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Treat Every Day As If It Were Your Last

Posted Mar 08 2010 12:00am

Ah, that old cliche.  Do any of us want to hear it? It popped into my head this afternoon, though.

I’ve been kind of sick, lately.  However, more than “kind of” today! My gastro symptoms have come back with a vengeance.  I’m actually quite amazed how much, in fact.  I am in so much pain, so nauseous, so dizzy, I want to pass out.  I want to cry.  Maybe I should.  Maybe I will.

I could barely make it through class, today.  I have no clue what I must have looked like.  Some kind of homicidal maniac? I explained to the Instructor what was wrong during break.  She said I could go home, but there was no point.  I was already there.  Just wait it out, go when class was done.  Immediately after stumbling through the door, some Gravol/Dimenhydrinate for the nausea, but nothing for the pain.  Perhaps some gingerale to burp and release any gas? That can help, at times.

When I first became so sick several years ago, it was right out of the blue, no one could make any sense of it, I had so many signs and symptoms, I could have had any diagnosis imaginable! The worst sign was a massive loss of weight, that occurred so quickly, it resulted in app. 10-15lbs. in two weeks! Prior weight loss had occurred, but I ended up at 90lbs.  That worst sign resulted in the worst, possible diagnosis: cancer.

Obviously, I do not have that.  I would have been blogging about it, and I would be more ill than I certainly am now! Not to mention, gastric cancer is fatal.  That would also suggest that I may not be here period, since this blog is almost three and a half years old!

The mortality rates for gastric cancer are unbelievably low–and certainly for the latter stages–usually when it is caught, because signs and symptoms rarely present before those stages.  Also, it metastasizes significantly to other organs and bodily systems.  Also, it does not respond to treatment very well; be it surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.  It is still widely considered as the second most common form of cancer that causes death worldwide (the first being lung cancer.)

Not all of my signs and symptoms are back.  This is both a good and a bad thing.  Before, I never received an “official,” medical diagnosis.  It was simply that my lower intestine was not functioning properly.  Gastro Man and I did have a solution for that, and it did work.  Nonetheless, nothing is a panacea, so we knew there was always a chance for me to get sick again.

Now, “the good?” Well, it means that I’m not so sick at the moment (okay, literally at the moment, I’m pretty sick!) “The bad?” There is a cluster of my current signs and symptoms that were not present before.  This also comes with what you may wish to call: “a subcategory of good vs. bad.”  It may lead to a concrete, medical diagnosis.  This is “good,” as you know what you’re dealing with, so you can hopefully treat it.  But it can be “bad?” Just what may that diagnosis be?

My “cluster?” Well, it’s not looking so…”good?” It may certainly be looking like “something,” as well.  I am eating regularly, I am defecating regularly, but I have lost a significant amount of weight.  How significant? I never regained all that I lost, and subsequently remained at 100lbs.  That’s not a lot to play with.  I am now down to about 93lbs.  That 7lbs. may not sound like much, but it is! Also, it has been fast!

The above doesn’t make sense.  Why? If I’m eating and the food is making its way through my body, why the drastic weight loss? I’m not starving myself.  It would “appear” that my body is working properly if I am having regular bowel movements.  Stress? Come on! Stress may make me drop a couple of pounds, but

This could mean other things (as it actually does point to some medical diagnoses), or it could be my “unofficial” diagnosis rearing its head, again.  And it’s not that I am being a hypochondriac, alarmist, depressive, pessimistic or anything like that.  The thought just seeped into my mind on the way home today, while feeling so utterly and wretchedly ill–exactly like years ago.  Cancer.

How difficult it certainly is to try and do what I have written above.  “Treat Every Day As If It Were Your Last!” A tall order when you are chronically ill, mentally, physically or both.  Still, think for a minute and imagine doing it.  I know if we could, well, the impact it would have on us seems clear? Maybe when we get a second or two, in between all of the moments of madness that comprise so much of our lives, we can pause and remember this idea.

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