Before beginning the clinical trial, I had been relying on a pretty high dose of narcotics just to make my pain level tolerable. Within a couple of months after I started immunotherapy, I no longer needed the pain meds. It was like getting a new lease on life.
But every six weeks there would be another CAT scan. Do you know the term ‘scanxiety’? With each scan, we’d worry that this time the magic would end and some new metastasis or progression would appear. But the magic continued, the scans kept getting better and better, and then all signs of cancer were gone. Unlike the cancer, though, the scanxiety never has gone away.
has it way worse than I do. I have a much better ability to compartmentalize and, to be honest, I’m also very good at denial. Having a terminal disease does change your point of view about everyday life, though. It’s kind of weird to be one of those dots WAY far out on the survival curve, to be the person who has managed to live years beyond everybody’s expectations, especially my own.
Sometimes it feels like we’re sitting under an unstable roof. We know it’s going to fall down on our heads, we just don’t know when. And while we’re sitting under that roof, waiting for it to fall, what sorts of things seem worth doing? Is it worthwhile going to the dentist when you know the roof could fall on you any day? Does it make sense to buy a new coat? Should we make plans to go to Florida six months from now? Should we even renew our subscriptions for another year?
When I first found out I had lung cancer, I didn’t think my younger grandchild would ever know me or that my older grandchild would be able to remember me. But in just a few weeks now, they will be turning five and seven years old and, hey, I’m part of their lives.