Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

There’s a thing that takes up space in my head. A thing I don’t talk about because it wasn’t quite enough. It’s the same reasoning that leads me to think I should stop talking about my cancer to anyone who doesn’t already know me.

But maybe, just maybe, I’m wrong. I started talking about my past health issues because it was a rare enough condition that I wanted to help educate people about it. Then I got a “common” cancer and suddenly I didn’t feel like I had anything out of the ordinary to share.

I’d like to break out of that way of thinking. I’ve become fairly adept at talking my way around the subject without actually naming it. I don’t feel worthy of the label. Because what I’d experienced wasn’t bad enough to warrant a label.

I figure those who were physically abused would laugh at me because I was never physically hurt. That those who have to go through chemo would scoff because my cancer was on the right side of “curable” (even the rare one is “recurring but benign”).

I’m one of the first who will say I don’t want to be labeled but sometimes giving a thing a name makes it easier to accept. And if I accept the identification, it may make it easier to deal with.

So that’s what I’d like to try out tonight. (more…)


Recovery is a bitch.

Even more so when you’re recovering from one surgery, just to go into another.

It doesn’t seem worth it somehow, to eat right, exercise, to build up strength and endurance just to know you’ll lose all of it and be back to square one within a few weeks.

It’s frustrating to be in that kind of limbo.

As far as the hemangiopericytoma, I’ve bought myself a few more years with this last surgery. They got it all, and shaved off part of my diaphragm in the process. It’s mildly disconcerting to think of how many bits and pieces of me are scattered in labs somewhere.

In the days that followed, they discovered a new cancer. Thyroid this time. This time, it’s “malignant.” They have to take all of it out. I’ll have to take Synthroid or some other hormone replacement for the rest of my life.

Frightening thought. Especially when they’re going to be so close to my voicebox.

But worse is the idea of not having the surgery. I think. It’s hard to know, to be sure. Nothing’s sure.

So here we go again. Round 2. Pre-op this week.


[ Musings ] The real life

Posted: November 6, 2015 in Blog, Health
Tags: ,

Let’s talk about Hemangiopericytoma.

I have it.
Others have it.
But it’s rare enough that no one really knows what to do about it.

Cancer in general is tricky. There are so many different kinds, so many variations even within a specific kind of cancer (ie lung) that treatment tends to be hit or miss. My particular case technically isn’t even cancer. It’s a recurring mass that has resulted in two surgeries (the first, an 8-hour marathon + 4 hour embolism) within 4 years and a severely atrophied kidney.

And mine considered a “benign” tumor.

Now, 5 years after the last, I’m staring down the barrel of another one, pending approval to see a liver surgeon. My health insurance has been… less than inspiring thus far but one can only hope. Best case, I end up under the knife and on the hook for 20% of it after I wake up. Worst case… well, let’s just not.

The past weekend has given me time to reflect, to digest the news, and get on with the next step. I realized the full extent of how this situation has influenced how I live my life. It has forced me to take each day, each moment, and try to make it one to remember. To cram in as much as possible before the next MRI. The next diagnosis. The next time on the table. I fail a lot. I fall a lot. Sometimes I hurt those I love along the way. That’s when I want to give up, when I wonder if this is worth it. If living is worth it.

But I’m always reminded it is– whether it’s a friend that comes calling, a favorite song that comes on, even looking up at the sunset at just the right time.

Living is worth it. Besides, I’m already here. Might as well make the best of it.



[ Musings ] It’s the funniest thing…

Posted: September 8, 2015 in Blog

This blog has sadly been dormant this year (despite at least 6 attempted, but unpublished entries) but for whatever reason, I’m starting to get hit up for advertising and sponsorship opportunities. It makes me want to write, yes, but where to start?

It’s been a year of travel and hustle, largely heralded by my getting laid off in the beginning of the year. While the unexpected time off allowed me some freedom of movement, activities were largely hampered by lack of consistent funding and the accompanying stress. This year made me question my ability to land on my feet even though– knock on wood– I’m still currently standing, or sitting rather, but you get the point.

I’m deeply indebted to family and friends who have not only been there but encouraged and at times directly sponsored my quest to cram as much living as I had the energy for. Trouble is, some days I just couldn’t quite make it out of bed due to varying degrees of laziness, anxiety, and perhaps depression. I hesitate to claim the term as I haven’t been diagnosed for years now, and even then only mildly so. I like to think I have a somewhat cheerful disposition though some days prove quite the opposite.

At some point, my adventures should make it up here– or on another sort of blog. I’ve been toying with a few ideas, namely letters to and from anonymous people in my life. But for now, I should clean my apartment. And paint my nails. It’ll be another hot night in Los Angeles.


[ Musings ] Borrowed Time

Posted: October 7, 2014 in Blog

This weekend found me moving to Hollywood, for real, not to another couch or someone else’s bed. I’ve got my own place now, well, half of one. Still can’t afford full rent but my roommate is a good friend and we’re in the same position of trying to make our way in this city.