On fear and love and never living without either one ever again...
I haven't been posting much lately. Without getting into the details of why so much so that they would require their own entire post, I will just say that while Ryan was away on tour this summer, I was not ok. My stress level was through the roof. I wasn't ready, even more than a year after my illness, to be alone that much. I wasn't prepared to do all the things we normally do together all on my own. Especially with the added stress of the hours at my new job being so much longer than those at the job I had during most of his touring days. It was all just much harder and I felt like I was incapable of living up the the "Positively Phoebe" persona I had created while I was feeling so frazzled. So I just didn't blog. Even though the stress I was going through was a natural part of my cancer process, I didn't feel like I could talk about it. Maybe I will write more about that soon, but today's post is about something else...
Last week, I was feeling like I maybe had a Urinary Tract Infection. Had the classic UTI symptoms. Had to pee constantly. Had some pain downstairs. Yadda yadda. I tried calling my family doctor on Wednesday, but she had no openings til late September, and just because of my history and the locale of the issues, I wasn't comfortable seeing one of her partners... someone who didn't know me and my specific history. Someone who might not take it as seriously as I need for it to be taken. Freaked out and in full on panic attack mode, I messages Ryan, who immediately insisted I call Erin Naso, my Nurse Practitioner from the oncologist's office. She's always been awesome, and he was so right.
Erin got me in to do a urine test that same morning, and while I was there, since my next follow up was scheduled for just a few weeks from now, she went ahead and did the standard pelvic exam and PAP smear that Dr. Kebria always does. She said that that way, if everything was normal, I wouldn't have to come back for the scheduled visit in early September. Everything looked and felt normal during the exam, so she wrote me a script for some antibiotics in case the culture did end up showing an infection, and back to work I went.
I took my antibiotics and my cranberry but no improvement seemed to be happening. If anything, the pain and urgency was getting worse. So this Monday, after spending most of the day in crippling pain, I called Erin back and left her a message that I figured she'd get first thing Tuesday. She called me back around lunchtime.
We discussed my symptoms, and she told me that the culture came back negative for everything but blood. So, just to "rule anything else out", Dr. Kebria wanted me to have a CAT Scan and then come back to see him next week. So a little while later, Judy from the office called me with my appointment schedule. CAT Scan at Fairview Hospital this Thursday at 1:45pm. Follow up with Dr. Kebria next Tuesday at 2:45pm.
It was a little scary to hear the words CAT Scan again. My last one was that day I spent in the hospital almost 2 years ago. The one that was part of my initial diagnosis. Even scarier was calling Ryan to tell him...
The night before, on top of my feeling completely dreadful and in pain, Ryan got the horrible news that the investor he had lined up (who just a couple weeks ago told him he was into helping him to finance the takeover of this bar he's been working on buying) basically pulled the plug completely on helping him at all. And because of time lost and other leads not followed, well... Ryan pretty much lost the whole deal. He was devastated. He was so devastated that he shaved his beard!! (Well, most of it...) So the thought of adding the CAT Scan news to his already shit-filled plate made me sicker than my bladder pain. But I promised him I wouldn't keep my health concerns from him, so I made the call...
When I got home, he was completely destroyed. He could barely speak. I ended up just holding him though tears and apologies for literally hours. And what I got... what I finally REALLY got... is that this man that I love so much I often feel like my heart could explode right out of my chest - this man is just as ridiculously in love with me right back. I spent my night, not feeling afraid or dreading the upcoming scan, but feeling amazed at the love I am on the receiving end of. The kind of love that everyone deserves to feel, but I can't help but wonder how many actually do. The kind of love that makes you not just feel but KNOW that together you can get through anything. I spent my night feeling lucky.
Today, Ryan spent on Google, "like as asshole" (his words) trying to find possible answers for my symptoms that do not involve the word "cancer".
I hate that fear has become this constant part of our lives and I hate that I am becoming more and more aware that it will never go away. I am always going to be afraid that every health hiccup I encounter could be something worse or that every instance of stress could bring on more illness. Ryan is always going to be afraid of losing me.
But then I have to also remember that fear is not the only thing that I, that WE, Ryan and I, will always have. We will also, far more importantly, have each other. Have this extraordinary love. And true, if the love wasn't so deep, so complete - the fear would probably be less. But I wouldn't trade it. If cancer gave us the ability to really GET how much we love each other, and also gave us this unshakeable fear, well I guess I'm ok taking the bad with the good. Because the good is the best thing I've ever felt.
Not sure when we will have the results of the scan - hopefully before next Tuesday's appointment. Meanwhile, if you want to keep me, keep US, in your thoughts and/or prayers, we'll take it. Or, if you have a few hundred thousand dollars and want to invest in a bar, we'll take that, too. But we're also happy with your friendship and most of all, your love.
Thanks for still being here,