Saturday, May 31st, 2008

"The world is a vampire." - Billy Corgan

I now understand what these words mean.

Yesterday, I was informed that our company will soon be announcing layoffs, and I could lose my job during the next few weeks...but this isn't what kept me up last night.

(...heart pounding, stomach churning...)

(...I can't do this right now...)

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

I woke up this morning hoping it was just a nightmare.

The moment keeps playing out in my head while I search for something positive...

(I'm sitting on a chair in a waiting room that had a lingering smell of ammonia.  The young doctor, who resembles Ben Affleck, quickly walks into the room.  He briefly looks down at his clipboard, asks me how I'm feeling and then places his fingers on the back side of my neck.

I feel no pain whatsoever as he carefully moves his fingers to different locations.

After a few standard questions and other physical checks, he says "Your immune system is reacting strongly to something.  This is causing your lymph nodes to swell.  He asks a few more questions before coldly saying, "There's a possibility you have cancer.  But at this point, we don't know for sure."

I immediately feel my heart sink into my stomach like an iron weight dropping on a concrete floor...the lights suddenly seem bright and blurry while it feels like the room is moving.  I nearly faint.  He keeps talking as if he doesn't notice my anxiety...

"Do you have any family members that have or had cancer?"

"No.  Well...uh, my Grandfather had prostate cancer...and, uh...I think I have an aunt that had a lump removed, but...I don't think it involved cancer."

"Okay.  Here's what we're going to do.  I'm going to take a biopsy of the lymph node, and then we will run some tests...to confirm what's causing the reaction."

A few minutes later, after he said a few more words that were unable to penetrate the fog of fear engulfing my mind, he's using a tool to literally dig inside my neck and grab a tissue sample that's large enough to get a valid test result.   It feels like a sharp fork is puncturing my skin while a little claw is grabbing it.  Other than an initial sharp but brief sting, I feel no pain.

After he places the sample into a small container and takes a few more notes, he says, "you're free to go...we'll let you know as soon as we can."

"How long will this take?"

"It varies, but it usually requires about 10 days to receive, evaluate and communicate the results."

I was sitting and staring at his white coat...still stunned from the news.

He then walked me out of the office without saying the soothing words I desperately needed...)  

It was a cold experience.

It just doesn't make sense.  I'm only 24 years old.  I feel great.  I exercise.  I'm athletic.

(...But he said it like it's a very realistic possibility...but how...why?)

I have some bad habits.  I occasionally smoke a cigar.  I sometimes drink too much beer...and soda.  I eat too much fast food.  My demanding and hectic work environment can be very stressful at times.

Yesterday, I didn't want to see anyone.  I simply watched TV all day, hoping it would distract me.  During each commercial break, the worry filled my head.  There was no escaping it.

(...I need to quit thinking about this...it's driving me crazy...)

Rachel is coming over soon.  She's about the only person that can make me feel better right now.

My family doesn't know.  I don't want to worry Mom.  Parker doesn't need more bad news.  

(...I actually envy his situation right now...)

At this moment, I find myself questioning every feeling in my body - good or bad - to check it against the possibility that I have...

(...I can't write it...I don't even want to think it...then it becomes real...)

I'm tired.  My stomach is making gurgling noises.  My mind is having trouble focusing on anything right now.  I need to find something to do to distract myself.

(...heart beating faster...stomach churning...)

(...Why the hell is this happening to me?  I feel like my whole life has been turned upside down for no good reason...how am I going to concentrate in the office on Monday?  I have a pile of work to do, meetings and tight deadlines.  This is not a good time for personal issues...Rich is counting on me...)

Part of me wishes I could get away from it all...take the next week off, get more sleep and figure out what I'm going to do. 

No, I need to go to work.  Being alone with these thoughts in my head will probably make me feel worse.

I  need to tell Rachel about this tonight.  

(...I wonder what she'll say?...)

She has a way of making every problem seem small.  I wish she were here right now.