This morning, I’m sitting in Cafe Helios, located in the trendy Glenwood South district of Raleigh, N. C., trying to find something to write about and it’s not easy. It’s not easy because of the reason I’m here at Cafe Helios: I’m killing time before a doctor’s appointment. At 11 o’clock, I’m supposed to see a surgeon and discuss what we’re going to do about the suspect mass in my abdomen. Saying I’m distracted is like saying the pilot of the Hindenburg made a bad landing that day in Lakehurst; in short, a massive understatement. I tried several ideas, but none them seemed to make a lot of sense in the current situation. To be honest, while the things I normally write about are important to me, this morning they’re on the back burner. Truth be told, a lot of things are on the back burner these days. One that’s not is suffering.
The idea of suffering is on my mind right now because I’m remembering what it was like the last time I went through this sort of thing. For those who are new to this little corner of the web, in 2007 I was diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. The surgery part doesn’t bother me a whole lot. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking forward to it. But. it’s a walk in the park compared to chemo. Surgery is a little anxiety followed by a really good nap. Sure, there’s the possibility you won’t wake up, but it’s not that great and there are much worse things that can happen to you. Like chemotherapy. I can’t really describe how bad chemo is here, the words for its suckage don’t exist. But, I’ll try. Think for a minute and remember the sickest you’ve ever been. Like a really bad case of the flu, where it’s coming from both ends and you’re achy and just generally feel like shit. Okay, take that and multiply it by about 50. Any time you feel so bad dying is a viable alternative as long as it stops the pain, you’re suffering. Then, you need to add in the fact that it’s going to last at least 6 months. A bad case of the flu that lasts months? If all that isn’t enough, you’re doing it to yourself. That’s right, you have to get up and do something that you know is going to make you feel like hammered shit. That sucks.
All that stuff is bad, to be sure and, really, I’m jumping the gun. I don’t know that this mass is cancerous. I don’t even know that I’m going to have surgery over it. Possibilities are good on both counts, but nothing is etched in stone. What I’m dealing with is not knowing right now and that’s suffering, too. I don’t know what’s going on, what’s going to happen or why it’s happening. All of which leads to the thoughts listed above. I have good people supporting and praying for me and that’s big. Not big enough to shut up the pessimistic little fucker that lives in my head, but big nonetheless. While we’re on the subject of prayer, if you’re going to pray for me, pray that God gives me the strength to get through whatever comes my way in this. And, you should also know that if you tell me this is God’s will, my answer will not be pretty.