Rare type of gastric (stomach) cancer.   Health plan is slow about scheduling  the biopsy - will not know what to expect until then.  Surgery for certain.  Maybe chemotherapy.  80% chance for malignancy based on size - CT scan and endoscopy.  Size / shape is like an Idaho russet potato.

Somewhere I read, there can be denial, grief, bargaining, anger.  I feel none of that.  Just, it is what it is.  It's a notable moment, I guess.  But not like when I saw my parents' decline as real, or when I worked in a toxic work environment.  Those were horrible.  This....  just is.

Diagnosis came due to an episode of abdominal pain.  Searing, it dropped me to the floor.  Today, pain is not severe.  Which I'm glad about.  Burps, changing position, moderately deep inhalation are very painful.  Expect to be back to work on Thurs.  Apparently the sudden pain occurred due to hemorrhage, into the tumor.

I looked at my belly in the mirror today.  I think there might be a little bulge over the left upper quadrant.  That's where it's still tender. Not sure.

Maybe a few weeks to get the biopsy.  Stupid health plan.  Dumb, making someone wait so long.  But meanwhile, just continue doing the best I can.

Will update here when I know more.  Life has taken me many places, physical, mental, emotional, experiential, relational.  Maybe this will be one more.

Meanwhile, I hope I'm not in surgery when the honeybees arrive.  The hive is ready for them.

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Comment by Daniel W on January 27, 2014 at 5:09pm

Mindy, I thought that was grammatically correct! Thank you. It's been helpful beyond words to be able to express it here.

Kid of surprise this thread has been resurrected. But good to update.

Joan, I've embedded that video a few times, but no way would I take credit from Hannibal Buress. His take on the matter is perfect!

Reg MM, thank you. Appreciate what you said. Thanks very much.

Comment by Luara on January 27, 2014 at 2:58pm

spending time with them and my five great-grandkids

I wish one could have grandchildren without first having children!

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 27, 2014 at 2:56pm

Laura, thanks for the clarification, and for asking about my progress with cancer. I am finished with chemo and radiation and have a Herceptin drip every three weeks for a few more times. I feel very good, getting my energy back although I tire very easily. I'm working at building up my stamina. My only complaint is my toe and fingernails, and I am already doing everything I should be doing. Saw my doctor this morning and all is normal, not yet comfortable, but normal. 

My great enthusiasm is getting back into the garden. I will start my seeds inside Feb 15 after returning from a visit with my daughter for five days in the north eastern corner of WA state. That always gives me energy because of spending time with them and my five great-grandkids.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 27, 2014 at 2:01pm

Daniel, I feel a very similar kind of being in the present, and "sometimes I'm happier than I was before." Not a hahaha kind of happiness; it is more like "I woke up for another day and another opportunity!" 

Vulnerable is the best word to describe my sense of mortality, and I also have a sense of invulnerability because, as you say, "What is, is!" 

Give each moment my best shot. I don't like the idea of going through life with blinders on, not seeing the systemic problems that cause so much suffering, or ignoring the ways an individual takes on the attitude of helplessness. It is so easy to not be a victim, it only requires a few skills and we either learn them or we go through life being a victim. 

Having others to lean on for rest and renewal that leads to refreshed energy proves to be absolutely necessary for me. The goal is to heal and move on.

Therefore, for those who would pray to solve a problem, I respond, "Go make a sandwich, or something!"  I forget who got this idea going; can you remember

Comment by Loren Miller on January 27, 2014 at 12:35pm

SB, about all I got to say is: get it sorted and GET WELL SOON!

Comment by Reg MM on January 27, 2014 at 12:07pm

Dang it Sentient, you're making me tear up.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Comment by Daniel W on January 27, 2014 at 10:20am

Joan, we did begin this part of our journeys at almost the same moment.  You give me inspiration with your positive spirit and optimism.

It's been a transformative 10 months.  I once thought of myself as tough, and strong.  I could weather whatever life threw at me.  Never that I am invincible or such egotistical BS, but just, given what I've been through, I can do it.  That is no longer the case.  It's not the mortality.  It's the loss of endurance, the weakness, the sensitivity of my body to other people's infections, to various foods, to the workday.  The vulnerability to employer, and to the medical system.  

Life is change. In Buddhist thought, attachment leads to suffering.  In this case, attachment to life BC - before cancer.  It's gone.  It won't return.  Which is true for all things.

That said, sometimes I'm happier than I was before.  Strange how that is.  Sometimes I feel more comforted.  Sometimes I feel good.

Well, it is what it is.  What was, is gone,  What is, is.  I can do this.

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 26, 2014 at 7:39pm

Luara, do you mean my blog? It seems my muse doesn't respond to my demands. When she comes, I can't turn off the words. So, I will go about my other interests until she arrives.  

Comment by Luara on January 26, 2014 at 6:16pm

So how are you doing with it, Joan?

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 26, 2014 at 5:18pm

Daniel, I just looked at your blog for the first time. You report that your received your cancer diagnosis on March 11, 2013. My diagnosis was March 19. I didn't realize we started our journeys so closely together. 

I am all signed up for a blog on WordPress and suddenly don't have any words I want to say. Just wait a second and that will change. 

Thinking of you and hoping you are having a good day. 


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