Perspective

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I’ve had two more weeks of healing without any recurrence of fevers or any other ridiculous detours. It’s been so good.  I finally reemerged by going out in town and I’m starting to feel (somewhat) normal again.  Last week it felt like I was finally on maternity leave.  I was showing off my baby and chatting with people, running errands, and catching up with friends while Mike was at work.  I’m eating like a champ.  Like a champion fat kid.  I can’t stop trying foods to see if I can taste them and/or get them down my throat.  The muscles that help the swallowing process are weak from radiation and there is still barely any saliva in my mouth (I don’t go anywhere without a water bottle) so foods that are wet or saucy are a lot easier… and thankfully, my tastebuds are starting to handle the heat that I love in spicy foods.Drumroll please… I had a margarita and it was absolutely delicious. I could TASTE the tequila, the citrus, the salt… it was all so good.  But I could only drink half of it since I would have been shitfaced if I drank the whole thing.  The old tolerance is a little low.  And I guess it’s going to stay that way.  My new life as a person who (hopefully) had throat cancer doesn’t involve as much drinking as I would like it to.  My Dr’s don’t believe that I got cancer from drinking too much, they believe it was a fluke or a roll of the dice BUT since I’m so young, it’s my decision on what RISKS to take.  Obviously throat cancer and booze aren’t a good pair.  Maybe my body doesn’t metabolize alcohol the way a normal persons body does and that could lead to another tumor, or maybe it does and it has nothing to do with it.  No one knows.  It’s all a guess.  It’s up to me.  I’d rather not risk my life.  Sounds a little like alcoholism.  But I sure do love the sauce.  They say maybe limit to one drink a week.  I’ll probably go with two.I’m holding off for another hour or so to start my day because I have to wait 24 hours from my tube removal to take a shower. That’s right… that motherfucker came out yesterday!  It.  Hurt.  So.  Badly.  To extract the feeding tube from my stomach, Jason, the nurse at Dana Farber had me lie back in the exam room chair and then he PULLED.  He just grabbed ahold of the plastic piping and yanked it out.  It made a snapping kind of pop sound and I couldn’t talk for a full 2 minutes because the searing pressure and pain was so intense.  It felt like I got sucker punched with a knife.  I don’t even think I was breathing.  No, I was. There are much worse things to go through, but this wasn’t fun.  It’s bandaged up.  No stitches.  The body (my stomach, my muscle and my skin) heals itself within a week.  I don’t want to take off the dressing and actually shower.  Mike is going to have to help bandage me back up.  I’m still in a decent amount of pain; I can’t walk standing up straight, I’m a little hunched over and I have to roll out of bed kind of like recovering from a c section.  BUT I’m beyond ecstatic that it’s gone!  It was the last part of my treatment.  So now we wait.  Mid March for retesting seems like an eternity away.Last week I got my basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) removed from my face. Easy Peasy.  Since my mole was on my left temple, the site was close to my eye and left a sweet bruise that looks like a pretty purple black eye.  As the Dr was stitching me up (15!), she was explaining that this incision shouldn’t leave a scar but if it does, I can come back and get the scar taken care of free of charge.  Like.  I.  Care.  I just want to be alive!  I said that to her and she kind of laughed.  We ended up in a deep discussion about the different types of people she sees in her office daily.  For some, basal cell carcinoma is the worst thing that has ever happened to them.  It’s easily treated and it doesn’t spread.  It’s the minor leagues for skin cancer.  But yet people freak out about potential scaring and having to change their sun loving lifestyle.  I would have fallen into that category had I not had a throat cancer bomb dropped on me. And the Dr explained that for others who have lived a little more, who have had serious health issues, or had someone close to them near death, this is just a doctor’s visit in the middle of the afternoon. As I’ve said a million times, my perspective changed the instant my diagnosis was given to me.  A scar is just part of my story.  I only want to live to write more chapters.Speaking of perspective… I don’t know them but Amy and Nate Tyack are another young local Essex couple. According to their youcaring.com page, Amy was pregnant with twins but had to deliver the babies via c section at 28 weeks.  The babies were born at 2.2 lbs and .8 lbs.  While in the hospital, Amy’s pain wouldn’t go away, tests were given and she was diagnosed with “stage 4 colon cancer that has spread to her liver and more.”  Even typing this now, I am teary eyed.  When I first read the story I was practically inconsolable.  Obviously their story hits close to home.  I don’t know why life is like this.  I don’t know why I was given a relatively curable cancer and Amy was given this shit.  Why is my baby healthy and her babies have to endure this hard road? Why does her husband suddenly have so much weight on HIS shoulders? I think about them every day.  It sounds so cliché and so hallmark card like, but I just wish them peace.  I wish them the opposite of fear, the opposite of a fight, the opposite of the Eye of the Tiger song.  I hold them in my heart and pray that true peace can help guide them through this fuck storm.When I was drinking that margarita, Mike, Sam and I were at my favorite Mexican restaurant up in Kittery. It was a Monday.  There were only a few people in the section where we were sitting and Sam was smiling at all of the old ladies and they were coming over to touch his arm and love on him.  The music was kind of loud and Mike was making Sam dance facing me as he stood up on Mike’s lap.  Sam had the biggest smile and the way Mike was moving Sam’s arms instantly brought me back to when I fell in love with Mike.  He and I were dancing at a bar a few years ago and Mike looked so ridiculous (like Ben Stiller in my favorite movie, Along Came Polly) but he had the biggest smile on his face and I knew then that I wanted to be with him forever.  I had never felt so free and so insanely loved.  Sam’s eyes are starting to look like Mikes and when he looked at me while standing on his Dad’s lap, I felt fear take a backseat and I knew I wanted to be with him forever.  These little moments in life are the ones that matter to me.  It’s not the fancy trips or a fancy house or a top notch education… it’s the middle of the afternoon on a Monday when love conquers all.To help Amy and Nate, go to:https://www.youcaring.com/nate-and-amy-tyack-511394