Monday, June 20, 2011

Aiming for the center of the Death Star

Over the weekend, Diana posted an update on her condition. The basics of her latest PET scan: doctors hoped the mass would be gone by now, but it is not. Luckily, the mass is half the size of what it originally was and it remains isolated. More chemo is down the line, but stem cell treatment might be too.

These results could have been much, much worse. I don't want to get bogged down in thinking about the cancer spreading or the mass remaining its same size. Rather, I want to focus on what I have seen since my previous update last month.

The ugly stuff first. Yes, there have been some spells of depression here and there. Many factors, including isolation and the starting-to-feel-good-then-more-chemo cycle, put her mind in a place where she seemed to be pushing away almost every good thing in her life.

It hurts to see someone you love start to drown, so I am thankful she was able to come back up for air. And she's stayed afloat.

While we aren't going on three-mile bikerides these days, she has been able to take nice long walks around her house. When she said a few months ago she's been able to breathe better than she has in a long time, I smiled. I still smile when I think of her mentioning it in passing.

In the past few weeks, we've gone out shopping, to the movies, and pleasantly enjoying life when it doesn't feel like a sauna outside. Juggling work schedules and other appointments (and deadlines for me), we get to see each other when we can, which is roughly twice a week.

I have been asked if I'm disappointed we had to put our future plans on hold. I have not. It's been hard to see someone you love be thrown such a curveball in life. Yet I find myself loving this person even more because of how she's dealt with this curveball.

When I had some medical issues back in April, I reminded myself of how Diana handled herself in the hospital. Sure, there were concerns and fears, but at no point was she difficult. I kept that in mind as I had to have some emergency treatment to a hemorrhoid that had ballooned to the size of my thumb. I also kept her professional and mature side intact when I went to the dermatologist last week. While it isn't the most fun treating a doctor and his nurse to a peep show (because moles are all over my body), I didn't let fear of seeing a potential cancerous mole overpower me.

We're not in the clear yet. I'm not declaring a victory or a defeat. Cancer isn't like a pulled muscle or a cold, hence why I like to call it a journey. The journey keeps going and Diana is staying on a path with "Fuck Cancer" signs all along it.

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