IntrepidWoman's Journey

I got that oil changed but . . .

Posted on: September 2, 2010

My car is in great shape. Last weekend I got the oil changed, cleaned it totally inside and out and now it is happy. I wish I could do the same for me.

I need a total body transplant! After living for six decades, I am bruised and battered, have battle scars everywhere with surgery scars in between. Gravity has not been my friend. I have a steel plate in one ankle, am missing several interior body parts from removals, have a current foot injury from walking that requires prescription NSAIDs and am a cancer survivor – 2 years.

I go for my post-cancer check up in two weeks. I had to have chest x-rays and blood work done before hand. The problem is I have a new problem that is now into overlap. I have hyperthyroidism and have had scans, nuclear tests, blood work and biopsies. When they ask, “Which arm?” when I go for blood tests, I have to check to see which one was just abused recently and suggest the alternate. Ha! Ha!

So, in two weeks, I find out if I am still cancer – free from the first location. I usually hold my breath when the doctor starts to tell me test results. This time, not so much. Turns out I have cancer again, in my thyroid.

When diagnosed the first time, the doctor said it was the ‘good’ cancer with a high rate of survival. Yes!  Well, this time it is in my thyroid – lots of little lumpies – and this specialist says it is the ‘good’ cancer with high rate of survival. I guess I should be happy that I keep getting the ‘good’ kinds of cancer.

Statistics say that one out of every three people gets cancer. If I have it twice, am I saving someone else? I wish that was true, then it would be okay with me.

Since I do not have a choice, I will suck it up and get on with it. Venting is good and now I have vented, not to have people feel sorry for me because so many have it way worse than I do, but to help me process the situation and move on.

I found a video the other day of a young man in Australia who was born without arms or legs. He only has a short flipper at the base of his torso. It is a shock when you first see him, but then he starts to talk and you see his soul instead of what is missing in limbs. He is a beautiful human being whose role in life is to inspire others. He speaks to school children and the tears run down their faces when he tells them they are beautiful and that they can do anything they want to do. He plays golf and swims and jokes about not being ready when he misses the volleyball.

Every story has an upside. I am relieved that this round of surgery and recovery is happening while I am employed with benefits. Last time I was self-employed with no benefits and it was worrisome covering expenses. Also, I will have to have recovery time off work. That means taking my beat up body to my church in Bellevue and spending time with books, art materials, music, my pink socks and warm house coat. I will have sunshine and mountain air. I wont have deadlines and alarm clocks and cold basements. I also wont have a thyroid full of lumpies that are malignant. Win-Win!

AND – I will always have Paris!

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