A Blog about Career Changes, Madness, and My Awful Brain

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Strength and Support: A Little Give and Take.

I have a lot to say today, and yet a lot of what I have to say I don't want to. Not because it's hard for me to tell you, but because it hurts me that you have to hear it.

I had an appointment with my doctor to go over the results of my CT scan. And the news wasn't good. It wasn't the most horrible news, but it could have been better. The scan found the tumour in my rectum and what looks like swelling in the lymph nodes. I'm not saying the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes....the doctor said that until we get an ultrasound on it, we just won't know. The CT scan also looked at the rest of my GI, my lungs, and my liver. The GI and lungs were clean, but a node was found on my liver. No need to panic yet though, because the doctor just couldn't tell if it was cancer or fatty tissue. See, I've had fatty liver for at least five years, and he couldn't be sure that it was cancer. I have to get an MRI either next week or the week after to make sure it's not cancer.

So we still aren't sure what we are looking at. It's definitely at least stage 2, but anything more than that we do not know.

So now that the technical information has been delivered....how am I feeling? Well, it's hard to say. Not well...not horrible. I have a headache from the stress of the day, but apart from that I seem to be okay. I was an emotional wreck this afternoon, but have calmed down a fair bit since then. But I'm trying to be "strong".

Which brings me to another matter that I wanted to express my feelings on in this post. I've already told a lot of people about my condition, and there are two things that I keep hearing over and over. The first is be strong, and the second is that I have all the support I need. The second is so appreciated....I'm having a hard time, and I need your support, and I appreciate your support, and I love you because of your support. The first....well, I'm having a bit of trouble with that one.

I'm guessing that a lot of you realize by now that I'm not the most optimistic person in the world. I know, shocking. At the same time, I'm also not a person who gives up easily. A big part of the problems I've had in the past were due to my tenacious nature. Hell, it's why I didn't quit that stupid job even though most normal, non-masochists probably would have. It's why I foolishly kept going on my career track, even though it was completely wrong for me. And it's why I won't give up on life until the universe pulls it out of me.

But here is the thing, kiddies. I'm not about putting on a stiff upper lip and bravely writing inspirational pap. I'm not Mr. Positive-Everything-Is-Going-To-Be-All-Right. If I have any strength in this world, I take it from being Real.....from expressing who I am and what I feel. I've said it to you in a previous post, and I'm going to do it again now. I will no longer lie about who I am, what I feel, and what is happening to me. I think, unconsciously, a lot of people want supernatural strength and positivity from cancer victims (and survivors) because it makes it easier for them. But that sort of positivity does not do the afflicted person any good if they are positive when others are around, and then they go home and drop the act when no is around.

I won't do that. I can't do that. To be strong, I need to show you what I'm feeling, even if it makes you uncomfortable. Don't ask me to be positive when I am not feeling positive. Don't ask me to be strong when I am feeling weak. Because that takes too much energy for me...energy I will be using to fucking fight.

And here's the thing....I don't need you to be happy and positive for me either, unless it's what YOU ARE FEELING. Because when you put on a happy face that isn't real, I can feel it. And when you refuse to tell me how shitty you feel, you make me feel alone. There is this idea out there that I should only be concentrating on my own fight, and that I shouldn't have to worry about other people's problems. But doing that makes me feel worse, if only because it makes me feel that I'm the only one with problems. Focusing only on my feelings, and my health, diminishes me....because part of being Dan, the most important part of being Dan, is caring about YOU.

So talk to me. Share with me. Give me support, but let me give you support. And maybe, together, we can get through this bullshit in one piece.

I love you.


1 comment:

  1. "Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as real strength." -Ralph W. Sockman

    It takes an incredible inner strength to feel confident in weakness. Then, to step up, through the weakness, and become an inspiration to others is a super human strength in itself.
    Though I have yet to meet you in person, I am honored to know you. But, even if I didn't know you Dan; I see how everyone around you not only loves, but adores you. I can see and witness the impact you have made on so many people, and continue to do.
    If I knew nothing more about you than to witness those around you and how deeply the care for you, that would be enough for me to admire you.

    You are genuinely GOOD man. Men like you are far and few between. Take pride in who you have become.