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Stupid, stupid step 2

Posted Jul 16 2010 12:00am
I'm angry now.

Brain cancer is both all-consuming and out of my mind at the same time. 

I am used to Temodar (chemo), blood draws, seizure meds, etc. I am used to making fun of my cancer. I am used to life this way, so much so that life has gone back to a new normal and everything is just, well, normal.

But at the same time, there is part of me thinking about the time bomb in my brain all the time. I don't tell people this, because I don't think it will do much good for anyone to think about my possible demise. 

The other day I had lunch with an old friend who has been diabetic her entire life. We were comparing our two diseases, and I felt like my cancer is similar to diabetes in the sense that you have it, you live with it, you kind of forget about it on a moment-to-moment basis, but you make decisions every HOUR based around it. She can't even eat a meal without thinking about the sugar in a certain food. That's just... crazy. And overwhelming. And meticulous.

I do feel lucky. I know things could be worse: my pathology could be of a higher grade. I could be dead by now. My treatment could have stopped working by now. 

But, guiltily, I am still unsatisfied with where I am in my treatment. It has been almost two years since the tumor was discovered in my brain. Shouldn't I be fixed by now? Shouldn't I be normal by now? Even though I am superficially "fine" I don't feel that way inside.

There are people who die every day--horribly slow, cancerous deaths--and here I am alive being a big baby, whining about being an easy cancer patient. I need to stop this, and "live in the moment" (so says the person at Kaiser mental health, whom I am not a big fan of, despite my love of many other Kaiser staff members).

Wait--I am changing the direction of this post now. I want to complain about this licensed clinical social worker I saw in the Mental Health department. I made an appointment to speak with someone because I felt like I was dwelling on cancer too much. Yes, I thought her recommendations about meditation and Tai Chi were good, but she recommended I take a "Making Today Count" class for people diagnosed with "terminal" diseases. 


Who said I was "terminal?" Just because I have brain cancer it doesn't mean I am a lost cause, you bitch! You don't know SHIT about this disease or my treatment, and you think I should sit in a room of people who are at death's door to--WHAT? Talk about how bummed out we can be? 

You know what? I am not bummed out. For the most part, I am happy and I am stoked about life. But sometimes I get PISSED OFF and ANGRY. 

According to the Kubler-Ross model of the five stages of grief , I was immediately at step 5 after diagnosis. But now and then I occasionally regress to step 2.
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