Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Future

About a week ago I was looking toward my future. My family's future. See, I've been going to school for the last four years to get a bachelor of science degree in political science and mass communication with an emphasis is public relations at the University of Utah. I had just started looking at jobs across the U.S. I am supposed to register for my last semester on November 10th at 7 p.m.

Last Wednesday, I got the bad news (below) that I still have Cushing's and must have another source somewhere in my body. Suddenly, my future became blurred. So unclear. So - unpredictable.

How can I possibly plan? What future do I look to? I am going to need surgery. I have a tumor somewhere in my body. This is known. Where is it? Possibly in my left apex (lung). A little tumor was seen there on my last CT Scan in May, but it didn't light up like the one on the right (that I had removed).

Now I start with all of the "ifs" and "next steps." I thought I was done with this! This is crazy. How can I be here again? I don't want to speculate about my health and the possible treatments. I don't want to look too far into my future right now. I'm afraid. Afraid of being disappointed, misled, or unprepared.

I'm afraid the news is going to be worse than I think. I'm afraid I won't be able to have surgery between semesters so I can start spring in January to finish and graduate on time. Would my lungs be able to handle another intubation so soon after the last surgery? Is my right lung strong enough for this if it has to support my breathing while surgery is done on my left lung? How much lung capacity do I have available to lose? I don't know.

That is the problem. A week ago, I was so sure about the direction of my future and how I was going to get there. Now I am lost and confused, among a myriad of other feelings.

I am fortunate to have so many good friends and close family that give me a tremendous amount of support and love.

While my future is unclear right now, I am still grateful for the possibility of a cure. Last Friday I saw a woman at the university making her way to the bus stop. She had a backpack on and walked in a way that is almost impossible to describe as it is in no way natural - in humans or any other living thing. She had orthopedic crutches - the kind that wrap around your forearms with handles. She moved along like this was not a new thing. She's probably been like this for most or all of her life. She will probably never be cured. Yet - there she was, moving on with her life, going to school and living. I don't know her and may never see her again, but she reminded me that the future is not predictable, no matter how much we plan for it. The future may not be what we expect or controllable, but it will happen no matter what. It is the manner in which we approach it that determines how it changes us. Does it make us stronger or wiser? Does it get us down and make us weaker?

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