When you have to walk up the highest mountain, sometimes from the bottom it appears much different and your journey from the bottom to the top can bring a collection of diverse outlooks. When you are at the bottom, you start off feeling pumped up, ready for the challenge. As you get closer to the middle you may become faintly worn-out, ready to give up and wanting to turn back around, for going down is always much leisurelier than the uphill climb. Then alas, as you creep towards the top you may be beat, but you feel a sense of accomplishment, you’re almost there and ready to see the magnificence that the uppermost peak has to offer, along with the journey it took to get there; an appreciation.
During my routine check up with my Oncologist yesterday, she explained that being that my cancer diagnosis is Stage IV “incurable”, I would always be a cancer patient and sadly always have to undergo some form of chemotherapy treatments for the rest of my life. Initially this information left me shocked, gob-smacked and baffled. How does six months of chemo treatment turn into a lifetime? Does she suddenly know more than I have previously been privy to? Tears immediately spout out of my tired eyes. However, the Doctor then proceeded to educate me on the why behind her words. You see, when you have been dubbed with Stage IV “incurable” cancer, there is a much higher risk that the cancer cells will form over periods of time and staying on chemo, a less aggressive chemo after my initial treatment will serve as a means of a preventative, a potential cancer circumvent.
It sounds outlandish, but I’d much prefer to be on some form of chemo for the rest of my eternity, versus the alternative to not be here at all to enjoy life, love and happiness. If today taught me anything, it was that it is easy to have an idea in your head of how you think things will turn out. Once that seed has been planted, it makes the blow much more trying when it doesn’t always go as planned or projected.
That’s why you have to do the unexpected. Today after I heard that news and once my initial self-pity wore off, I decided to live spontaneously and get an impromptu tattoo. Tattoos in my family are seen as taboo, but one particular tattoo in general was calling my name and I knew it would bring me peace and serenity every time I looked at my wrist. That said, my tattoo of choice was an evil eye protector, to protect me against my personal evil, which is cancer.
As it turns out, I may have Stage IV incurable cancer, I may have to be on chemo for life but I am the happiest I have ever been in all of my life. I know that I have an uphill battle to climb, but I truly believe that I will reach the highest peak of that mountain and gasp at the wondrous journey that it took me to get there.