on and on

I don’t remember writing very much about the fear that gripped me the last time I was in Germany. I wrote of course about my fear of going. But i’m talking about the fear that I faced while I was there. It wasn’t that the news that we received there was so terrifying. But, looking back, it did terrify me to learn how bad everything suddenly was. That there were “innumerable” tumors in my liver, that there were tumors outside the liver that no other scans had picked up. The treatment itself, of course, also scared me, as well as being on my own in a ward where no one spoke my language. I spent many sleepless nights staring at the clock on my wall in terror.

Fear is a hard thing to admit when you have cancer; especially when you’ve been living bravely with cancer for over two-and-a-half years. Especially when you’re feeling not terrible, just bad, and when you have a lot of people who want you to live, and when a lot of people live a lot of years with what you have (albeit with slightly different diseases). But I was scared. I still am sometimes.

Fear wasn’t the case the second time around. The prevailing emotion, I think, was frustration. Powerlessness. At having to go all the way to Germany to have this medical treatment, the language barrier that was such a barrier, being in the hospital. Mostly at finding myself over and over this year, at age 27, with a master’s degree and an amazing boyfriend, yet not at all in the place that I want to be in life—or ever thought I would be in life. And no end to the discrepancies in sight.

I am not completely thankless. The cancer did respond to the first treatment. My liver showed a small reduction in tumor activity. Which is good news. But despite the improvement in my liver, there were another few small legions growing outside my liver. My cancer isn’t quite ready to put down its sword.

This frustration that i’m talking about, though: after we talked to the doctor my parents and I realized for probably the 50th time that this isn’t going away so easily. None of our plans for the future are really accurate and we are going to have to make things up as we go along. For example, I keep thinking about this time in the not-so-distant future that I might feel 100 percent again. Naively I thought that time would be a few weeks from now… but that time might be pretty far off, especially if I keep going and having my butt kicked in Germany every few months.

The only thing to do is to try to live as normal life as possible despite not feeling 100 percent. I can’t hide away at my parents’ house forever. I need to rest a little and then get back on my feet, even if I don’t feel like it, and try to live my life. I don’t quite know what that life will look like, but I need to find it. I keep thinking about this like my recovery period after my last surgery…but whereas my recovery period had an end last time, this time it just keeps going on and on.

I return to Germany in December.

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9 Responses to on and on

  1. Kelly says:

    So happy to see you writing. Really really HAPPY to see your smiling face on your walk the other day… You were ear to ear with smiles…

  2. thandilocks says:

    I hope December will bring about a better set of circumstances…

  3. thoughtsfromastranger says:

    Thinking of you often and sending healing vibes your way. You are brave and honest. Hopefully every return visit to Germany finds your cancer shrinking and brings you closer to feeling yourself again.

  4. Cathy says:

    Lindsey your honesty and ability to express your fears and frustrations through writing tells me you are moving forward into finding what your life will look like. The path and journey you are on is not one anyone would have chosen. But it is, and through it you are becoming a scholar of self, soul, and life. You are an AUTHOR. It is your vocation. Use your gift of words and write your story and along the way have an ice cream, hold a hand, and breathe into that moment. Sending hugs your way.

  5. Anna Gooding says:

    Lindsey, I have been trying since February to reach you to no avail. My daughter Christina had exactly the same thing that you have, and I have been trying to meet you and your family. Whereas Christina did not go to Germany, something I had asked her to do, you are.
    This should make all the difference in the world for you. I feel close to you because all your
    feelings are my daughter’s feelings. I would love to meet with you and your parents. Thank
    you. Anna Goodwin

  6. Sara Adams says:

    Hang in there. It blows my mind how Incredibly strong you are. If I ever have to face something like you have to, I hope I can have at least half of your strength.

  7. Paul Glowiak says:

    I’m praying for your recovery and return to a normal life without cancer. I keep waiting for your updates and good news, Lindsey.

  8. Gary Bate says:

    Lindsey, we met via Skype at the lacnets meeting on prrt last month.
    I am sitting here in front of a little bungalow just outside Erfurt.Germany.
    We arrived 2 days ago (my luggage did not). I’m here with my wife Ann for possibly her 5th treatment. I have been up most of the night trying in vain to alleviate her fear.
    Every word you wrote, every syllable and sentiment are I am afraid to say, hers.
    That I realize offers little comfort to you. It is not the “one” aspect of the treatment that terrifies there are far more painful horrific experiences in life. It is the sum of all parts. You expressed that so eloquently so accurately, most that read it will never understand. I do, so will Ann when I warily awaken her after writing this and show her your words. She is not alone and neither are you. Perhaps there is some comfort in that. I hope so. You are both amazingly strong and courageous women, I am happy that you have a good supportive boyfriend. I think it would be of benefit to you both to talk to share to comfort, please feel free to contact me offline at bate234@yahoo.com if you like and I will forward you her contact info. You both are blazing a trail others will follow, keeping it truthful I know will only inspire those who tread in your path. I have to go now, Prof Baum awaits.
    Thank you Lindsey. God bless you, I’m still shaking after reading your words.

    Gary Bate, husband and supporter to Ann Eickhof.

    • Anna Gooding says:

      Gary, I understand your pain . I recommended my daughter be taken to Germany many many times, and was told no. I knew that it would hurt but it could have possibly cured her. When a daughter is married her parents cannot interject their opinion in anything. You and your wife are doing the right thing, along with Lindsey, and you will see that with time both of them will get better following these procedures. I wish that I could be with Lindsey and with you and your wife to give you love and comfort. Anna Goodwin

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