It’s a busy couple of days for medical appointments. Yesterday I saw my psych NP to discuss effects to date of the antidepressant switch, then went to Hayward for an orthopedic specialist consult. Last evening was acupuncture, which to me counts as medicine. This morning I get blood drawn in prep for seeing my GP next week, and from there right to my 3-month oncology checkup. And sometime very soon, maybe even tomorrow, I’ll be getting an MRI so the orthopedic spec can determine whether my knee pain is caused as she suspects by something called a meniscus tear.
While this doesn’t leave a lot of time for other stuff including paying work, I’m aware it could be worse. A lot. I could have no medical coverage, for one. Or I could still be in cancer treatment, leaving little to no energy and mental capacity for anything but that. I’m reminded of what that’s like every morning lately when I crack Facebook’s On This Day listing to see what I was doing three years back. (Or at least what I was writing about for public consumption. Often they’re very different things.)
In contrast, the onco visit today is no longer at the center the way it would have been even a year ago. I’m loving that, just as when I walk out of it with (I hope) another clean bill of health I will be loving that too. I’ve got other things to worry about: possible knee surgery ahead, or what that blood work will tell the GP about my diabetes now much of the weight I lost during treatment is back, or for that matter the looming dental work which prompted the GP appointment in the first place. I’m looking for the upside, usually am in this phase of life, though so far all I’ve found is the hope that once the oncologist sees my cane he won’t chide me for not getting his prescribed amount of walking exercise. Or, these last two weeks, any at all.
These days I find I don’t talk about myself much like someone who’s had cancer, even if I beat it fairly easily on its first and hopefully last go-round. I do think of myself as that someone though, certainly I do. Reminders are there every single day and would be whether or not I looked at that Facebook listing: there in the form of fatigue, curtailed physical activity, a newfound affinity for those with chronic illness, a worldview skewed toward the positive, so many other things. I expect the changes these represent are evident without me talking much about them either. I mean, how many times can one in good conscience respond to “How are you doing?” with “Oh my god I’m so tired”? To do so daily, no matter how truthful, would feel like playing the cancer card and all this time I’ve been making a conscious effort to not do that. Those who need to know already know and I trust them to remember.
If that’s part of the grace that at the beginning at of this journey I hoped to develop along the way, then I’m blessed by its presence. Ditto humility. If not, I’m OK with having a ways still to go in that regard too. The spirit is willing; it’s just the body that is weak.
(Photo: vase I picked up on the street yesterday. On the way home I’m stopping for flowers to put in it; I believe they’ll be the first in my house since my birthday almost two years ago.)
(Republished from my personal Facebook account)