cancerversary: postscript

I would also like to acknowledge someone who I find myself thinking about a lot. Someone who wasn’t as lucky as I am lucky to be able to write about all my feelings, happy and sad, on my cancerversary. I complain a lot, and i’m not happy about a lot of things I should be happy about, and I don’t like calling myself a survivor–but I do survive.

I met this someone in February, while I was actively recovering from surgery, and I maybe saw him once or twice after that. I remember immediately connecting with him because he, too, had recently been through surgery. At that time, I was still trying to get used to my scar, to the way my body felt 10 pounds lighter, and I looked up to him because he seemed to be past all that. He was honest, and open, and calm.  His life was more changed by cancer than mine was–yes I was diabetic, taking a quarter off, and tired from the surgery. But he had lost a lot more weight, and wasn’t able to work, and had an ostomy bag and had to change his diet completely to accommodate it. He was sicker than me–but certainly not sick enough to die. Young adults aren’t old enough to die from cancer.

A couple weeks later, he was unexpectedly in the hospital. Then, he was still in the hospital. Still positive, and still him, but in the hospital. Then, a few weeks after that, he was at home. On hospice. But still calm, and talking about baseball. And then, he died.

I didn’t know him very well but I think about him frequently. I also think about another young woman who I heard about around the same time, and was touched by her story, but we never met, because she ended up in the hospital too, and soon died.

I would like to partially dedicate my cancerversary to the two of them, who never had one.

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2 Responses to cancerversary: postscript

  1. Red says:

    I remember when I was first diagnosed with MS. My husband (who was then my boyfriend) and I made a list of things to discuss with the neurologist, questions we wanted to ask him.
    Some of his, though, were along the lines of “What’s going to happen?” I told him he was welcome to ask, but the doctor wouldn’t be able to tell him. At this point, it’s been six years and I have a cane and I’m not at all sure I’m up to having kids anymore, but the uncertainty feels less immediate.

    We made a donation in honor of our wedding to the American Cancer Society. You probably know their motto, but for readers who don’t, it’s “The official sponsor of birthdays.” I can only imagine how hard this is for you. It’s good that you have your meditation and your family and the ability to count your blessings. One thing I do understand is how frustrating it is when the doctors can’t tell you what’s going to happen or what they definitely think you should do (like about the transplant.)

    I’ll keep you in my prayers, and I say again: Live, Lindsey, live. And you can hold your head up. You’re living your life well.

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