When I understood the challenge ahead in my personal battle with a cancer still to find a cure, and a projected two year longevity prediction, it was time to dig in for answers—all while avoiding the world of quackery and misinformation.
There’s often news of such patients overcoming the incurable and substantially extending projected survival times. Admittedly, those patients hold infinite amounts of discipline that I’ve yet to achieve.
The behavior of some humans definitely rankled my patience. I wish it would’ve rained more. The garden was less than mediocre. And every holiday and celebration lacked the sparkle of champagne.
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.
A week ago, the chemo curls were long enough to where I pulled out my hair product and accessories. I felt like a girl again. Less than a week ago, knowing the nightmare of watching my hair fall out and me too vain to have it shaved, I went in for the hip-grandma look of what is essential a female’s butch cut. This halted some of my joy. It halted some of my fantasy that I was a normal person again—like one who doesn’t live her life around cancer every day.
An update on my mystical journey through Cancer World. When I transformed from human into a pale white unicorn, a strange, […]
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.
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.
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).