Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Life Without Me

It's 4:19am. I randomly woke up and can't fall back asleep. This has been happening with some frequency. It's never less than irritating. I blame it on the constant pain in my back. Pain that in the last few weeks became an alert that something was up.
Turns out my cancer is back. I guess it never really went away. The tumor that chemo had shrunk, has grown back to half it's size in what seems to be a very short amount of time.
What does this mean?
More tests, blood work, bone scans, body scans, sad faces, tearful hugs from my favorite nurses at the chemo wing at St. Mary's and the pledging support of my family and friends.
Truth be told...this time treatment could either be a breezy walk in the park or depending on a potentially advanced stage worse and longer than the time before.
Towards the end of my last chemo treatment I felt like I barely made it...can't really wrap my mind around what longer and worse could be. And if I could come back from a longer stint in heavy treatment or in what state.
As before feelings are mixed and jumbled in the hot pot of my head sprinkled with the most random thoughts, all these bubbling and boiling inside ready to spill over at any moment.
But there isn't anything left to say that hasn't been said. The stakes are higher this time, every time the cancer comes back it seems to come back stronger than before.
How many times is this going to happen I wonder?
Right now I'm stuck in this limbo waiting for results that could potentially be devastating. I just don't know what to do anymore.
I'm tired and drained...the only way to not feel it is to keep moving.

My Life Without Me is one of my favorite all time movies. A quiet, heartbreaking story with Sarah Polley and Mark Ruffalo about a young girl that discovers she has a terminal disease and sets out to live her last days to the fullest, all the while not telling anyone she's ill. It's not a groundbreaking story by any means, but the subtle acting and very realistic approach to a theme that is often times dealt with a heavy hand makes this a beautiful, moving film.
I'm not a terminal patient but after everything that has happened in this past year and knowing how cancer and treatments could steal my body and mind away again, it's hard not to have somewhat morbid thoughts on the subject.
There's this wonderful scene in the movie where the main character is walking through the supermarket, in voice over she comments on her surroundings and how no one is thinking about death in a supermarket. Classic music starts playing and all the customers around her start dancing and swaying in a completely oblvious state, carefree and happy. It captured perfectly the isolation that happens when dealing with something like this. Everything seems so trivial and stupid. Such nonsense.
I had a moment like that today while I was running errands downtown. It was a bit surreal. No one thinks about death and dying in the food court at the mall.

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