Sunday, September 26, 2010

Part One. Commencement of the Finale

Although I suppose that's a little morbid, but it's true. In any situation, not only the bad ones.

It's always the beginning of the end.

Today just happens to be the day in which I accept the fact that I am facing the toughest battle of my whole life. I actually took a deep breath in and allowed myself to be vulnerable.

I looked into my mother's teary eyes and said "I know what it is, and it's cancer."

"I know," she cried.

Up until about 10 days ago I was pretty convinced whatever was wrong with me was a manifestation of a juvenile disease, come alive again in my adult life. The Rheumatoligist called it AOSD, or Still's Disease, a systemic rheumatic condition that is debilitating and incurable. It can be controlled with immunosupressant drugs and whatnot, but there is no cure. It would be something that would have to be dealt with for the rest of my life. Severe joint pain, fevers, rashes, and other seemingly annoying conditions such as pericarditis and liver damage, and a lot of weight lost, which I wasn't exactly upset about. And I had it all, down to the diagnosis of pericarditis last Sunday with my trip to the ER, instead of what was supposed to be a ride home from one of my best childhood friends weddings. When I missed that wedding, one that I had been anticipating for so so long, I knew I was really sick. I had always said that "I wouldn't miss Angela's wedding if my life depended on it." Funny things happen when your life is really at stake however. Things like weddings seem to take a back seat to a pericardial sack not rupturing on the dance floor.

Last week, after complaining to the doctor about my abdomen feeling as if it's going to fall out, he laid me on the exam table and touched my spleen. "well, it's gotten larger I believe." it had showed some enlargement on my sonogram 2 weeks prior, but that was before I could even feel it, now I actually wanted to rip it out. Then he left the room to go get my new blood workup, only to reemerge a few minutes later, white faced, as if he'd just seen a ghost. "I think at this point it would be best if we send you to a oncologist, just to rule out lymphoma. It's unlikely but i'd like to get you in there sooner than later."

Fair enough. So I called the referred doctor and after reading the booking nurse my supposed diagnosis and specifically asking her to see dr.x, she said in a sweet, yet sound enough voice to tell me "well that specific doctor is booked for a little while longer than we'd like to wait to see you. How is Monday for you at 3pm with Dr.Y?"

"Monday is great, I'll see you at 3pm." It was currently noon on Friday.

Still's, from what I can gather, doesn't progress this quickly. Whatever this beast inside of me is has dove deep in me, taken hold of my guts, and as Ozzy put it "is going off the rails in a crazy train." it's the best way to describe it. Completely out of control. Two weeks ago I had joint pain, now I'm headed to the oncologist tomorrow, fearful that my spleen is about to rupture. And the weirdest part is that all of this started because of a slight increase in my CRP level in my blood work, at my checkup.

Whether it is Still's or my gut feeling is actually correct, I've got a hell of a trip in front of me. As I said to my greatest friend in the world, Rachel, the other day, "at this point it's either a very rare, painful, incurable disease that I'll have to deal with for the rest of my life, or it's just your plain old, run of the mill cancer. Either way, it's going to suck pretty badly."

I don't plan to post every day, or some days I may have so much to say that I post three times. Guess you'll just have to wait and see. I don't know where this is going, and I would very much like to keep it that way, because I don't know where life is going. But then again, does anyone really?

What I do know is that if there really some kind of point, some purpose to life, mine specifically, I'm pretty hard pressed to figure out exactly what that is in a very short amount of time. Maybe you can help a gal out?


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