Crazy to have survivor's guilt when I have cancer. But I do. In the waiting room at the Moores Cancer Center, when I see other patients who have lost hair, I feel something. I am afraid to feel gratitude. Certainly don't want to feel pity. So I feel guilt instead. The safe, self sacrificing emotion to feel. Survivor’s guilt. Stupid? Natural? Self defensive? Self defeating? What then, should I feel? Thankful. Gratitude, really. Selfish emotions they may be, but real, and a lot more positively helpful for my own being.
So the tan is coming along nicely. Radiation therapy is almost over. Life has pretty much returned to normal. Rather, the lost fat has returned, like it or not. The surge has ebbed. Alert levels back to normal. No real symptoms from the radiation except a slight obvious redness in the area, the tan. Those zaps only last about 30 seconds each, done on 2 sides. 3 weeks of 'regular' therapy, then 1 week of 'boost' to only the area where lumpy once called home. I had felt nauseous once, a few minutes after the zaps, but the doctor said it could have been caused by my breathing movement and the beam could have singed my liver. Otherwise, no fatigue, and I’ve only used the calendula cream twice. Too sticky. A week from now, I’ll start on the tamoxifen pills as recommended.
I can’t end this without extending my gratitude to all family and friends who have expressed support via prayers, novenas, texts, emails, cards, meals, calls, thoughts, chats, company, foodie partners in crime, and travel partners in crime. And apologies to family and friends who have not been told any of this. I suppose I wanted to keep it under wraps where possible. No reason to cause unnecessary alarm or make the news. I guess I share that Amish trait described by Kevin Kelly.