Tuesday, November 19, 2013

...and I thought it would get easier.

I always had this idea in my head of fighting like hell, winning my fight with cancer, moving on with my life and living happily ever after.  I guess I wasn't being too realistic with myself since my mentality from day one has been "Prepare for the worst, hope for the best."  Even before I abruptly ended all my treatments I realized that I needed to start working again.  My treatment dosages were being gradually reduced and other than the first morning after my chemo I was basically fully functional again.  I built up some debt that wasn't doing anything but getting higher and staying at home all alone everyday was getting really old.  After I stopped all Western treatments there was no doubt in my mind any longer, if I didn't find ways to stay busy I think I might lose my mind.

I remained an employee of my previous employer and planned on returning back there upon completion of my treatment, but situations changed and I was no longer able to return.  This was not the news I wanted to hear, but I have had to deal with much harder hurdles in my life and finding another job shouldn't be too difficult, or so I thought.

My job and financial situation is a very minor problem in life, I still am cancer free and my most recent MRI done last Thursday was all clear!  Great news!  December 17th will be one year cancer free!  The thing I forgot to factor in was all the stress that comes with being "in remission."  I used quotes for that word since I still am far from being considered in a remissive state (9 years to exact).  So if you see me, lets just not talk about it cause I really don't want to jinx it :)

My new life now consists of worry and stress nearly everyday.  Everything is now a symptom in my head and every headache I have I am immediately convinced that the cancer is back.  Anytime I lose track of my thoughts or forget something, it's for sure the cancer.  Every weird sensation I feel is immediately something terrible.  I feel almost like I am now living my life 2 months at a time waiting for that "all clear" from my doctor so I can breathe again.  The worst is the week or two leading up to my MRI when it basically consumes me.  I know this will get easier and this past MRI was by far the worst since it was the first MRI post treatment.  Don't let me sound like a Debbie Downer, I am so grateful to still be cancer free facing the worst form of brain cancer there is.  I am already in a very small population of humans to go a year without this crap returning.  I am thankful for everyday and every hour I have, but the mental games are wearing.

When I was in treatment I had my routine and I knew what, where and how I was fighting my battle.  I was never nervous or stressed, I was determined and driven with focus and determination.  I had a vision and I was determined to do everything in my power to survive and now I am back kind of just floating.  Now I kind of seem out of rhythm.  Trying to find a job and getting rejected for positions that frankly I know I am over qualified for is really frustrating, but at this point in my life my job title is the least of my worries.  I guess the rejection is the hardest part knowing my capabilities.  This is just another stress on top of everything else along with the the rejection which is more of a mental bruise.

I still wonder what is harder, life during treatment of life after.
As of now, my answer is the latter.

I am pretty sure this was one of my bad posts, but I said in the beginning over a year ago I am sharing everything, the good, the bad and the ugly.  I know tomorrow I will wake up and I will continue my battle, I just needed to vent a little and I guess this is now my public journal so I apologize if I got a little emo.

On a positive note, I want to thank everyone so much who has donated to my continuing medical expenses fund.  I am utterly blown away by seeing how many people support, love and care for me, especially those I have never met.  You guys inspire me to continue with this crap hand I was dealt and without your continued support I would literally be drowning in debt.  I hate that I have to ask, but I hope I can give you all a little bit of courage to face life a little easier, if not a t-shirt will have to suffice!  The shirts are all but done and being printed up within the next week or so and I have something in the works for anyone who is facing a GBM themselves, as I know I have a few GBM fighters following me as well!  If you have a GBM, please email me or leave a comment with your e-mail.  Stay strong and never stop!

For anyone who wants to donate:  Ryan's medical expenses.


"One day at a time."

This Chi Chi Rodriguez fail at a trick golf shot should make you laugh, I sure did.


1 comment:

  1. Hey Ryan,
    Just found your blog and feel compelled to let you know that I think your feelings are completely normal and you should never worry about being a Debbie Downer here or anywhere else. I have to believe that your feeling more empowered during your treatment was a very strong framework for success and focused you on fighting. Have you considered becoming an activist/ advocate in the brain tumor community? If you haven't stumbled on thelizarmy.com by now, maybe reach out to her and find out how her role is helping her to focus her plan and a strategy for survival. Just a thought.

    My best wishes for your continued robust health, and the least amount of stress/ anxiety leading up to your MRIs. With kind regards from someone who has helped 4 friends fight GBM.