Thursday, October 21, 2010

The workings of my mind Part 2

My wife and I have been considering buying a house over the past month. In the context of being graduate students, this is a major decision.

The fact that 2010 has been chronicled on this blog in a way that is pretty close to my reality (trying to balance serious changes to my health, loving my family, and having a ton of fun riding/racing bicycles) serves as a kind of reality check. The fact of the matter in my life is quite painful when it comes down to it: in January, I went into a medical category that most people don't ever come back from, ie most people don't survive thyroid cancer metastatic to bones. Typically it indicates an aggressive form of disease that is or will be, non-responsive to treatment.

On a weekly basis, someone who I love and want to be honest with, asks me how I'm doing...mostly from the perspective of my thyroid cancer. I really hate being melo-dramatic and truly don't mean to write in such a manner...but I also attempt to use this form of self-expression (blog) as a way to cleanse my psyche. And also, to help people understand the situation that my wife and I are dealing with. With respect to the question, I never know how to answer because my feelings and thoughts about it are so complex.

The scrupulous answer, from the perspective of a 3rd year medical student, is that I feel like I don't have a full life ahead of me. I don't think I'll get to see Cassidy graduate high school or grow up. In the short-term, I often wonder if it is worth-it to even be in school. If my tumor marker continues to trend upwards, then I don't think I'll be living anything resembling my current life. In fact, I'll probably begin a novel chemo-therapy drug that may or may-not work. That drug, will almost certainly carry numerous and rather dramatic side effects ranging from nausea, to fatigue, to hypertension, and probably to the inhibition to new capillary formation (which wouldn't be so good for a cyclist). Alternatively, I'll have surgery number 4 on my neck, which won't be much fun. I guess the other alternative is that one of the best hospitals on earth (MD Anderson), botched my last blood test.

Why am I writing this now? Thursday night at almost 8pm? I don't know. Certainly not for sympathy for me. But, I also don't want people to assume that because we're trying to live a normal life that everything is a-okay. Ever hear the expression that 'fine' stands for; f'ed up, insecure, neurotic, and emotional? Well, in the fall of 2010, my family and I are just fucking fine.


David Henderson said...

Normally now is a pretty good time to buy a house. The interest rates are low (best to get a fixed to defend against possible inflation). On the other hand, you may not need more stress.

I think if you approach it without hard time-lines and as a pleasant exercise it can be. First find out what a bank (or a few... there can be great variance) will lend you. Then start looking. Again, try to view it positively. House hunting can be a little tough. I believe the average house hunter views 13 or so houses before buying. The cool thing for you is that you don't have to buy anything unless you find the right fit.

If you believe that you may or will move because of you or your wife's job/residency, I would recommend to maybe not buy, but the search process could still be interesting.

Stay in the present Dan, that's really all we have. So far so good, and you're going f'ing great!

Scott said...

House hunting is fun. House buying is stressfull.

Dave is right. Find out what you can afford and what banks will loan you before you start looking. It will let you know what price range of houses to look at and what to expect payment wise. When you see how much of your money goes to interest(all of it), you will shit.

Glad you and your family are just fucking fine. :)

ProPam said...

Keep on cleansing your psyche, Dan. I respect and admire your honesty.

Rory King said...

Dan, I'm taken aback by your honesty there. I think it takes a lot of courage to take the situation head on and not dilute it in your mind. For what it's good for, you and the family are certainly in my thoughts and prayers.

all metaphysics aside, i don't know what you can do but play the hand you're dealt. I don't think anyone could believe what you've done so far, much less with your shit-for-luck cards.