Second-guessing how I feel

I feel okay.

Scratch that. I feel exhausted. But that’s mainly because I haven’t had a full night of sleep since June of 2012.

Or is it?

And so it goes in my head, like watching a game of ping pong, back and forth. I’m tired because I have a baby. Or I’m tired because of the lymphoma thing. Or some combination of the two?

But really, honestly, other than being so tired I sometimes forget how to speak English coherently, I feel okay. I am completely asymptomatic other than fatigue, which can be easily attributed to having a fifteen-month-old in the house. The other symptoms – night sweats, fever, itching, inexplicable weight loss, and weakness – haven’t been an issue for me. The oncologist agreed that my weight loss at the beginning of this year was a result of my lifestyle and diet change, and was reassured that my weight has been leveled out for months now.

It’s like stealth cancer.

Why me? Why not me?

I haven’t really been asking myself this question, although I’ve had a couple other people ask me if the doctor knows why I have this cancer. There is, of course, no real answer. They don’t know why someone gets Hodgkin’s. But the Canadian Cancer Society has statistics that say that 2 in 5 Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetimes.

I feel like I’m expected to go through a phase of wondering ‘why me?’ but it hasn’t happened yet. Rather than rail against the injustices of it all, I would prefer to take whatever action I can to heal myself. I’ve railed against the injustices in my life in the past, and while it sometimes made me feel better for a little while, it ultimately did very little to improve my life.

Sometimes things happen to people. Sometimes those things suck. Sometimes those people don’t deserve some of the things that happen to them, and that sucks too. It is possible that I’ve managed to survive a few crappy things already. But that’s the thing… I’m a survivor. I’ve been through crap before, and it worked out eventually, even though it felt like sometimes it couldn’t possibly get better. I know how to take care of myself when things are rough. But I’m better equipped, emotionally and with regards to having a support network and solid coping mechanisms, than someone else might be in my situation.

Indian Paintbrush in the desert
This flower? It’s a survivor, growing in the dead-looking land surrounding Arizona’s meteor crater.

I feel like I have to say that I’m not claiming to be better than other people. That’s not what I mean. All I’m trying to say is that I can handle this, because I’ve handled worse. This is my situation, and my reality. It has nothing to do with anybody else, in that sense.

That also isn’t to say that I wont have some kind of breakdown at some point. And it’ll probably come at a completely unexpected time. So, friends, at some point I’ll need a shoulder to cry on, probably. Because I’m still human, after all.