It’s Just Hair
This post is extremely premature, but it is part of my current reality. It was never really my intent to share my personal life on this site, but as I mentioned in the post before this one, I’m in the midst of an existential, and spiritual crisis; and feel the need to design my thoughts on here.
I clearly remember the day the first of the symptoms started. I went to lunch with a dear friend, ordered the meal I always order at this restaurant, a meal I never have trouble finishing, but this time was different. I did finish it. Painfully . . . and spent the evening complaining because of how miserably full I felt. I didn’t eat much for the following few days, because I just felt full. That was about two months ago, and in the days since, this has occurred numerous times.
Jump forward a couple weeks later, I developed a UTI I couldn’t shake on my own. Over a four week stretch I tried oregano leaf extract, olive leaf extract, colloidal silver, and D-Mannose. Each one worked for the first few days, and then it stopped. After a miserable Friday night, I went to a walk in clinic bright and early on November 4th. Received a prescription for a five day stint of antibiotics, those five days didn’t work, so the nurse practitioner wrote me another prescription for an additional five days. No relief, no healing.
Now, I hate going to the doctor. It’s something I do everything I can to avoid. Not that I have a problem with the poking, prodding, and loss of modesty . . . I think mostly, it’s all the waiting that’s involved. You wait in the waiting room. You wait in the examination room. You wait on your doctor to contact you on the test results. If it’s not serious, I will just try and deal with it on my own. Maybe I have a form of PTSD from when my oldest son had a lymphoma, and all the time we spent with healthcare professionals, and the emotional roller coaster we rode during those days. Regardless, you get the picture.
I broke down on Monday of this week, called my doctor, and scheduled an appointment for Tuesday to address the UTI. A UTI with no bacteria as a cause. I shared with my doctor this feeling of fullness I’ve had. An unexplained weight gain. Excessive fatigue. Swollen, and tender abdomen. Eyebrows were raised. I’m presenting all the symptoms of ovarian cancer. At this moment, I’m still holding my breath waiting for the results of my blood work. I had an ultrasound late yesterday, and I’m crossing my fingers that my doctor will have the radiology report by Monday.
Do I think I have cancer? Who knows. But what I do know is that when you’re faced with that type of potential health crisis, you evaluate life.
In general, I am a silver linings on the clouds of despair person. Being fascinated by history my entire life, I can always think of worse situations to be in than the current crisis at hand. Despite challenges we face in this country, we have it pretty good. Maybe even too good. The faux outrage over “name your narrative” ad nauseam, the amount of self importance people hold for themselves, their opinion, and their righteous cause . . . always has me thinking that there are a lot of people entirely removed from the history of our human existence. Newsflash, we are far ahead in all aspects of humanity than we ever have been.
This current health question for me, takes me to the same place. I live in a time, and a place that allows me an opportunity to fight for my life should this be the outcome. In my own family, there are have been too many accidents, and health issues where that person was not given the honor of fighting for their life. Because that’s what it is. An honor.
This week here in the Denver area a mother, and her young child were killed in a car accident by a man who simply wasn’t paying attention, and slammed into her vehicle while she was stopped at a red light. This particular story has weighed heavy on my soul, as I contemplate all the love, laughter and memory making that should have happened within that family. That mother that was killed, would do anything to be in my position right now.
Who else would do anything to be in my position right now? As I reflect upon the people I’ve known in my 49 years who left this planet in what we define as, prematurely, the list is extensive. Parents who left young children behind because of an accident, attack, or a terminal illness. Parents who had to bury their children because of an accident, attack, or a terminal illness. No. I’m not sad about where I am. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to raise all three of my sons to adulthood. I feel blessed that I have the love of a very good man. I feel blessed to have friended some fine people throughout my life. I feel blessed that, regardless of what any impending test results will be, I have an opportunity to fight for me.
As I contemplate where I might be headed, and the reality of the treatments involved . . . losing a head of hair from chemotherapy cannot be danced around. I’ve spent the week wondering what I’d look like bald. Going on Pinterest and entering “post chemotherapy hairstyles” into the search box, and repeatedly pulling all my hair back, trying to just look at my face. Vanity is weird. We obsess about it, we spend a lot of time, and money on it. I’m not saying that keeping up with yourself is wrong, but the level of importance society places on it is a travesty, and judging our importance in this world based upon it is repulsive. We are all real people, with real problems that extend beyond what anyone thinks of us visually.
My week of “what if’s” has been exhausting. We’re in the midst of a major life shift, and this tossed in at this time is just bizarre. But I think I have a good attitude about this. I’m mentally, and emotionally preparing myself for whatever it is that may, or may not be lying ahead. Because even if everything turns out to be okay, there’s always another potential crisis right behind it. Being optimistic about this, keeping human reality in check, I feel content telling myself “It’s just hair. It will grow back.”