I try not to look at statistics or prognoses. According to what I’ve read, I don’t have much time. But I’m young, healthy (considering) and always looking to improve, both myself and my condition. Everyone is different and none of us knows how long we have to live. There’s always that proverbial bus that could hit us any minute.
With this stage IV stuff, there is a constant awareness of the unknown. It’s an unknown that’s a part of everyone’s lives although I wasn’t particularly aware of it pre-diagnosis. The idea of mortality or even being confronted with it was a vague idea that happened to old people and relatives of friends.
There’s something about my ignorant meandering that I miss. That’s not to say I was happy wandering through life with no concept of its finality. Because I wasn’t. I struggled for a long time with finding my voice, finding a sense of belonging. Wondering where is my corner of the world. But there was a kind of haze over things that made existence a directionless dream for me. I didn’t know it then, but I do now.
Once I knew this feeling, the feeling that not just life, but MY life, was finite, I couldn’t unknow it. And when I say know, I don’t mean intellectual knowing. It’s a to-the-core kind of knowing that changed my emotional DNA.
Looking at how I lived my life before, it’s sad to say that there is a Universal push in this diagnosis that was much needed. It’s really too bad that it took something as big as this to give me perspective and an innate sense of structure that I had trouble attaining. I can feel the finish line even though I don’t know where I am in the race and have found a new drive to run as best as I can.
While I am not grateful for cancer or even the “gifts” it brings, I am grateful that I can recognize its lessons. Now my hope is that as a cast sets a bone, this diagnosis will set a new drive in place so that when I am cancer free (and I plan to be), I can continue to operate with this energy and bring it to everything I do.