In April 2012, however, I found myself in the emergency room (ER) with an intestinal blockage, and thus began my journey with a new knowledge of what was going on with me. I had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Carcinoid Cancer/Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs).
The reality of the matter is that I had been living with this for years, probably several decades. The difference was that now I knew about it.
Knowledge can be a wonderful thing. It can also be something that we want to ignore, because what we know is not always pleasant. Then we make a choice to turn away, or face it head on. It is not an ideal that I always care to visit.
This weekend, I had a situation that was way too familiar to me. In fact, it is the second of episodes I have had in the past few months, with similar symptoms to what I experienced several years ago.
As much as I would like to “ignore it and hope it goes away,” I chose to write to my specialist and explain the situation. I suggested that we not wait until September for my next CT scan and follow-up appointment, which would have been a year since my last. I am awaiting a response.
I do not relish the idea of the possibility of having to go through more surgery, but I recognize that it may be necessary. I also realize that I have to face my life head-on, though sticking my head in the sand would be easier in some ways. Unfortunately, by ignoring it, I cannot guarantee that it will go away.
I have to keep reminding myself that I am LIVING with this disease. That will require me to be ever-vigilant in paying attention to what my body tells me, and not letting my mind lie to me. That is one familiar behavior I do not need to repeat.