Monday, July 2, 2007

quality of life

I sit here in a fuzzy lavender robe; my head in a doughnut box, nibbling an iced chocolate cake doughnut.

Yes, quality of life is a rather large issue when considering treatment options.

I suppose it all boils down to how much shit you are willing to put yourself through.

My first husband had a seizure and drowned in the bathtub at the age of 24. Even as I mourned, my heart was relieved his suffering had ceased.

I am not one who believes I will live forever, not on this earth anyhow — as a great love once told me, "forever is a long time."

Nor am I one to believe that being diagnosed with a form of cancer somehow reduces the odds of my dying in a car crash tomorrow.

None of us are promised a tomorrow. We live so much of our lives today for something that has not been promised.

I have always said that I don't much mind the idea of dying; I just don't want it to hurt first. So it's difficult for me to decide to hurt in order to live.

Well, we did the first surgery and it didn't work, so you need more surgery. You have to do this to keep it from going invasive. Yes, we could try something else first although we can't guarantee it will work. You may also have a difficult time tolerating it as, in addition to the flu-like symptoms, it creates a burning that becomes an aching, then a throbbing that moves it's way through your entire body until you sit, every muscle clenched against the pain.

But if you can tolerate it, we may be able to reduce the extent of the second surgery.

No, we can't tell you for certain if the cancer has already begun to go invasive, we don't think it has. Yes, you could consider it playing with fire by not doing surgery now. No, we can't tell you for certain that a second surgery will stop it from going invasive or that it will not come back.

Um, ok. Is there anything you CAN tell me for certain?

You have to stop smoking, you have to take better care of yourself, you have to reduce the amount of stress in your life (oh and this is going to cost you an ass-load of money, which sucks for you cause it's going to be kind of hard to go to work everyday.)

Um, yea, I'm sold. Ok I have at least struck a compromise. I will quit smoking again, I will try this treatment again (hopefully this time we will see some marked improvement), to the extent that I can tolerate it and if necessary I will have one more surgery. After that, you people will leave me alone until you can prove to me that it is do this or die and then we will consider those options.

At least that doesn't make me feel as though things are so indefinite and that these nightmares aren't just the first of many.

Of course, the results of the upcoming CT scan could change all that.

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