This has been a strange week for me. Exactly ten years ago I went to the Feria de Jerez and spent a fun day there with friends. And on the way back to get the train I saw this graffiti (Tengo Cancer – I Have Cancer) on the wall beside a bar next to the station, and something about it moved me to take a photo. There was something poignant yet hopeful yet… I dunno… about it. Whatever. I took the photo.
The very next day I doubled over in extreme pain and thus began two of the most profound years of my life. Not going to go over the whole ordeal again here – if you’re interested you can check out this link. Suffice it to say I somehow survived stage 4 colon cancer with metastasis to the liver and peritoneum, including 3 major abdominal surgeries and being on chemo twice (first 2 months, then 5 months). The chemo was diabolical, but apparently got rid of all the nasty cancer. At what cost to the rest of my body cells? Frankly, I don’t give a damn. I just don’t ever want to go back on chemo again. It was then that I (badly) photoshopped the graffiti photo thusly…
Fast forward to January 2018 and another routine PET scan. Except instead of being given the usual – everything looks fine, see you next year! – I was told there was concern about an area of inflammation that had grown significantly since the previous PET scan. This led to me having several tests done, including a colonoscopy, endoscopy and a CT scan. With a second CT coming up in June, so they can check the progress (or decline) of the “area of concern”. Worried? Well, hell yeah! Because that’s basically all I ever do. Not just about health issues. I worry about EVERYTHING. All. The. Time. It’s exhausting, but I can’t seem to help it.
Anyhoodle… getting back to my initial story. This week marks the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the whole cancer thing, which in my mind is always connected with the Feria de Jerez. And so today I had to go. Nothing morbid or weird, it was more like touching base. Because back then was when all that started, and ten years later I am still here and able to go back and enjoy my favourite feria in Spain. So I did. And it was lovely (nice feria pics coming soon – promise!).
Except this year I am not sure if I “have or have not”… tengo o no tengo. Still waiting to find out. And these days this is what is left of that poignant graffiti. Looks a bit ghostly. Like they tried to paint over it but couldn’t quite get rid of it. I’ve often wondered who this person was, and whether they got better. I sincerely hope so. Just like I hope I will continue to be okay too. So… bit of an emotional day.