C h e c k l i s t

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          ☑ Chemotherapy
          ☑ Surgery
          ☑ Radiation
          Maintenance Therapy
                     ☑  Herceptin
                     ☐  Anti-Hormonal Treatment

August 17, 2012

Will I have another 35 years to live?

I have not posted for a long time. Since my last post I have wanted to say a few things but not to the point of writing a blog post. Sometimes I think it is a good sign that I am not writing my cancer blog anymore and should perhaps start a “style” blog. But then I am superstitious and don’t want to retire this blog as I always will be afraid of the other shoe falling off some day. Unfortunately that fear will never fade away.
Since the last blog I have a new set of foobies. They look good (clothed) and feel good. I do have some minor aches and pains but nothing worthy of a third thought. Since the last blog, we have bought a new home (or rather are in the process of buying) and all I can say that I am eternally grateful that I have this opportunity to realize another dream. Dinar and I say that this is our final home and we will see Sahil go to college from this home. I believe that. I see lots of good memories being made in this home, lots of happy times, lots of entertaining. 
I turn 35 years old this Sunday. I feel grateful to be alive and grow another year older. I am taking stock of the last 35 years and I feel that it has been a great ride so far.  Even a 70 year old would not have faced some of the challenges I have faced in these 35 years and that in some ways makes these 35 years more eventful.  I still think about how life would be if I didn’t have breast cancer, if my father would have been alive, if I had one more child, or two more, and I realize those are impossible situations.
But then I look at my sweet boy and I feel like this is my biggest accomplishment in life. Nothing else matters. He needs me now and I am there for him now.  I was away from him for 4 days visiting family on the west coast last week and when I got back he was super happy and we spent the whole day together. At night the happiness wore off and he realized that I was actually gone for several days and he started bumping his head on my chin and chest and told me “I am mad at you mommy! You are a naughty gurl! I don’t like you”. This went on all evening. In the morning he wakes up and kisses me and tells me “I miss you mommy. Don’t go to the airport again”. At that moment I thought I can’t die any time soon, my little boy needs me.
The mind games that this disease plays with you are beyond words. You look over your shoulder every time you are happy, celebrating, or content.  This disease is ruthless and has taken lives of several people I know; many of them have their own young ones. One thing I am learning is to live my life in a fulfilling way, to not stick to the troughs and to not doubt the peaks in my life.  If good things happen to us, embrace them without the sense of fear or guilt. Some things are beyond my control and I don’t attempt to control them, like this disease, it’s occurrence, and it’s recurrence, or lack of.
I hate this disease and I feel that we have yet to make any breakthrough progress on reining this disease in. We always thought that HIV/AIDS was going to be the big threat of our times, but turns out that cancer remains the biggest threat.  Some things click and work in cancer treatment, some therapies to treat cancer cause other cancers (go figure), and some therapies don’t work at all. There is plenty of work being done. 90% of my work is oncology related, my husband works in a cancer drug manufacturing plant, but then you still think “is this enough?”  Is enough being done to find a cure? Is there any such thing as a cure?  Is it more profitable to treat a cancer patient than cure a cancer patient? Is there a lucrative economic case here? Have we as human beings stooped down to that level? This is when I take a step back and silence the cynic inside me. Hush time to sip some wine and think about more simple things like “what do we eat for dinner tonight?”  


Anonymous said...

Hi Bela

Wishing you many many many happy returns of the day not just to 70 but to 90 and beyond!! It is time to celebrate your triumphs with the people you love. Our birthdays are just one day apart (mine's on the 25th) - so from one proud Virgo to another - Happy Birthday, lots of love and a great big hug!


Meghan Mohe said...

More simple and entertaining thoughts for you: decorating ideas for your new space! Always fun=) Maybe an arts & crafts room where you can teach Sahil how to tap into his creative side. You could give that room a cool name like Graffiti Lab or Sahil Square
There are an infinite amount of things that are worth giving a third thought to.
Love your blog posts Bela; you're one of my favorite people;)

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