. Emotionally and financially. My girls have to stay with friends – okay that’s not so bad. Adam is going to his grandparents – and that’s not so bad either. I get to spend a few nights alone with husband. Okay, what the heck am I worried about?
So this is the first installment of my trip to New York. I don’t know why I am so nervous. I think that my fear is creeping back and I am afraid that New York will be death speech number five and six. I am afraid that I am going to come back and have to tell everyone that again there is little hope. I am afraid that it won’t be a death speech but multiple trips to a city that exhausts me. I am afraid that the cost won’t outweigh the outcome. I am afraid that I will have to ride that damn wheelchair through Times Square and bump through puddles. See, real fears.

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