Cancer Has Me Down, But When I Rise I’ll Be Invincible

The journey of one of life’s most difficult challenges.

The Rolomite | Daily Girth

It will never be you, you think. Until you’re it. You’ve won life’s reverse lottery, and you didn’t even have to go to the liquor store to pay $1 per ticket. Not every reverse lottery winner is a loser though.

Be thankful it’s not you. I know from experience because I am one of those reverse lottery winners. It is me. I am experiencing one of life’s cruelest jokes. Cancer has invaded my body. Every form of cancer is different. All of them are terrifying.

Cancer wields a tremendous amount of power. It’s all about how an individual matches its strength. There are physical challenges, and in my case, psychological obstacles. The second you hear the C word, extreme nervousness fills your body. I cried within seconds after the doctor said I had a mass in my abdomen. I knew what that meant. If you don’t think about death when presented with that news then you’re not human.

Sure, you can be tough and think you’ll beat it. But the prospect of dying tunnels its way into your brain somewhere.

I was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, which is a sarcoma of the soft tissue, in February, and before I typed that I had to text my mom to ask how to spell it. No way I was looking that up on the Internet. Usually, I’m the type that knows how to spell everything and researches the hell out of something to learn more about it. Not this.

I’m frightened. People tell me don’t worry, but it’s not their life on the line. They remind me any surgery could kill you. Repairing a knee or getting an appendix out will never be described as morbid.

I didn’t want to know what this was creeping in my insides. I never asked what stage this was. Looking at the various scans never became an option. I just focused on getting better. Thankfully, my parents and other family members and friends have supported me tremendously.

The past eight months have sucked. I can only describe it as suffering. Friends and family have made me smile constantly, but there has been too much sadness and crying on my part. More than I care to admit.

My social life has cratered, not working has messed with my mindset (this is no vacation), physical limitations and side effects have battered me, the Love of My Life left me, playing basketball and lifting weights are no more, and I have swallowed my pride and let people do stuff for me. The mental anguish is the most difficult. Frustration, heartbreak and fear dominate my life.

Now it’s time for redemption. This may sound preachy, but never take anything for granted. I took simplicities such as walking, taking a shower and not being in constant pain for granted. If and when I get better, I will work harder, make the world a better place, and hug all of my loved ones a little more just because.

I have been to hell and I’m on a journey back. You better believe I’ll be stronger than ever. I have a few more hurdles, one major. See that drawing that accompanies this story? It was drawn by my cousin, The Rolomite, one of a handful of staffers that have made Daily Girth go throughout the years. I wanted a drawing that embodied immense force. Make my likeness similar to Marvel Comic’s The Hulk — show this drawing as if it has gone through a major battle, I told him. Teaming up with the Avengers to fight legions of enemies is child’s play compared to going to war with cancer.

You ever see the Hulk? Try harming that guy, see where it gets you.

Last week I met with a surgeon about removing the sarcoma. After months of saying no, it’s dangerous, you’re too weak, now he says I’m at my strongest and it’s go time. He has called it a morbid surgery. I’m frightened. People tell me don’t worry, but it’s not their life on the line. They remind me any surgery could kill you. Repairing a knee or getting an appendix out will never be described as morbid.

If I survive the surgery, I’ll be a glass half full person from now on. Success would mean I would be one step closer to making me a reverse lottery champion. I would be unstoppable, invincible, a real life Hulk. And I will have given a gargantuan middle finger to the C word.

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