Well gang things are getting closer and closer to the final stages of the first stage of Cancer Warfare! To say things have been an emotional roller coaster is just putting it lightly.
Every day I sit here afraid yet try to live my life as though nothing were wrong. You see that’s the real trick with Cancer is having it but still trying to live your life and live it to the fullest while you can. I could let my fears paralyze me, it would be easy. Considering I already suffer from depression and anxiety it would be so easy to just curl up into a little ball in bed and just cry every day letting ever little fear cripple me. However I promised to NEVER GIVE UP and that means in every way shape and form. In many ways I don’t think that those who don’t have cancer truly understand how hard we cancer fighters and survivors have it.
In the beginning you get the diagnosis of cancer and your first thought is “that’s it my life is over! How long do I have left?” For years and years cancer was the end run for anyone who had it, you get told cancer and BOOM that’s it you’re done, finished, the curtain is coming down on the final scene. However now a days there are rays of hope. Cancer doesn’t have to be the end. I have reacted well to the medicine I am on and have seen significant shrinkage in my cancer, in about 2 weeks I will have my Kidney, Adrenal Gland and a few Lymph Nodes removed to hopefully get rid of my cancer. Hopefully by the end of the year I’ll have my first real follow up scans and be able to celebrate the start of a new year and a new lease on life cancer free. Many who don’t have cancer would think well that’s it nothing more to fear right?
The fear has just started. This whole time I had to wonder will the cancer spread to my other kidney or other organs or even my bones or blood while I am on my medicine? When I get done with my surgery will the cancer come back (yes this is a very real possibility)? Considering what I am getting cut out of me will I die on the table during surgery, this area of the body bleeds very very badly. Am I still able to be a good father while I have been on my medicine? My wife says I have been but in many ways I feel like I have been very seriously negatively impacted in this, I mean I try to keep things as little changed as possible but I would be lying if I said things didn’t change for me after I started Chemo. I can only hope that I have still been a good father but the fear remains that things could change even more once I have my organs removed. What if I don’t bounce back well after the surgery? What if my remaining kidney doesn’t function as well as the doctors think it will? What if I end up needing dialysis? What if something else goes wrong during the surgery and leaves me incapacitated in some way? If after the surgery the Kidney Cancer comes back what happens then at that point I’ll only have 1 Kidney left?
All these questions and more keep cycling through my mind and I can’t help it or stop them. I see a lot of hope on our kidney cancer forums that I am a part of, but I have also seen the notices of a lot of people relapsing, dying or going into hospice. While I do good at keeping the fears from affecting me on a day to day basis they are always there waiting to pounce the moment I let my guard down. Just writing this blog makes it hard to keep the fears down and the tears away as I try to express what it is I am going through.
Sometimes a good cry is all I need to help calm myself, sometimes not even that works. Just remember though if you are talking to someone with cancer there is a lot going on under the surface. While some of us may look fine I can guarantee you there is a lot going on in our minds. We are all scared of something and it’s not always easy for us to open up about it. So if we seem a bit skittish, secretive or just a little off around you, please try to remember how much we are going through.
Also remember not all of us want to go through this alone…it may be hard for us to open up about these things but we also can’t cut ourselves off from everyone. We need our friends and family, our church family and online friends to be there for us. In the Kidney Cancer SUCKS but we will win forum they shared this picture that sums things up nicely.
I hope all my fears are unfounded…. I hope that by the new year I am listed as NED (No Evidence of Disease) and that as the years go by I can celebrate 1, 2, 10 and even 20 and 50 year Cancerversaries (yes we have anniversaries of when we find out we are cancer free and they have their own name). Perhaps one day I’ll be able to show how much of a wrestling geek I am by having a company make me the following title belt and be holding it when I go to a WXW or WWE Event!
But even after the surgery (scheduled for October 14th) I will still have to live with many of the doubts and fears. These will never go away, my life has been changed forever and it is hard for others to understand it unless they have been through it themselves. Perhaps this blog can help some of their friends know what we all go through.
I will probably have one more blog coming as an update this next week since I have one more CT scan in just a few days, after that however it may be a little while until I post again. Once I start feeling better I plan on posting on how the surgery went and how harsh or not it is and how the recuperation progress is going.
So until next time remember: