Thursday, 30 May 2013
Others marvel at my positivity and outlook, but the truth is bleak. The truth is that my light is fading. I feel a small part of me die day by day. I have masked it thus far; now it has surfaced. Yet, I shall not yield to this soul destroying monster. But, I am fighting an invisible enemy. I can not tell you for sure what has awoken this monster; there has been no defining event, no sudden attack. It lives in the shadows. It's nature unknown but its effects powerful.
The key to fighting an enemy is to know its weakness. It would transpire, that in order to take a shadow captive, the weapon of choice is Light. Shine light on a shadow and not only does the shadow disappear, but culprit is exposed; more often than not, it is exposed as a miniturette, a fraction of the size of its shadow. What is my shadow? I can only offer a suggestion. I think my shadow goes by the name of Responsibility. But not the responsibility that is rightly mine, but the responsibility that I have imposed on myself. Being a patient has been a huge challenge for me. All my interactions and roles have been blurred and my boundaries have been breached. I am in an environment where I am constantly switching between roles of patient, colleague, friend, counsellor, motivator and empathiser. It is this that has been secretly siphoning away my livelihood. I don't know why but I feel responsible for the people that I interact with. I feel like I have a duty of care to them in whatever shape or form that it may take. There is something deep inside of me that passionately compels me to be a friend to the friendless, to laugh when they life and cry when they cry, be it with a patient, friend or colleague.
The truth is that this is not my responsibility, but it is my heart. The effects on my own well being would be completely different if I wasn't a patient. This is something that I forget, or maybe ignore. I hate being a patient because for me, it has connotations of being a victim and of being useless. There is a deep seated drive inside of me that urges me to always be useful, to always fight, fight even to death. The role of patient is in complete contradiction to who my mentality says I am. But I am wrong. Every soldier needs time off the battlefield to be ministered to, to recover from the wounds sustained. Whether I am currently on the battlefield or in the army hospital is debatable. But one thing is for sure, there are timeswhen I need to be sure that I have taken myself off the battlefield and allow myself to recover be it physically or emotionally.
The lesson has been learned and the shadow has been taken captive. The Enemy has been defeated; all it took was a little Light.
Monday, 27 May 2013
People watching is a fun past time of mine. Sitting by a window in a coffee shop and watching people going about their life interests me. What are they thinking? How are they feeling? Where are they going? It is possible to tell a lot about a person without even speaking to them, but it is when you converse with them that you find out if you were actually right.
Being a patient in hospital can reveal much about, not only yourself, but others too. People from all walks of life, without exception, come through these doors every day. As an inpatient, it is a privilege, and a debatableblessing, to be able to meet so many people. We all have different stories, we have all made different choices that has led us to this point were our lives will intersect for a little while. One phrase that is thrown about here is just be true to who you are. An interesting concept but unfortunately not incredibly helpful. For example, if who you are is confused and broken, should you then live your life being true to that? The truth is, we are all, myself included, are confused and broken. As I listened to the painful stories that made up a life, it dawned on me that there is no difference between the person talking to me and myself. But for some reason, we are on very different trajectories.
I think that this is a result of one single choice. It is a choice that was made that changed the direction of my life. There is no other reason why my life has not ended up like most of the stories I have heard apart from this one choice. I chose to let someone else make the choices for me. But not just anyone. I chose someone who will make the right choice every time; someone who always, without fail, will do what is best for me, even if it means enduring hardship for a little while. His name is Jesus and He is God. It is only now, when I look back at the journey I have travelled can I see where He has intervened and where He has made course correction adjustments. It is a hard thing to do, give up the driving seat, and it's always painful at the time; but I know I will never make another choice because I know God and I trust him which is more than I can say for myself.
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
But at least that’s that. However, there is another decision to be made, one that came out of the blue. I was told recently that there might be a way to preserve my fertility through egg harvesting. They process would take about two weeks. They would stimulate my ovaries with hormones so that it will produce about ten eggs. Just before they ovary is about to release the eggs, a needle will be inserted and the eggs will be collected. The eggs will then go through a freezing process and kept until they were needed. Later on, when I decided that I wanted to get pregnant, those eggs would be thawed and fertilised using IVF. The fertilised egg would then be placed back into my womb with the hope that it will implant into the uterine wall and continue on to full term.
Sounds good so far. Erm, not quite. The success rate for one egg going through this entire process and becoming a baby at the end of it is two percent. Since they take ten eggs, the total chance of success is twenty per cent. For me that was a deal breaker. I am not overly keen on IVF in any case, mainly because of the emotional price you pay when going through it, so case closed...or so I thought. Even though I would not opt for IVF now, how do I know I won't change my mind later down the line? How do I make a decision about a child that belongs not only to me but to somebody else when he is not there? Regardless of how I feel about IVF, the question still remains. Do I go for egg harvesting in the event that I change my mind later on?
As with any procedure there are risks associated with the egg harvesting procedure. If I were to have it done it would need to happen at the end of this cycle of chemotherapy and before the bone marrow transplant. But to be honest, my main concern is putting my body through unnecessary strain before a very harrowing procedure such as the bone marrow transplant. But am I being short sighted, selfish even? I don't think so, but how can I be sure? Later on down the line, if I look back at this choice and regret it, I need to be able to justify to myself why I made the decision that I did.
I'm not going to go for egg harvesting. There is only so much medical intervention my body can take. If I was starting off from a one hundred percent healthy position, then the outcome of my thoughts may have led to a very different ending. But the thing is, I love the concept of adoption and God has granted me peace with no regret. A child is a child and whether you love that child or not is governed by a choice, not genetics. Love, isn'tthat funny feeling in your stomach, nor is its purpose to make you feel better. What then is love? Love is patient in the face of stubbornness and kind when provoked. Love does not hold wrongdoings against you. Love is humble and rejoices when others succeed. Love is gladly serving those who hate you. Love is a protector of the truth and a warrior against the snares of destruction. Despite the bleak circumstances and in the face of adversity, love always protects, it always trusts, it always hopes, it always perseveres and above all, it never fails.
Love is a choice. The default emotion in any one of these situation would be anything but love. If this is what love is, then it sounds impossible to do. True. But there is one who has done it. There is one who has been in all these situations yet still chooses love. His name is Jesus and He is God. He is the one who enables us to love in the way that He loves us. I have been adopted and am loved by the King. It is because of this that I will choose to love whichever child that may be entrusted to my care in whatever way because love never fails.
Monday, 20 May 2013
I haven't had another dose of chemotherapy since Friday, but they have decided to restart the whole regime again tomorrow at a lower dose. I really hope my body can tolerate it this time; if not me and the docs will be having some words! As always, will keep you posted!
Friday, 3 May 2013
And now for the good news. In my lasts posts I was talking about how the cancer is in remission in terms of when you look at it under the microscope but not in remission when you analyse my DNA. I had the results of my bone marrow biopsy today and it shows that I'm in total remission in both categories! I can't tell you how relieved I am to here that. I sort of still can't believe it, part of me worries that they have got the wrong patient! So this changes everything. It changes how I view the decision on the bone marrow transplant. I am now leaning more towards having the transplant; I know I will be accepting all sorts of horrible risks, but at least the risk of me dying has significantly dropped.
So there we have it. A turning point.