My Cancer Story Ch. 73 “Anxiety Resurgence”

Chapter 73: “Anxiety Resurgence”

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“I could sure use a drink right about now” is something I should have told myself during all of 2007. The year was not kind to me in the slightest. It all began in the first desolate few months of the year as the winter winds howled on well into April. I had purchased a Little Caesar’s pizza kit from one of my managers at work and as we cooked it while watching The Prestige, I realized that my memory isn’t what it used to be. As a matter of fact, my memory in regards to numbers, names, faces, and more was exponentially stronger the year before I was diagnosed with Leukemia. It’s ironic that I would remember the moment I realized my memory was faulty but worry about remembering specific things properly. Wait; was it The Prestige or The Illusionist? Great.

 

I wondered how much of this memory loss was my own undoing? Were my several attempts at making peace with weed my mental downfall or was it the chemotherapy? And by the same token, was I really to blame for my hair loss by pulling out clump after clump while under the initial effects of the same chemo or was it merely my family’s genetics?

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My Cancer Story Ch. 59 “Cancer Scare”

Chapter 59: “Cancer Scare”

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I despised all of these medical sidesteps; I just wanted to live a normal life. I knew that I didn’t want to become a hypochondriac, but how can someone who personally experienced all that I did be okay with the knowledge that – at any moment – this could all come crashing down?

 

I had it fairly easy as a kid all things considered, but I consumed food like an opulent King every single day and luckily, my body was able to bounce back. Only until it was literally able to bounce.

 

Even then, I hardly exercised and my life goals were minimal. At what point would the other shoe drop? Well, it turned out that point was at age eighteen when my life had been reset. I was now left picking up the pieces of my old way of living and aimlessly looking for a new puzzle frame.

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My Cancer Story Ch. 58 “My First (Anxiety-Riddled) Concert”

Chapter 58: “My First (Anxiety-Riddled) Concert”

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My mind pushed out tragic thoughts of the house fire and instead continued churning its gleeful slideshow of happy memories set to upbeat pop music. It was like an Aunt who returned from vacation and a shitty house DJ all rolled into one. But every so often, the lingering anxiety would rear its ugly head, penetrating the very stability I had once thought I possessed.

 

Late one night, I began to worry about my throat closing up and sure enough, the feeling returned. I tried to fight it off, knowing that the feeling was likely due to the thought of it, but by then, it was too late.

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My Cancer Story Ch. 53 “The Measure of a Man”

Chapter 53: “The Measure of a Man”

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The whole “nearly dying” thing really awoke me from my slumber. I had been too content in enjoying my life, so much so that I almost forgot to fear my myriad near run-ins with the Grim Reaper! The good news was that this “anxiety attack” was an error; I wasn’t really dying and so, I was able to mentally separate that event from a real flight-or-fight worthy response. My senses had been restored and I could now resume my normal life.

 

Oh, that’s right, I still had to work at MBNA making calls dutifully but never pushing people past their point of rational thought. I carefully laid out the terms of the credit card I was selling at the time and never lied to the customers (like I had heard some other people doing). It kept my conscience – and the money I earned there – clean.

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My Cancer Story Ch. 52 “My ‘Last’ Dance With Mary Jane”

Chapter 52: “My ‘Last’ Dance With Mary Jane”

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By the end of February, Mary Jane and I were in a committed relationship. I would smoke a few times a week at minimum, even though I never expected Tony to offer, but when he would offer, you best believe I accepted. I was, however, one of those guys who would tend to hover around to prompt such an invitation.

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My Cancer Story Ch. 18 “Send the Pain Below”

Chapter 18: Send the Pain Below 

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I never imagined in a million years that I would have cancer. I mean I had always assumed that I would die from some form of heart disease based on my lifestyle choices, but not cancer. Although the ailment was prevalent in my family gene pool and I always had that feeling in the back of my mind that I would get it someday– I did not think it would have been this early.

One December when I was about thirteen, I had some mild, but persistent chest aches. I went to the doctor and he asked me the typical questions:

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