When just 5% of gynecological cancers are uterine carcinosarcoma the money isn’t there for research. Furthermore, it’s not a well known form of cancer. Case in point, during a recent hospitalization I told one of the nurses about this cancer I’m fighting and she said that she had never heard of it. And when I spoke to a group of women about this cancer, they too, had never heard of it.
Yes, cancer changes everything. Things I did two years ago are not even possible now. Is this a worse-case scenario? Yes and no. Yes because I love to cook, hike, and explore the world around me. I can’t do that right now. No because I’ve an opportunity to learn new ways and new perspectives.
But by this June, the bad boy tumor grew back from its reduced 6 cm to 8 cm. In other words, my continued digestive discomfort was not from a stuck camera capsule. Actually, the CT scan showed that the capsule had left my system.
I’m coming closer to grasping that Zen concept of the temporary. It’s liberating both my mind and heart. Nearly 50 years later, I’m actually understanding the words of the late philosopher, Alan Watts. This is a good thing. And it is not such a good thing.
Admittedly, I’ve been lost as to where I’m going to go next and what is ahead and how do I deal with the many changes in my life. As I’ve written before, I’ll be in cancer treatment for the rest of my life, and most likely at the Phoenix Mayo Clinic. So it made sense to move there. Yet, a level uncertainty brewed inside of me.
Photographers like this hillside. It’s juxtaposition. It’s unique. It’s a challenge to photograph because one must be mindful of traffic, mud, holes and lord knows what else to get that perfect photo.
For me this moment paralleled how I feel these days: Like a poppy seeking the sun and holding my delicate bloom together against a hard and rocky environment.
This was a call to war. And the war ignited into full regalia when my guardian angels pulled the plug on my body on Halloween 2018 while I was in a second-opinion consult with a Mayo Clinic gynecologic oncologist. As pale as white paper, and barely able to breath, and worse — unable to control myself, I hurled and splattered volumes of gastrointestinal debris all over her office. Rushed to the ER, the final report read: severe anemia, hemorrhage gostrointestinal upper, malignant neoplasm of endocervix (HCC), and dyspnea — NOS (labored breathing).
I challenge anyone to show me how this moment of snarky memes, negativity, and divisiveness benefits one’s self, others, the planet.
“Sometimes I give up hope until I come back to this casita and see five miracles living right here.”
Now imagine yourself listening to a specialist in this field of cancer treatment basically telling you that father time, cloaked in his black garments and clutching a sharpened scythe, has established his death-dealing self within your body. You have choices to make. Here’s 10 incites that will probably happen with that diagnosis: