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Moderator note: on another thread, a poster asked where latetoschool has been, as members had not seen her post lately. Latetoschool responded with the post below, and the entire thread which was on a different topic turned to latetoschool. I have split the rapidly growing posts meant for LateToSchool to their own thread...this thread. LateToSchool....you deserve it and we want people to be able to find it under the right subject heading. All of us at CC will be thinking of you.
With sincere apologies to Weenie and Berurah for hijacking the thread - since you asked - I am here, and I have been lurking a bit. But I am somewhat challenged...
For one week now I am out of the hospital. Unexpectedly, I have been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, metastasized to the liver. I can count on one hand the number of times in my life that I have been sick. For me to even take one aspirin is a very unusual event. As I have posted before, I do not even drink alcohol. I am wondering if you can imagine my shock, astonishment, and fear as over the past 14 days I have entered a world of more doctors, clergy, lawyers, estate planners, etc. and as I assemble my war chest for this next, incredible battle that by the numbers almost no one wins. I am no Randy Pausch and I do not possess his grace and class.
I have completed five days of radiation, and a week of chemotherapy, and there is plenty more of this scheduled. So far I have kept my regular work schedule, even hopped on a plane and traveled this week, and have had no side effects. Somehow, I managed to become entangled with an outstanding oncologist, and I have a very high degree of confidence in him.
There are many reasons for me to be very optimistic. One, I am not yet 50; I am otherwise in excellent health. I have the ability to control my work schedule and the details of my life and even my physical location, so, I am not constrained by the sorts of things that might contribute to stress. The doctors are taking what appears to be a conservative approach - stopping radiation for now and doing only chemotherapy; they do not want to take a chance on giving me cadiac, pulmonary, or thyroid problems, because I do not currently have any of these sorts of problems. They are taking the position that they believe they can get me to a remission position - but - I have no idea if that is where they start out with everyone, and then they see what happens and adjust from there. My experience with oncology is now only days old, so, I am a bit foggy on how seriously to digest their optimism.
I am sorry to post such unfortunate news but this is where I have been, and, I will continue to contribute to the community as often - and as competently - as I can. I am still enrolled in my Harvard class but find that it does not interest me very much any more, so, I am considering dropping out. I missed the virtual class this past Monday evening - I was 48 hours out of the hospital and still in a state of absolute shock. I sent email to the professor; she said I could make up the work, but, I have a very busy Q4 schedule with many commitments, and, I think that I need to confine my efforts to continuing my professional work, and fighting this disease.
I will say this much: though the statistics are terrifying, if there is a person who can win this battle, I am that person.
I truly hope Berurah, on the other hand, is actually on an island... :)