Thursday, June 17, 2010

One year anniversary

I had totally forgotten, until my mother called in a celebratory mood: today I have been cancer-free for one year! It is the anniversary of my "heroic" surgery, so named because the best doctors in the country agreed that it was the only thing that could cure me, even if they weren't sure that it would work. We had a wonderful conversation, talking about all the things that have happened since then, and how amazing it is that I am not only alive, but doing so spectacularly well. I feel altogether unreasonably healthy, and perhaps not coincidentally, the CT and blood work done earlier this week show no evidence of disease!

A three year long torrential flood of events has carved new channels and created new beaches on the riverbanks of my psyche. And while the flood has abated, the previously glassy flow of events is now swirled aside into unexpected eddies of doubt, and thunders up against new boulders of understanding, and spreads out onto fresh floodplains of reflection. And while I would not wish my disease on anyone, my life has been made so much richer by riding these waves. Every day, many times a day, I encounter situations that resonate with me differently because of my illness. Life has been and continues to be wild, and drenching, and scary, and exhilarating. What more could I ask for? Dayenu!

I have been busier than ever before. Yesterday was the last day of my Surgery rotation, which is famous among medical students for the absurdly long hours spent at the hospital, kowtowing to the established sado-masochistic hierarchy, all the while having stunning opportunities to engage with countless people during the most critical moments of their lives. There is so much to write about, but it must wait: I have an exam to study for!

In the Vascular Surgery Angiography OR: The number of pagers carried is inversely proportional to one's importance.