Saturday, February 02, 2008


Friday was terrible. I felt like crying all day even though my mom did her best to simultaneously distract, support, and counsel me. We got massages, we bought new clothes, we went to Whole Foods. My mom was as perfect as a mom could be in this situation. Yet all day I would randomly pick up some line of conversation that would leave me unable to talk. Yesterday evening I went back to Dr. Kaplan, my oncologist, to hear about the results of my blood work and the further biopsy-ing. The news is they still don’t know. I don’t have any of the Leukemias or Lymphomas they tested me for. My blood is totally normal. More tests. Maybe Monday.

I was really unhappy with this lack of information. All day I had been waiting for answers. I want to know what’s wrong and what they’re going to do and how it’s going to affect my life! I made it home, got to my room and lost it for about the millionth time. I turned on Wilco REALLY loudly so no one could hear and cried. It didn’t even feel like I was crying for any specific reason—just because my whole insides felt so terrible and bad. Agony is a good, melodramatic word.

It doesn't feel like I have accepted what’s happening. Like in my soul or whatever, it doesn't feel real. But at the same time I keep bursting into tears. At the masseuse I was filling out a release form and it asked me if I was being treated for a list of things--including cancer--and I just couldn't check yes. It felt like a lie. Part of me feels like I’m being alarmist and like it could NOT be true. I mean, what happens when you shoot up a benign cyst with tons of steroids? Don’t you think it might whack out the cells? Dr. Kaplan said last night that for sure it IS malignant, but until I have a name, I don’t want to say it out loud. This is good practice.

Today (Saturday) has been much better. When Dr. K told me to just relax and enjoy my weekend because I wouldn’t know anything until Monday I was like “yeah, the fuck, right.” But as I process this info with everyone and try to make it all sunny-like for them, I’m starting to buy-in. OK. You’re right, external Jessie! It IS good news that my blood work is normal and my immune system is functioning normally! I have no angry lymph nodes! How bad can an immune system cancer BE if my immune system AND my blood are being normal? Right on!

Not knowing is painful because I am worried about things that I can’t constructively be worried about yet. But not knowing is also OK because ignorance can be blissful! I was talking to AC today about what a freakin crazy week this has been. The funny thing is, I remember thinking this week was heavy and intense for the Q-crew on Monday—before I even saw Dr. Birkbey (the second opinion dermatologist.) On Monday I had a cyst! So anyway, Q-crew has had this epic week and I’ve had this epic 48 hours. (I’ve only been sitting on this information for 50 hours!) The thing is, maybe I’m at processing capacity right now. Maybe it’s OK that I don’t know what’s going on because I’ve got enough to work through without added stress of knowing about treatment or my specific illness. Just accepting that I. Have. Cancer. is maybe enough for right now.

Last weekend I was running around Seward Park with AC feeling “overwhelmed” by the kind of things that were up in the air for me. School, work, relationships, Seattle… I was like, “I’ve put all of this energy out into the universe and now it’s time for the universe to holler back with some answers!” Oh universe, you’re so sneaky! I’m irritated because I had other ideas for my future and I was hoping fate threw me some different bones, but it is what it is and for a lot of my burning questions, this will provide pretty definitive answers.

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