Stress, Cancer and Moving Forward

 Photo Credit -  Kenichi Nobusue

Photo Credit - Kenichi Nobusue

   This is going to be more of a personal blog as opposed to my usual photography related posts. So please allow me to add in some photos of kittens to lighten up the mood. Now that formalities are out of the way, let's begin. As most of you reading this don't know, I developed a lump in my chest a couple of months ago. It came after a brief hiatus between suck and more suck. Life was looking great and then I started having car troubles. That's all taken care of now, but literally the next day, I felt a lump in my chest. It was like a stress bomb just hit and I was at ground zero. I let it go at first since I'm not the biggest fan of going to the doctors, but after 2 weeks, it didn't go away. I decided going to the doctors would probably be in my best interest (duh). I got there and of course, I was told what you never want to hear a doctor say. Because I didn't suffer any trauma and there weren't any other abnormalities at all, cancer was a possibility. After taking some tests, I got my results back a couple of weeks later. They told me they couldn't rule out anything, including cancer, but also that they didn't see anything. At all. As in, there was no lump being shown in the results.

 Photo Credit - Sergey Ivanov

Photo Credit - Sergey Ivanov

   "Oh great" I thought, another mysterious disease that "doesn't exist" despite clearly physically seeing and feeling a lump. Story of my life. I got back to the doctors and she was confused. There's no way that nothing would have come up in the results. So I had two options, Wait it out and see what happens or go to a surgeon and do some more tests and most likely surgery, you know, for a lump they can't see. Seeing as how I didn't think that that was going to work out well, I decided to wait. In the next 3 months, I could feel the lump physically getting smaller and by the time I went back to the doctors, it had mostly gone away. She told me there was no point going to a surgeon at this point, since whatever it was seemed to have corrected itself and gone away. I asked her what she thinks it might have been. Since the results showed that it didn't even exist in the first place, she could only guess that it was some kind of cyst I developed from too much stress.

 Photo Credit -  Scott Hendo

Photo Credit - Scott Hendo

   Stress. So basically, Ive been under a lot of stress and that stress lead to more stress which then lead to the development of a physical ailment which, in turn, led to even more stress. It was a stress clusterfuck where I was on a slippery slope falling down the mountainside while an avalanche occurred and I decided to say "fuck it" and go skiing. Was it a good idea? No of course not, but hindsight is always 20/20. With all of the other things going on in my life, it makes sense that it still has yet to go away, despite being there for months now. On top of all of this, recently a friend of a friend has died of cancer. Not that I was apathetic about her death or anything, but at first it didn't really hit me since I didn't know her very well. It wasn't until a couple of days later that I had a realization. That could have been me if I did indeed have cancer. I could have been facing the mortality of my own life with the knowledge that I wasn't going to last for very much longer.

 Photo Credit - Jorge Gonzalez

Photo Credit - Jorge Gonzalez

   This fact set me off on a mental exploration of what would I do if that happened? How would I react? Most importantly though, what am I even doing with my life and am I happy with where I'm going? My gut feeling was a mixed yes and no answer. It made me think about another realization I had back in 2008 which set off my life in a completely different course than where I was traveling. It ended up being for the better for the most part and led me to where I stand today. In this moment of space and time. I'm happy moving forward in my life, but I'm not happy about the rate of progress. I know the limiting factor is actually me and not my surroundings, so I have no excuse. I want to change that. I need to work harder on being more strict with how I allow myself to use my freedoms. Focus is what I need. Wandering and experimentation is great, but at the end of the day, if I have nothing to show for it other than partial satisfaction loaded with guilt, then I need to fix that. I keep everything to myself and never finish what I start. This chapter of my life needs a proper ending before I can make a grand new beginning. That's my newest goal with life. I've always hated endings, because that means everything is all over and that experience is no longer. If there's one thing I've learned in my life, it's that even in death, life still goes on. The world still turns wether you're alive or not. Part of you dies with them, but that just leaves more room for new life to grow. With death there is life and with life there is death. The approaching winter is a great symbol of this cycle. The cycle of life.

~~Writing Light Across The Land~~