My diagnosis: Shaping the future

My body felt alienated. I had to force myself to take care of it, but I felt obliged because of my pregnancy. Meditation helped a bit, though sleep was my preferred escape. I decided to stop bothering about the consequences of each and everything I did. Taking all the risks into account would mean ceasing to exist. And if something “caused cancer”,… well; I already had cancer, so what?

(What happened before?)

I wanted my results as soon as possible, yet I still had such a long time to go before I would get them. I did what no patient is supposed to do; I started surfing in the internet. It was the first time I thought about writing a blog. When I had a look at some blogs of fellow cancer warriors, I realized most of them ended rather abruptly … they had died. I decided against blogging.

I remember one weekend in particular. My daughter participated in an international dance competition in an alpine village. When I had finished my daughters stage make-up; I sat down and googled my genetic alterations. Before it was her turn, we had to watch around thirty other performances. By that time I knew I had two different kinds of chromosomal abnormalities. According to my online research one of them makes the doctors rather optimistic about progression and the other one…..not that much. I searched and searched until I was convinced I had a maximum of two years to live. I watched my daughter dance and became extremely sentimental. I went outside, saw the sunset by the lake and fell in love all over again with this beautiful world. I was very calm inside, but I told my husband what I had read. And I asked him to discuss the consequences. I wanted to be prepared for worst case scenarios.

We had to participate in a dinner party for the competition winners. People congratulated me on being pregnant. It was visible by then, nevertheless I didn’t know if I could keep the baby. After the party, my daughter fell asleep. My husband and I had a long discussion in the hotel room, with a view on the moonlit Alps. We outlined a testament and drafted my patient decree. We confirmed our intention to move to Spain, if it was possible and if I had enough quality time left to live.

We decided – and that was the worst part – under which circumstances we would not keep the baby. There were not many, but a few. We both agreed I had a responsibility for my other three children and could not risk my life for the sake of the baby’s survival. We dreaded those either/or questions. Two weeks later, by the way, when I felt the baby’s first movements, I immediately cast away all the ideas we had had.

I read some books about dying and death and re-drafted my patient decree. I set a date with my parents, because I needed to coordinate my testament with them as well. Maybe I would die before them. Although whoever found out about my activities back then told me to stop and to be optimistic, preparing for the worst case felt so good. I was going to be protected by all my decisions and strategies when the doctors told me about my new results. Whatever happened, I would have taken care of my children’s future consciously – with or without me.  And I would be a prepared as a patient as well.

By shaping my future actively I felt I had lost a bit of the victim status that cancer patients usually have. Most of all, I really needed to know how I would deal with things in advance, because I had my children to think of. I needed to know the truth and I needed to be realistic.

The story continues here

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