Though the last PSA number of a couple of weeks ago was good, I found myself not being ecstatically happy with it for some reason. Certainly, it was much better than what it could have been. A large rise in the number would have started a heavy conversation about treatment - a conversation that I've been trying to avoid since my diagnosis. A drop in the number would have meant that the cancer had shrunk considerably and I my usual optimistic nature would not expect that this was going to happen. Cancer doesn't just show up and then go away, even with all the stuff that I've been doing over the past six months. So, the number that I got - one indicating that I was holding the line, was probably the best that I could expect. So, why wasn't I happy?
It took a while to figure out, but it finally came around. With this last test, my relationship to the cancer has changed. Things are less like World War II and more like World War I - I now have a chronic disease. The cancer is more like diabetes than it is a heart attack and the effort that it will take to heal it is going to have to be long-term. The changes that I will have to make in my life have to not only be large, but they have to be deep.
I don't know about you but, as much as I've done it in my life, I really hate making changes. It rubs my static Scots-English nature entirely the wrong way. There are parts of me that would rather be miserable than change to make things better. Well, this time I don't have a choice. To not make the changes throws me down a rabbit hole that I don't want to go down - one of radioactive seeds and incontinence pads and catheters. No, don't want to go there. I'd much rather change my diet, tweak my supplements, and do my visualizations. Even if I hate it. Even if I have to do it for a long, long time.
So, there is no joy in Mudville. The numbers are good. But that only seems to mean a whole lot of work. The work will be good for me. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to like it.