Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Going Through the E-Motions

These five days, following Dr. Cagir's mention of cancer in one of my lymph nodes, has not been easy. Even though he told me I needn't worry and even though he only saw it in one lymph node, and not multiple, it was still quite impactful. Any time the words "lymph node" are mentioned in talk about cancer, it stops the idle chatter.

So, even with my trust of the good doctor, I still woke up Saturday morning with the words "lymph node" in my head. It took me a couple rounds of some good hard tears to shake off the fear of a Stage III diagnosis. And just to clarify - NO. I do not have Stage III Rectal Cancer. It is still Stage II. The cancer would have to have spread into multiple lymph nodes to become Stage III and it has not. Yet those words brought up fears I have not felt in a long time.

It's pretty simple for me. I want to see Beau graduate from high school. And to even hear about one lymph node brought my love for my family to the forefront of my mind. That's what Sunday's anxiety was about.

I believe if I want to truly be free, I must express what ever emotions come up for me (although this does not include responding to the unknown, since that simply opens the gates for infinite misery which is obviously quite pointless). And I will gladly admit I did not want to open myself up to the thoughts and emotions that accompanied the fear of a metastasized cancer. It wasn't an easy task. It scared the hell out of me because for me to truly look at the possibility of things being much worse than they are...well, I think the easiest way to put is that once I had actually presenced myself to to the terrifying possibility, I didn't know how long it would take before the fear and pain subsided. I had never been there before. And it ended up being only one incredibly scary hour. After it, I fell asleep and when I woke up, the fear was gone and I was back to experiencing the now and nothing else.

As I type this, I do have fears about being this honest with you. But again, it's all about the freedom it provides. And that is another gift this cancer diagnosis has provided me - a taste of real freedom. Once I was diagnosed and I began the blog, I had no idea where it was going. Now I am clear one of the benefits is the space it provides for me to let go of all that I have culturally been taught and to just freely express myself regardless of how it looks. To share my experience with friends and family as well as anyone else who might care to take a peek inside my head. Amazing. I would have never guessed this is where I would be right now. And I'm quite glad my diagnosis is still only Stage II.


  1. I am catching up on reading your blog. I appreciate you sharing this openly, it allows me to know what is going on with you and in your head. Thank you. I think about you all the time and send my prayers your way. That is big news about the cancer being in one of your lymph nodes and I am glad to hear the doctor said not to worry too much about it. I will see you in a couple of weeks when my finals are over!! Hugs and kisses to you and the family!!

  2. Hi Bert,
    I'm back from my annual MRI appt at Sloan.
    My bc was stage 2 as well. One lymph node was affected. I am now four years out and feeling great. There are many lymph nodes. One is just one. But this is why you are doing chemo, which isn't a picnic.
    Hang in.