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.