It's been 10 years since I was diagnosed with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma... cancer. I started this blog to share the many emotions, fears, experiences and, hopefully, triumphs that I will face throughout this journey. I have two goals for this blog, 1. To gain some degree of personal therapeutic benefit and, 2. To help others who may one day face a similar struggle by detailing the process of diagnosis, treatment and recovery so that they may know what to expect.

Monday, August 14, 2006

T Minus 24 Hours

August 14, 2006 - The day has finally arrived, I start my treatments tomorrow. By the way, I'm sorry for not posting sooner but I really haven't had much to say and I've been very busy at home and at work trying to prepare as much as possible for what I expect will be some type of leave of absence.

People have asked me today if I'm nervous or scared. The truth is that I'm not scared of the treatments themselves. I've resolved myself to the fact that I'm going to feel pretty miserable eventually, it's just a matter of how long it will be before I get to that point. Maybe three or four weeks. Maybe tomorrow. Who knows? What does scare me is the thought that the treatments wont work. I have dreams of going in for PET scans only to find tumors throughout my body. I know that I need to stay positive and expect the best possible outcome but the thought of having to endure radiation and immunotherapy only to find out that I still have cancer is very real and I'm not sure how to reconcile these two opposing perspectives. Does this fear mean that I'm really not being positive? Am I sabotaging my treatments with worry? Great, now I'm worried about that! The truth of the matter is that I am anxious to get started because after tomorrow, I'm one day closer to being finished.

I spent my day by keeping my mind busy at work. My co-workers surprised me with a nice lunch of healthy foods that they all ate for my sake. I could have easily broken down in front of them all had I let myself but I was able to keep it together, thankfully. To know that the people around you care and are willing to show their support in such a way is so helpful. I was really quite touched by the gesture. Tonight, I decided to treat myself to one last guilty meal before I lost my sense of taste so we ordered my favorite... pepperoni pizza with extra cheese and extra sauce. I even drank a coke with it and I'm not talking about the diet stuff. I'm talking the real-deal-super-sugarfied Coca Cola Classic... red, white and you! I've never taken drugs but I did see Trainspotting and I can only imagine that my dining experience tonight was something akin to sticking a spike full of heroin in my arm. In other words, after 8 full weeks without sugar, caffeine, and eating nothing but whole foods, pizza and coke were damn good.

I'm not sure what else to say right now. Scared? Yes. Anxious? Yes. Excited? Yes. Very full? Yes. I think that about covers it for now. I'll have an update tomorrow to let you know how it went.

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