Friday, April 22, 2016

UW Results

As always, we have to confirm with UCLA, but the preliminary findings of my MRI is stable. The FLAIR signal in the tumor cavity is slightly increased. However there is no enhancement, and no new nodular area. There's a venus abnormality that they've been watching, but I'm not too concerned about it.

All-in-all a great scan. I had been terrified, even convinced that there would be a new lesion, since I've been eating horribly, including a 20 lb weight gain - pure sugar. I've always equated excess calories as food for the tumor so the fact that there isn't obvious tumor growth is a freaking miracle. Apparently diet isn't the end-all-be-all of cancer growth. (I'm sure it matters, but who knows how much, and for which cancers, and which people?)

I'm obviously relieved, and can now focus on treating myself well because I want to. I can exercise, and eat right, because it's fun, not because I'm scared and feel responsible. I had been punishing myself, even daring the cancer to come back and prove me right. I know that sounds disgusting, and selfish. I felt that when I get good results, when I succeed, I still watch my friends get sicker. So if I have a good scan, I lose. And if I have a bad scan, I lose. I lose either way. I feel guilty being "heathy", even though cancer has taken so much from me. From us. 

It's really hard to be fearless in this situation, and very hard to not get stuck. It's time for me to stop punishing myself for success, for my good fortune and hard work. I don't know how to manifest that, to forgive myself for being alive, for being able to mow the lawn just now. That guilt has no place, I realize it, but it's there nonetheless. 

On Wednesday, through the help of a girlfriend, I was able to take my nephew KC to We Day ( where I watched thousands of seventh grade world changers. The kids are fearless, they're kind, they're big thinkers and problem solvers. I'm going to try to harness their spirit and attitude to get outside of myself. When I get in a rut, when I feel paralyzed, I need to remind myself to find inspiration. It always helps. For being an extrovert, I can certainly disappear from friends, from family, I can get scared, and filled with denial and avoidance, and that's fine from time to time, but if we don't look out, and see what's around us, who needs help, how you can have a positive impact on those around you, then what's the point. 

I'm just really relieved about this first set of results, and grateful that I didn't shoot myself in the foot with diet and lifestyle choices. One of the saddest things that we can do in life is give up, or take our health for granted. I'm embarrassed to say that I feel like I kind of had. But not any longer. There's probably a fine line  between giving up and enjoying yourself, and one of these days I'm sure I'll figure it out.

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