Just like everyone else living in a first world country – I have accumulated a lot of stuff over my short 29 years. So now the issue is – when do I start to get rid of it? I have slowly been going through my old but good clothes that will never fit again – selling them piece by piece. I can’t say this is a cleansing experience because I am not selling to just clean out my closet. I am selling a lot of my clothes because they will either never fit again, or I will never have another use for them (dress pants for work, etc). I am starting to think about what will happen to everything once I am gone. I hate the thought of all my expensive clothes, shoes, purses, linens, antiques and others being packed up and just sent off to Value Village. Even though I shop there a lot, and do donate often, I somehow feel like my things deserve better. But why? It is just stuff. I have no control over what happens when I die, so really what should I care? For now I will continue to sell little by little in order to help fund my vacations. Long term disability is great, but it is not a lot. I would love the idea of when I pass for people in my life to take a lot of my items, but I assume they may find that strange. “Hey, where did you get that jacket?” – “Oh, my dead friend gave it to me.”
After I felt fully recovered from my lung surgery in May, I began acting like I was on the “had” side of this cancer world. Although I didn’t look like my old self, I was finally starting to feel like it. I have been enjoying my new hair styles, and was planning to keep it this short for quite some time. I began planning trips for Spring/Summer of 2016. I was purchasing new blazers, shirts and dress pants for work – telling everyone who asked that I was going back in November. When speaking with newly diagnosed people – I discovered I was the person on the other side of the table now. Helping them through the tough parts when you are first diagnosed, talking about their fears, being their inspiration because look at me and what I have endured – and I’m ok now.
Man, did I ever speak too soon.
Wednesday I was certain my scan would be clear. Maybe the doubt was a tiny 0.1% for the other way, but that is just because nothing is ever 100%. My surgeon called me in, shut the door, and wasn’t messing around.
“Jamie, it’s back and it’s bad. You have multiple tumours showing in your lung and liver. I’m sorry to come out and say this to you so fast, but I wanted to get right to it. When I saw your scans last week I wanted to phone you, but I thought that a missed call would have you worry too much. The ones in your liver are too close to the center, that I will not be able to operate. You are now what we call, a person living with disease. Chemo will start as soon as possible and you will be on it indefinitely. I’m so sorry, but I told you from the beginning your case was severe. I thought this day would come some day, but truthfully I did not think it would be this soon. Our hope is that the chemo will at least keep things at bay, and not have any more growth for now. I have had patients live up to 7 years with disease still in them. I honestly do not have a patient of your age with your severe condition, so I am not sure what to expect.”
Best word used to describe the way I feel – heartbroken.