The emotional ups and downs. You are angry, sad, bitter, frustrated, disillusioned and completely drained. But then you are happy, hopeful, appreciative and thankful to be surrounded by the simplicity in life.
The physical ups and downs. You are riddled with pain, aches, nausea, unwanted side effects leaving you a little less like yourself each and every time. Then there are the good days when your body is working properly, your immune system is on your side, and the pain is gone.
The psychological ups and downs. You have thoughts of fear, isolation, uncertainty, and being detached from reality. Then come the days or moments when you feel connected to your life and loved ones again. You begin to see clearly even if shortlived.
This is the roller coaster that is cancer.
I have struggled with this ride my entire life.
Even in a 24 hour span you may feel a myriad of emotions, physical changes, and thoughts that leave you questioning everything. You may feel nauseous with the constant ups and downs, leaving your stomach all tied up and falling prey to the twists and turns.
A couple of weeks ago very good friends of the family got tickets for Garrett and I to watch a hockey game. They had two sets of tickets: reds and platinum club. For those of you that have never been to the Air Canada Centre, reds are pretty good seats, but platinum club is insane. You can practically see the player’s nose hairs. Okay, maybe that’s a bit exaggerated. They gave us the platinum club seats. That is just how selfless and awesome these people are.
We were two rows behind the goalie. This is the closest I have ever sat to watch the Leafs lose.
We sat so close to the ice that I had to keep my scarf on the entire game, which ended up being useful because when we were on television as well as on the giant screen at the game, it was much easier to spot us. Surrounded by suits, mainly lawyers and bankers taking clients to the game, there we were having a great old time cheering and enjoying our twenty dollar beer and popcorn, and my six dollar water.
As per usual, the last 15 minutes of the game was fantastic. They almost tied it.
You are probably thinking why would I bring up the Leafs game in this post. No, it’s not because watching the Leafs is equivalent to having cancer, although it can make you feel nauseous at times. It’s a little more complicated than that.
It is because as we were about to leave the club lounge to make our way to our fantastic seats, I received a phone message from my oncologist. I had asked her to check up on my last CT scan because they had mentioned sclerotic bone lesions and I wanted to know what this was about. I review all of my CT scans with great precision, it is like I am reading a contract.
Anyhow, her reply suggested that she did not know whether these lesions were bone metastases. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?! Pardon?! I just thought maybe my bones were deteriorating or something (which is also not really a good thing), not that there could be a chance that miserable Mildred could find her way to my bones to wreak further chaos. I wanted to throw my phone across the room, but at the risk of getting kicked out of the ACC, I played it cool.
So folks this is a long winded example of the cancer roller coaster. I was having a great day, minus the back pain. I was on a date with my hubby watching my beloved Leafs in the best seats I have ever had thanks to the generosity of wonderful people, and the next day I was going to be on the runway, but in the midst of this, CANCER. I was way up but cancer wanted to bring me crashing down. I decided that I wasn’t going to let it, at least not for the next couple of days. I was going to blissfully remain up and not come down until I was good and ready.
I was supposed to undergo a bone scan to get a better idea of what was going on, however I opted against it. I didn’t see the point really since my treatment options were going to remain the same regardless, so why would I add to the radiation burden already on my body. I decided we could track it with the next CT scan perhaps. Sometimes we have to make these types of decisions and logically weigh our options.
And sometimes life is awesome, you are walking runways, eating takeout as a treat, going on fun dates, feeling like King (or Queen) of the world like my boy Leonardo in Titanic, until of course he dies at the end (sorry for the spoiler, but everyone saw that movie), and other times there is cancer.
Just another hill along the way.
So until then, I am going to strap myself into the seat of this roller coaster, hope for the best, hang on for dear life and pray that I don’t fall off the tracks.
Enjoy the ride.
Health, love, and twists and turns.