FIghting Cancer and Myself
Hopefully, you have been following this extraordinary series of essays from the New York Times. A young woman, being treated for leukemia, has been writing of her experience in an honest, thoughtful, and absolutely accurate way. This most recent piece may be the best so far (although that is hard to say as many have been marvelous). In it, she talks about her usual style of taking charge, pushing forward, using her strength and wits to "win". She has slowly learned, as have we, that cancer does not really lend itself to a contest. We have the tools that we have--chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, our support system, our own strengthes and determination--but the disease will do what it does. Here is the beginning and then a link. Read it.
Life, Interrupted: Fighting Cancer, and Myself
By SULEIKA JAOUAD
There is a dreadful routine to chemotherapy. My life has been synched to a chemotherapy calendar ever since my leukemia diagnosis last year. I have become an expert at predicting when side effects and symptoms will set in. It's a ghoulish monthly party, and the guests always arrive on time: nausea, vomiting, chills, exhaustion, fever, mouth sores, pain, infections and emergency hospitalizations.
Suleika Jaouad writes about her experiences as a young adult with cancer.
Despite the clockwork of these cycles (start chemo, wait for symptoms, get sick, go to the hospital), at the start of every new round I convince myself that the outcome will be different. This time, I am going to be stronger than my treatment. This time, my mind will outwit my body. This time.
But over the past year, after 28 rounds of treatment, not once have I "won" this secret battle with myself.