I read something the other day about the biological essence of cancer. The author wrote about the different factors that affect a cancer prognosis: stage, grade, metastasis,patient health and the ‘biological essence’ of the cancer i.e. the unexplained factors. The qualities that make cancers behave in unexpected ways: a terminal cancer disappear or a ‘nice’ cancer suddenly become deadly.
I remember at the beginning of all of this I said to my husband, “maybe it looks like cancer under the microscope, but it just isn’t,” or “maybe your cells look high grade but they are lazy and just want to sit around.” Sounds like high grade denial, but I think I hit the theme of biological essence on the head. Sometimes very dangerous cancers aren’t dangerous. I have clearly decided this about my man’s Leiomyosarcoma. Coping or denial? A little of both.
Yesterday, a friend of ours brought us over a comfort quilt. A local quilting group makes them for people in the community who are affected by cancer. It was a strange experience. There is nothing like being given a quilt for people coping with cancer to remind you that you are a family coping with cancer, in some ways it was the opposite of comforting. It was also well timed. I need to be reminded we are dealing with cancer. For a while I was shocked to feel so OK and confident. Now I am shocked that everyone doesn’t feel this way.
I just spoke to my husband. He usually calls me as he walks back to work after radiation. He told me he was feeling a little down. ”Because of the doctor’s appointment coming up and the comfort quilt,” I said. “Yeah, the comfort quilt, ” he sighed. He told me he had started a list of questions for the surgeon. I have also been preparing. This is how life will look for us for a while. Periods of calm confidence where my man’s diagnosis ain’t no big thang!!! and periods of sadness and fear- doctor’s appointments, surgery, CT scans etc. Though not ideal, we can live with it.
Today I had a vivid flash of being at Dana Farber, and it made me sad. If I could, I would trade away having to go to a special cancer hospital. I think we are handling it beautifully, but it is still a major drag. So thank you quilters, for reminding me that despite being confident, I can still use comfort and so can my man.