I’m not one to sulk and wallow in my own misery. So I switched to my 300 mm lens. Some interesting activity up the beach caught my eye. I zoomed in on the scene. Suddenly I forgot about my morning conversation with my physician. A pod of brown pelicans — maybe close to a hundred, the males in their colorful mating plumage, and the females seemingly enjoying the attention, beckoned Oly and I to get a little closer.
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.
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).
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:
Finally, we stood face to face (as it were), You reminded me of a Star Wars character, the kind I might meet in a faraway bar — not purposefully harmful, just looking for somewhere to blow your wad. Well, aren’t all penetrators following the same mission?
“What island am I on?” I asked myself. Outside is a leader belittling countries of dark-skinned humans. Outside is a legion of angry white men at war with themselves and a changing world. Outside is a living contradiction of faith. Outside we’re told that it is us versus them. But I was on an island where ethnicity and social station did not matter. This island’s mission was human kindness.
Through these 12 months, a medical cancer did strike my friends and colleagues. It was as if a deluge of rogue cells from what I call cancer-world rained on many people I know. And at the same time it never dawned on me that, I, a breast cancer survivor, should have kept my umbrella at hand.