My Useless Lung

By Thursday, October 3, 2013 0 No tags Permalink

You probably know by now of my current situation, because yes, I am that obnoxious person who posts personal things on Facebook statuses, the majority of them being related to my health. For those who don’t know, I’ve been in the hospital for a week now. I was admitted because I had a massive blood clot in my right lung. I had almost no symptoms, minus some chest and back pain on my ride side, which I dismissed earlier because I thought I had strained a muscle lifting weights like a bro.

They kept me in the hospital on high-dose blood thinners, which would prevent the clot from becoming worse. My doctors and surgeons went back and forth debating surgery for a while, because removing the clot surgically would involve placing me on a heart/lung bypass machine, a procedure they would rather not perform on a 23 yr.-old if unneeded. Unfortunately, my clot didn’t dissolve at all, and everyone agreed surgery would be the best option after all. Since I have a history of sarcoma, the clot may be a tumor clot as opposed to a blood clot, in which case they would remove my entire right lung to make sure the cancer can’t spread. The good news is that they had scans of my other major organs and all of them are clear. The better news is that people can function perfectly well with one lung. Thank you, evolution.

Now that I got the physical summary out of the way, many of you have been asking how I’ve been doing emotionally. I couldn’t write in the beginning of my hospital stay because I was too frustrated and no one really wants to read angry rants. Lucky for me, I’ve become pretty talented at accepting less-than-desirable news when it comes to my personal health. So after a week of having a LOT of time for myself to think and stress-eat on salty foods that are restricted on the cardiac floor (thank you friends who fuel my poor eating habits by bringing me snacks all day), there is only one word to describe how I feel at this moment: alright.

Healthy or not, everyone always wonders about the “unknown”. What is it like having to get a limb amputated? What is it like losing the sense of sight, the sense of hearing, or god forbid, the sense of taste? (Bad joke?) What is it like having to live with a history of cancer, and knowing it can be back at any moment? It’s like living in a bad neighborhood and having the risk of getting your wallet stolen every day while walking home. Just because the risk is there, you can’t lock yourself in your house and never come out, just because you have a love affair with your Michael Kors. You continue on with your life, and do as much as you can to prevent the risk from happening. And once the risk does happen, take it as a sigh of relief. There’s not much to be scared about anymore, because the “unknown” is finally known. To me, living in the situation is always more comforting than being scared of the situation happening.

My best friend comforted me and said I was functioning fine even without knowing the lung wasn’t working. In her words, “your lung is like a useless boyfriend that isn’t really there.”

So I feel alright. Not too scared, not too angry, not anything. Just alright. Although I must admit I’m a bit confused; cancer cells can do so much damage yet have the shittiest survival mechanism ever. It tries to kill the only thing that’s keeping it alive. Idiots.

If anyone felt saddened by this post, I genuinely apologize, because you know the last thing I would want is to make people unhappy. So I’ll end this post by including some pics of friends and family who were good sports about getting Hello Kitty tattoos upon their visit. (These don’t include the nurses who I made get inked too.)

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