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A Liminal Space

It’s been tough to provide an update because, in truth, nothing much has changed. I’m supposed to start treatment this week.

Home hardware

Adjusting to my PICC has been a minor inconvenience. I mostly don’t feel it, but when I think about it, it feels itchy. Plus, it can’t get wet, so I have to wear a plastic bag on my arm while I shower. If I leave it uncovered, it also becomes a cat toy.

It’s a bit of a nuisance because it’s only temporary. I’ll be getting a port-a-cath embedded in my chest within the next few weeks, which is a more permanent and less clunky means to the same end.

Scanxiety is real

I have an MRI in the morning that requires me to fast, so I’m staying up late to type this so I can have snacks until my food cutoff time. Waiting for scans and scan results is nerve wracking.

Many of us have been in a spot where we’re waiting on a medical test to tell us something. There’s a vague sense of unease as you wait for the results to absolve you of your anxiety. Cancer feels like that all the time, but it’s a bit different.

Outside of cancerland, we’re waiting for our test results to tell us that there’s nothing to worry about.

I’m waiting for my scan results to tell me that I can keep worrying the same amount. Any imaging results at this point in my treatment will only ever do one of two things.

They’ll indicate that:

  • Nothing has changed, which is actually the good outcome. If nothing changes, there’s still a possibility of treatment curing my disease. I’ll still have to undergo chemotherapy, but it’ll be timebound to six months.
  • Things have gotten worse. I have metastatic cancer—disease that has spread to other organs—and will never be cured. To live longer and with slower disease progression will require chemotherapy or other treatments for the rest of my life.

Here’s hoping for the lesser of two evils.

Chemobeard

Six months. One beard. Here’s a strong arm selfie to kick off chemobeard.

If I start chemotherapy and the side effects are a bitch, I may have to shave it off. Time will tell.

I’ll be sure to describe my first round of chemotherapy once I get through that.

CancerCanuck

My name is Jason Manuge. I'm an early onset Stage IV colorectal cancer survivor. You can find me on social as CancerCanuck!

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