Thursday, April 2, 2009

Feeling a Bit Strange (and Uncertain)

I was discharged from the hospital this afternoon. My doctor said he is certain I have a Pulmonary Embolism and not a tumor. He also told me to TAKE IT EASY. At the most, I have his permission to take one 10 minute walk a day - or should I say strolls. He believes my symptoms on Monday were likely a result of doing too much on the days between Saturday (my previous discharge day) and Monday (the second time I was admitted). And I wasn't doing much, so I am really taking it easy this time.

The image on the right is my MRI. The black crescent-like shapes are my lungs and the white areas within the lungs is the blood made visible with contrast. As you can see, there is not nearly as much blood going into the right lung as there is in the left.

And it has been one hell of a week. I am feeling a bit strange. Strangely relaxed about the whole thing. At one point on Tuesday, when I thought I may have cancer again and considered I might need another round of radiation and chemotherapy, I found myself surprisingly calm about the whole thing. Up until this point, it seemed any more chemo or radiation would be maddening or an absolute nightmare. But at that point on Tuesday when I believed chemo & radiation were a possibility, I was actually happy to get the ball rolling. Whatever it takes, I want to stick around. Fortunately, I have yet to have to face such a decision.

What's even stranger is as I think about it and reflect upon what went through my mind on Tuesday, it seems my relief in response to the possibility of doing another regimen of chemo & radiation was it's familiarity. That may sound crazy to you, but it's a strange experience to be out of work for just five weeks short of two years. My treatment and intention to heal has been what drives me. And I have gotten quite good at being the patient. I experience comfort and ease whether I am inpatient or out-. And I have learned how to manage the burden of the side-effects and still stay positive in the face of difficult circumstances. Yet I have no familiarity with a return to a "normal life" after all I have been through and all the time has passed.

So, would I rather receive more chemo & radiation therapy instead of finding my way back to "normalcy"? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! I haven't lost my mind. But as I process all that has made up this emotional roller coaster ride, logic is not what comes to mind. Hell, I don't think emotions are ever logic based. I think they just seem that way when we agree with them or when they work in what we believe to be our favor. My emotions have been blowing my mind from the very beginning of this diagnosis. But they are not necessarily the source of my decisions. At least not when fear is at the forefront of my mind. I very much look forward to being done with all of this. No question. And come mid-April, the scan results just may have it be that way.

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