Saturday, October 27, 2012

I am a coward

There is no nice or easy way to say this ... I always have been a coward.  I find it easier to hide rather than fight.

I am afraid to transition ... I am afraid of what might happen to me if I don't.  I thought my decision to proceed with my transition would be the toughest thing I faced in my life.

I was wrong.

They say everything happens for a reason.  What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

I hope they are right.

When I started having pain in my lower right abdomen with fever and a hint of nausea I pretty much knew what it was ... my appendix.  When I finally decided to see the doctor he agreed, but because I did not exhibit all the symptoms he put me on antibiotics to see if the symptoms would subside.

They didn't.

I was sent for a ct scan and fully expected to be heading to the hospital.  The sad thing is I was feeling a bit sorry for myself ... like nothing ever goes my way ... like "what else can go wrong?"

I was about to find out.

My doctor entered the room.  "I'm pissed.  And you will be, too."  He set my chart on the counter.  "You had a kidney stone in 2007 and the hospital did a cat scan."

"Yep," I said.  "One of many."  I felt a sudden uneasiness grip my body.

"The initial reading of the scan noted the kidney stones with no abnormalities."  My doctor was pacing the room.  "That was the report I got.  Apparently the radiologist read the film the next day and found a mass.  I never received that followup.  The mass is now 8 inches."

I felt cold.  My wife was on the verge of a meltdown and I could not help her.

"The lymph nodes in your lower abdomen are swollen.  This is what's causing the pain."  My doctor was staring straight through me.  "We feel it's very likely you have lymphoma ... ..."


Oh shit!  ... I don't want to die! ... I'm barely starting to live.

The rest of the day was a blur of stress and emotion as I rushed back to to the imaging center for more conclusive tests.

I had all the ingredients for a major league catharsis ... but I didn't ... I couldn't cry.

I wanted to.

The waiting was ... the waiting is the worst part.  In the day or so until I saw my doctor again My thoughts ran amuck.

"The mass does not involve any nodes."  My doctor sat on the stool in the middle of the room.  "We need to get you to somebody to find out what it is and to get it out of you."

"Alright," I said, still trying to act calm.  "What about the lymph nodes?"

"They do not appear to be connected to the mass," my doctor replied.  "It makes the odds of this being lymphoma much lower."

I was quick to note that he did not eliminate the possibility, but it was much better than what I was told just a day or so earlier.

I have a biopsy next week and will get the results very soon after that ... but until then I wait.

I am a coward.  I'm scared of what may be in my future ... I am scared of the fight, but fight I must.  I'm afraid to survive, for survival ,for survival means I will be right back here where I am today ... afraid to transition, but afraid of what might happen if I don't.