The last 24 hours I have felt a bit like I was walking on a tight rope, just focusing on a point across from me to get to the other end of the line. Balancing between feeling mildly sick and quickly going to the other side. That's the flip side of trying to get well, the treatments often make you sick. I did well until about four hours after my treatment and then without warning a massive shift began to take place. I had to concentrate on my arms and legs, holding them tense to prevent them from shaking. I was starving, and had the feeling of a blood sugar plummeting, all while feeling nauseous. My left side, under my rib felt swollen and bruised. It felt like a mild flu, I knew it could be worse, but that was the thing - I kept getting worried it was going to get worse.
I read an article where Michael J Fox said his favorite quote was something to the affect of, "if you worry about something and the worst case happens then you have lived through it twice." I try to be mindful of that quote and stay in the moment, however most times I am not that successful. It should have been a clue when at a young age I wrote a poem titled, What If... It seems I never was blessed with that wild abandon of a teenager, where life feels invincible.
I constantly question if I am doing the correct, or best course of treatment - and only when I begin to surf the web and see post upon post of people suffering like me and trying any number of drug treatments that are not working - I remind myself, there is no perfect path paved for this illness, and much like any illness there has to be a leap of faith. Last night, I was staring out the window, I focused on how lucky I was, many more people have illnesses where their leaps of faith have life or death outcomes. Others face illnesses where there is no treatment to be found. So if I have to endure flu like symptoms to get to the other side of this, I can take that, its the worry in my head, will this get worse - what new symptoms may develop - what if on top of this I get cancer - the "thinking" of what ifs never seems to end. My dad has always told me, "you think to much" and this is true. If I was healthier I probably should have been in the CIA, I can't help but walk into a room or a situation and analyze every possible scenario that could take place.
I know personally individuals that have leapt over mountains for their health and in comparison I am jumping over foothills. But perhaps that's the problem, the what if...I have never been one to think "why me" more like, "why not me". I have been in the extended circle of great strength, a double lung transplant, ALS, pancreatic cancer, severe shingles. I have witnessed or been privy to stories of these triumphs and tragedies, and I think of the faith these individuals needed to have to go on every day. I am not talking of faith on a sprititual level, faith in themselves. Faith that they have more strength than they thought, more courage than they thought, more mental toughness than they thought. Faith in the doctors that come in or out of their lives. Faith in new treatments, faith in others that they will not disappoint when you need them most.
I swayed and lost my balance, but I didn't fall last night - somehow I had faith that it would get better not worse, and at 6pm this evening I was lucky enough to walk down the courtyard with my loyal Sophie and see a gorgeous Arizona sunset.