The last time I wrote in this blog, I was talking about not liking to talk about my health issues and what had happened. Since then, I discovered that I have esophageal cancer, likely brought on by episodes of acid reflux much like the one I described. In fact, the episode may have been related to the tumor that’s been growing in there for nobody knows how long. It’s ironic, really that I’m writing about this today, because it was seven years ago yesterday, that I had a heart attack, at age 35 and survived that. Now, I’m in another fight for my life.
I’ve been diagnosed at stage three, and I have a ten centimeter tumor running from my esophagus, to the top part of my stomach. I was told by one of the oncologists working on me, that the bigger tumors are, they tougher they are to shrink with radiation and chemotherapy. As I was looking at the endoscopy image of the damned thing, all I could think about was that it looked like a fucking chestburster from “Aliens” hanging out in there. Might as well be for the end result of not getting it out. On the advice of a good friend, I’m naming it Jar-Jar. Why Jar-Jar? because I hated Jar-Jar in the prequel “Star Wars” movies, and I couldn’t think of anything better than digitally editing him out of every single scene, to improve those movies. So, the sooner Jar-Jar gets removed, the better off I’m going to be.
Some would probably consider it morbid that I’m naming a tumor that’s killing me, robbing me of the ability to eat a decent meal and generally making my existence at present pretty miserable. Part of my coping with all of this has been in equal parts, keeping a sense of humor about my condition and being able to look friends and family in the eye and tell them that I’ll be alright. Science is on my side on the latter part of that statement, at least. In fact, getting through the radiation and the chemo isn’t the worst part, or the surgery that’ll finally remove the tumor, and with it take a portion of my stomach. If I get through all that? My biggest danger time is the recovery. I could go through all of this, and still die from any number of complications. So, I have to keep a sense of humor about this, or I’m going to go crazy.
I suppose I’m also writing this, to sort of document where I am, and where I’m going. These words could be some of my last, if things don’t go right, or if I progress to stage four, before things have a chance to work. If nothing else, I want my friends and family who read this blog to know my thoughts, and that no matter what ends up happening, I’m not just quitting and letting this kill me. Between having too many more stories in my head to tell, and the new “Star Wars” movies coming out, I’ve got a few reasons to hang around, anyway. 😉
I’m going to be starting radiation and chemo soon. I’ll be stuck in a hospital for four hours, so if nothing else, this blog may yet see a bit of random writing that will help me pass the time, and get my brain in proper form again. I still mean to get on the ‘writing once a day’ routine, if I can. Here’s to steam-rollering forward, anyway.