The Doughnut Machine

Not a one of us knows for sure if we will be here tomorrow–or tonight for that matter. I understand the theory of living each moment as if it were our last. However, I have yet to personally meet such a person who wasn’t keenly aware that they were living on borrowed time. When faced with the inevitable shortening of their lives, they strive to live as they should have their entire lives, but are too week to whoop it up. Facebook is full of fairy tale lives, and I wonder about some bloggers.

My early blog posts were about what I found beautiful each day. I still look for these things, and I take note of all little things. It’s what gets me out of bed. However, writing about how beautiful the taste of my toothpaste is, how I love the feel of my cats, the luxurious feel of the yarn I’m knitting with at the time, or the simple fact that I got out of bed, was becoming a bit tedious.

I had a lot meandering though my mind, and I was stuck recycling negative thoughts. Letting them loose through blogging has helped me look at myself in a more objective manner.

How I write is the true me. The me who isn’t feeling as if I’m hovering outside my body while trying to interact with people. The me who doesn’t have a problem stumbling over the correct word, or pronunciation of anything that spills out of my pie hole. While I consider that I my be using commas in the wrong place, my syntax is incorrect, or the fact that I’m putting someone to sleep, I’m okay with my lack of writing expertise.

I have met people who have a more positive outlook than I. They laugh deeper, and appear to live a fuller life. But what are they like when they’re alone? Do they make sure they are never alone in order to avoid examining what’s on their minds?

While I was lying in the doughnut machine yesterday (my word for the CT scan device), I went through my coping techniques for anxiety. I thought about my dad, brother, and sister. I waited for what I believe is toxic contrast dye, enter my veins, so that they can see any funky junk more clearly. I contemplated what decision I would make if I were given the news the cancer had returned. I thought about my husband and kids. Would I finally learn to live each day as if it were my last?

The test was over, and the agonizing wait begins.

How would you live if you were told that, out of 10 people in your group, only 7 of you will survive after five years? Three of you will not.

The “disclaimer” is that these numbers are averages–everybody is unique…blah, blah, blah. Yeah, doctors don’t know everything. In fact they don’t like to quote cancer survival rates because they don’t want to pop our balloons and take away any hope.

They use larger numbers, like out of 100 people diagnosed, 70 of those people will still be living large after 5 years. They don’t say 7 out of 10. Besides, there is no such thing as a half of a person, when the percentages are 15% or such. Also, they go to pretty great lengths to divert our attention from the 3 of 10; 30 of 100; or 30% who aren’t so lucky. If a person seriously wants to know their prognosis, the doctors use percentages. Numbers which require us to do the math in our heads is intended to throw us off, tricking us into thinking we have more hope. 🙂

The story behind the anxiety I have struggled with since my lung cancer diagnosis, is that out of 10 people in my group who have presented with a 1 cm (roughly 1/3 inch) lung nodule, 1 of us will be incubating a cancerous nodule.

I was that 1………….

A little bugger which can fester, because it doesn’t produce many symptoms until it has grown to a stage, where out of 10 people, only 1-1/2 will be alive after five years.

Yet—I’ve been told by my Primary Torturer, Blunt Oncologist, Brilliant Thoracic Surgeon, and Twilight Zone Pulmonologist—that I shall never see lung cancer again. Hmmmmm. Yes, they have filled my balloon with tons of hope–but I do have a brain–which may not function at 100% all of the time–but I can read, and if I forget, I can read it again.

I’m not sure what happens after 5 years, because I haven’t found any studies yet. It’s also constantly brought to my attention, that these statistics usually lag 5 years, and that new treatments are developed every day.

Blunt Oncologist is exactly the type of doctor I love. However, she told me I should be very happy with a 70% survival prognosis.

I don’t know—100% sounds better to me.

…..and I have 5 1/2 days to wait for my results.

sigh

 

 

 

 

 

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About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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11 Responses to The Doughnut Machine

  1. suzjones says:

    Hang in there. Some hope is better than no hope my dear.
    And fwiw – I’m the real me on my blog. When I write, I speak better. When I write, I don’t p**s people off by being blunt or saying something that is taken out of context (I hope). And my life is real. Just so you know 😉

    • April says:

      I knew you write from the heart. As far as bluntness, that’s the kind of person I enjoy being around the most. Honest people who don’t intend to hurt, but cannot lie. It’s hard to spot those who will be offended by what we say, unless it’s the same people all the time. In that case they are the ones with closed minds and are overly sensitive. Their problem, not yours. 🙂

  2. aviets says:

    These five days must be an eternity…in the meantime, cuddle those cats, work away with that yarn, and keep writing. I’m pulling for you. -Amy

  3. mewhoami says:

    Over time, I’ve found myself asking the same question – all these people who seem to be so happy, are they really? When they’re alone in their room and tucking themselves in for the night, are they just as bubbly as they are on here? There are days where I get tired of being honest (believing that it will chase readers away) and feel that I should plant roses on my blog instead. But, that gets tiring. What’s the point in having a blog if you can’t even discuss what’s truly on your mind? It’s not very therapeutic that way.

    I’m not a doctor, but I would assume that the ones who fall into the ‘don’t make it’ category are most often the ones who give up and don’t make the necessary changes. You’ve made lots of changes and you certainly have not given up. If I was a betting woman, I’d bet that you have years and years of life ahead of you.

  4. 100% does sound better.
    5 1/2 more days of waiting sucks.
    Your truths are hard core.
    I think writing your truths is the best thing to do.
    I’m enjoying learning about you.

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