August 27, 2009

it's like winning some kind of strange, mixed up lottery

i'm not typically one of those people who gets lucky, you know, like those people who always seem to win raffles...every time they enter something they win, even when the odds are terrible. it seems, though, that while one odd might be against me, another one is certainly in my favor. the chance of getting cancer in the US is about 1 in 5...some odds those are - better chances of getting cancer than winning the lottery. so, that is the odd that has worked against me, which is not good enough to show my luck yet. here goes...of the 20% of the population who will get cancer, only 5% will get some kind of lymphoma (arguably, one of the most treatable cancers)...and still, less than 1% of all cancers will be Hodgkin's lymphoma - before joining the cancer club, my chances of having Hodgkin's lymphoma were about .2% (which are the same as everyone's chances) - and that's why i'm very lucky.

the 'why me' mantra doesn't fit me...i don't feel like a victim, or that something terrible has happened to me because the universe decided that it was time for me to experience sadness. nope. not me. look at the odds...sort of likely i'd get cancer (done), a little less likely that i'd get lymphoma (done, done), and far less likely that i'd get Hodgkin's lymphoma (check)...the most treatable kind of lymphoma, and what they're calling a 'true success story in cancer'. of course no one wishes for cancer, but it happens, just like anything else...and here i am.

everyone keeps telling me that it's OK to feel sad, angry, scared, etc. i keep waiting to feel those things, and i hope i continue waiting. feeling sorry for myself isn't something i'm willing to do. i won't ever say i'm not a little scared...i have cancer, there's a chance that i won't respond well during treatment, i'll have to be mindful of it for the rest of my life, and people die every day from cancer. yes, it's a scary world. however, i knew from the first day that if i let it consume me, and let it take over, i had already lost the battle.

i don't like losing. perhaps that's why i feel so lucky to have won the 'good kind of cancer' lottery, because i finally won something i have no control over. bittersweet, and very, very real.

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