Life hunter.

Tonight I saw you. I saw you, forearms covered in flour, about to toss another pizza. I saw you throw your head back and laugh at something your date said that probably wasn’t that funny. I saw you walking your giant dog, and your tiny dog. I saw you sitting alone at the bar. I saw you playing darts with your coworkers. I saw you floor it. I saw you cross in the middle of the street. I saw you sitting in your car with the interior lights on, reading your email. I saw you riding in the passenger side with your hat backward and no shirt on. I saw you brushing crumbs off your shirt. I saw you getting a haircut. I saw you raise a beer. I saw you lock up your bike. I saw you moving chairs inside, closing up for the night. I saw you waiting for your dinner. I saw you licking a melting ice cream, diving into pizza with gusto, chugging down an iced coffee. I saw you coo at your baby. I saw you flip off your friend as a joke.

I saw you living your life. You were walking, driving, riding, running, lifting, laughing, eating. You were dating, you were saying hello, you were saying goodbye. You were keeping it together.

You were alive.


About sleeping.

Most days I’m so tired at the end of the day that I crash into my mattress at 10 pm and don’t wake up until 6 am or later.

Sometimes I wake up to use the bathroom at 4. Or 2. Sometimes I don’t get back to sleep.

Last night, this morning, I woke up at about 2 to use the bathroom. I also had a pretty strong headache, so I was up for a couple of hours.

Sometimes my brain spins with possibilities, both good and bad. Or regrets. It’s easy to start down the road of “I should have pushed back more at the first exam when I got brushed off.” Oh my goodness, the regret is so intense.

At some point over the past year, I got really hooked on the phrase “Don’t look back – you’re not going that way.” I was always someone who looked back. I used to wish I could go back to 7th grade, before I was obese, before I missed the boat in math class, and not get fat and ask for help in math. But that stuff is all gone and done, and all I have now is where I am.

That’s how it is with the cancer journey. It’s here. There is no going back now, so it’s time to look forward and try my best to leave any regrets along the side of the road. Those things get heavy after a while.

Also, I get to take lots of naps now. What if I had done things differently and I missed out on all these wonderful naps??

I have a bad feeling.

I mean, I get that you’re supposed to stay positive. Overall, I really am. I think I’m doing a pretty good job of not dwelling on the unknown and all of the implied possibilities. I stopped googling radiation and chemo. I’m focusing on healing. I’m making future plans. I’m looking forward to being cancer-free.

But, from the very beginning, no matter how upbeat I have seemed, no matter what “good news” I have received, I just have a bad feeling that I can’t shake.

When my oncologist didn’t even open my folder or chart while we spoke and said I didn’t look like someone with Grade 2 endometrial cancer, even though that was what the pathology report found, I didn’t understand what he could possibly be basing that on. He said I was young and beautiful and that he hoped to downgrade me to a Grade 1 so that he could spare my ovaries and I could stay young and beautiful. Turns out, at the second pathology read? It was still Grade 2. My surgery was moved up a week. I still had to have my ovaries removed to be safe.

He read my CT scan and said it looked fine. He stopped himself from calling my tumor huge at my bedside the day of my release from the hospital. He told my mom that things looked promising.

I read the report. My CT scan showed mild emphysema, a borderline enlarged spleen, and some enlarged lymph nodes. I laughed for two days about the mild emphysema. No wonder it hurts me to run in the winter.

I just can’t shake the feeling that my oncologist is being all smiles until he has the facts to drop the hammer. He was so smooth, so upbeat about downgrading me and saving my ovaries. Like we were talking about the weather. We made the call about taking them when my surgeon was standing at the end of my bed while I was in the pre-op area and I had my IV in, minutes before I was wheeled to the OR, nurses buzzing around me.

I just keep remembering his words from my appointment on August 6th and hoping they’re true. He said that he saw a lot of people like me, five newly diagnosed patients every day. He said that, to me, it was a huge deal, but to him, I was not a bad case. That things were not urgent because this is a very slow-moving cancer. That in all likelihood we would take everything but the ovaries, and with it, all of the cancer, and I could move on with my life.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed, even though I have a bad feeling. I’m moving forward and looking up and taking each moment as it comes.

I especially look forward to writing the post that proves this post wrong.