My cancer episode began shortly after Labor Day last year. I discovered a lump in my right arm pit, and we were off to the proverbial races. Next week I’ll finish my radiation appointments just under six months after that initial discovery.
What has the past six months of my life taught me? Technically speaking, it’s gone through the stages of discovery, analysis, diagnosis, first phase of treatment, recovery, second phase of treatment, and conclusion. On the surface, it is a great outcome. Underneath, it is a great outcome too, but less clinical and more philosophical.
These past months have been guided by choosing options I knew I could handle and excluding chemotherapy as one of them. I also learned the value of breaking time into chunks, which dictionaries define as both a noun and a verb. Both apply in my new medical usage.
There was the chunk of uncertainty while the medical community scoped the problem. Then there was the brief chunk of surgery followed by the interminably long chunk of Duane the Drain. Next was the holiday chunk and now the radiation chunk. Each of these lasted a different number of days, and what they taught me ultimately is that I can withstand anything for a certain amount of time. As long as I know there is an end.
It’s a lesson I hope to use going forward as I chunk toward the next phase, whatever that is.