Tuesday, January 8, 2019

My Recliner

As I sit here in a recliner meant for clinical trial patients, in a room meant for those grasping at anything to make it just one more week, one more month, I think back on my last two years.

I was told in January of 2017 I had cancer. I spent the next 12 months surrounded by hospitals, oncologists, nurses, IV bags full of chemo, plastic surgeons, oncology surgeons, pills for nausea, pills for pain, pills to reduce the side effects of pills. I slept thru 2017 and my wife did everything else. This past year – 2018 – spent outside of the “chemo bubble” has been full of anxiety, pain, apprehensiveness, anger, and yet pure joy.

Today, I’ve completed “phase seven” of my 3-year clinical trial. And with it, I again must break free of a routine that has become comforting and comfortable. I know the nurses. They know me. I can find myself around the Sylvester Cancer Center, housed on the campus of the University of Miami Hospital, with my eyes closed (not really but it is impressive). I found a sense of peace knowing I’d return every 28 days to give blood, pee in a cup, see my oncologist, be deemed “healthy”, and receive my trial vaccine. I felt as if I were moving forward with each visit. I felt I just might be ok after all.

Beginning with the eighth phase and for the next two and a half years, my 28-day routine in this trial extends to once every six months.Three months before I see my oncologist for a "routine" visit. 

I again feel lost and anxious. Of the unknown. What is going to happen to me? Will I be OK in six months? Will I be too sick to walk these halls on my own the next time I visit? Oh, how I hate that this has happened to me.
I sit in the recliner, my feet up and under a warm blanket waiting for my vaccine. I past the time laughing with the nurses, smile knowingly at the others sitting in their own recliners fighting this horrid disease, hold my head high and breathe deeply.  I’m a proud survivor. Yet I’m scared, doubtful and terrified. And so it is. My life. Moving onward. But never to be as it was.
#KeepRooting4Me #FuckCancer

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