This will always be - to date, at least - the worst day of my entire life. Oddly enough, it isn't the day I actually received the diagnosis. It isn't the next several days when I survived on Ativan and various delivery methods of weed while waiting for the details on how this would all be fixed. Wondering if it could be fixed. October 11, 2020 was the day that I stood in a Kaiser ER and felt a cold wave of shock and fear wash over my body while I listened to the doctor tell me the ultrasound couldn't find my gall bladder because a tumor had made it untraceable.
I usually try and thread jokes and sarcasm into these posts. It's a response to stress mechanism that not only helps me deal with this shit, but is also my attempt to put others at ease enough to the point at which they don't come at me with toxic positivity or their own fear. My ask stays the same: just tell me I'm pretty and tell me I've got this. Even when you don't believe it.
I'll save funny for another day. Today marks two years since that ER visit. It doesn't feel like that long, but then again...it feels like the longest period of my life. Scanxiety every three months; seeing the results pop up in my Kaiser app and only being able to check them myself starting with the latest two scans. Watching those I've met online with sarcoma experience recurrence, metastasis. Death. Trying to not internalize their experience, but realizing that if I don't, then I can't help others who need me to just feel what they're feeling. Straddling what sometimes feels like an insurmountable fence between having hope, and realizing that sarcomas are called the "forever cancer."
I made it without recurrence or metastasis. My latest scan, September 22, shows nothing of concern. For those of us with retroperitoneal cancers that are often found too late, this is a fucking MIRACLE. No, it's not the two year anniversary of showing zero signs of disease, but it's a milestone that I've been desperately awaiting and choose to celebrate. I celebrate because a lot of very intelligent doctors got me here, and a lot of people very important to me walked me through it. And a lot of others with sarcoma haven't had this luck.
Clink a glass for me today. <3