Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Getting Up to Speed
It's been almost 3 months since I was diagnosed with cancer, and it is time for me to start a just-for-cancer blog. I'm calling it "Nobody's Cancer" because I don't like the idea of cancer being mine (it isn't). And there are relatively few cases of vaginal cancer diagnosed each year the world over, so sometimes it feels like nobody has had this kind of cancer before. All of my doctors have told me how rare vaginal cancer is. They say that they are working with imperfect information about treatments, but that they are fairly confident that I will be cured. They compare it to cervical cancer, but they are cautious.
I realized when I was diagnosed that cancer is not something that terrifies me. I was shocked, confused, frustrated, angry, and resigned to do what it would take to be cancer-free. But I have not been afraid. Neither cancer nor cancer treatment are scary to me. I think cancer is often scary. I would feel differently if I had been diagnosed with another form of cancer - say brain cancer, or one of the more tenacious bone cancers that science is still baffled by. But I'm confident that I can get through this gigantic bummer. I'll be scarred, changed, and my future has morphed into something with benchmarks and fewer options than it used to offer. And that's the stuff I want to write about. My husband and I have been forced to make choices that are very difficult to make. We've been confronted by unexpected emotions. We are very fortunate and we are devastated.
This is all I'll write for now, because I have this whole life I need to keep living. But in the meantime, there's still the Other Blog, where I describe my initial reaction and the steps my husband and I took after I was diagnosed. If you haven't yet, check out the post from Feb 17th when I announced "The News" and the Page I created a week or so later with a bit more information, called "And Cancer" (which is also a Page on this site called "First Impressions").
Since those writings, my treatment plan has changed a bit again and I start low dose chemotherapy and high dose radiation next Monday. I have a lot to say and I'm gonna say it here. The hope is that my experience will help the people I love (and that love me) to understand all of what's going on. And maybe reading about my experiences will help other people with vaginal cancer (or any form of cancer) to deal with the loss of control and change of trajectory that cancer means for many people these days.
I'll be updating this blog again soon. There is a lot to share.