Friday, November 10, 2006

Tired Tears

I went to my gynecologist for a check-up today and she said I might have HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) -- the virus that causes cervical cancer. It could be something else altogether, but we won’t know until the lab tests come back. As she told me about how unlikely my particular potential HPV infection was to lead to cancer, I diligently took notes as a medical student would -- detached and cerebral.

Then the doctor told me to see her again in three months’ time and I opened up my medical calendar to enter the appointment. The calendar was covered with medical tests: bone scans, CT scans, brain MRIs, blood tests, chest X-rays, liver ultrasounds, and on and on. And that’s when I got a bit teary. I just felt tired of cancer. Seeing my life laid bare in front of me with scan after scan after scan was such a stark reminder that I’d never have my life back the way it was.

Sometimes I just miss my pre-cancer life for the very simple things. I walk by bakeries and ice cream shops and wish I could just go in and have a chocolate croissant or an ice cream cone without even thinking about the sugar. I wish I could buy shampoos and lotions and not worry about the parabens and other potentially carcinogenic chemicals in them. I wish I didn’t have to schedule my life around medical appointments. I wish I could have a broken leg instead of cancer. Or anything that could be fixed then forgotten so I could move on and just be done with it.

I haven’t cried a whole lot since all of this happened, but sometimes I DO feel like letting out a plaintive cry, “I want all of this to go away. I want to go back to the way things were.” Fortunately, this feeling doesn’t last long and I move on, but I can see how some people can really wallow in their sorrow. It’s just easier.

2 comments:

Jacqueline said...

Dear Shin,

I was diagnosed with HPV CIN III way back in 2003 a few months after the birth of my daughter. I was lucky to be detected early as I was working in a laboratory that does HPV test and was encourage to do one. My test result came back as positive (not surprising for a 29 year old), but it was a very high positive and I decided to go for a colposcopy.
My uncle is a reknown gynae-oncologist in Singapore (God is watching me again) and a LEEP incision was done immediately.
I managed to avoid cervical cancer merely with a test that takes less than half an hour to do and a treatment procedure that is less that an hour to complete.
My heart stops when I receive my positive results and the first thing that comes to my mind was, what will happen to my 5 months old daughter? I want to watch her gwo up, I want to watch her graduate, I want to watch her marry someday, I just want to go through all her milestones with her...I want to find her a new mother who will love her unconditionally like I do...
Five years has pass since then, and I treasure every moment that I have on earth...Life is unpredictable, no matter if we are sick or healthy...Everyday is a blessing...

Shin said...

Jacqueline,

Maybe you have a guardian angel watching over you. Maybe you're just a smart girl who knows how to look after her health. I'm so glad you took precautions and did what you needed to do. I'm sure you'll see you daughter graduate, get married, and have babies of her own.