Yesterday was one of the hardest scans I’ve had thus far, and it’s not because they had to use a tiny vein that burned when the contrast was injected. It’s the first scan that I have had with no hope of getting “better” or not having cancer at all. After the doctors told me almost three months ago that I would always have cancer and that it’s just a case of managing it, I had a month of ups and downs until I settled into life pretty much as it was, more or less. I’ve mostly been not dwelling on it and trying to wring as much enjoyment out of the past few months as possible.
Of course, I’ve failed spectacularly on occasion. I spent several hours of my birthday wishing I’d never been born at all. When things go wrong, I sometimes think I wish for a terrible scan so I don’t have to deal with anything anymore, but if that wish were to come true, I know I wouldn’t want that at all. It’s a wish born of petulance and with a blind eye turned to the reality of dying.
I didn’t realize how hard it would be at the hospital, when even in my most pessimistic times, I still had so much hope. Even in the depression after my stem cell transplant, I was still so hopeful that I was done with cancer for good. After the Whipple, sewn up and sick for a month, I hoped I wouldn’t have cancer anymore. After the liver ablation, I had thought it wouldn’t come back anymore, that I was an exception.
Now it’s all I can do sometimes to not grab fellow patients by the shoulders and ask, Why is this happening to us? I actually don’t want any answers. I don’t want to hear that everything happens for a reason or that this is a plan. I definitely don’t want to hear it could be worse or I should take comfort in what I have. I don’t know what I want.
Tomorrow I’ll find out what the more sensitive scan has showed. From the way I’ve been feeling, I can tell maybe the news isn’t going to be good or even just meh. I’d like to spend more time on a break from treatment but I don’t think that’s in the cards.