Cancer: Its Far-Reaching Consequences

Cancer has far-reaching and widespread consequences, he said as if people didn’t know this already. I know, I know, people hear cancer, and they automatically assume it is responsible for anything and everything bad within a 5-year and 10-mile radius; it’s that powerful of a word, but have you really considered what that means in the real-world setting?

Well, lucky you, you have me to show you what that means. Join me, your long-term cancer guinea pig guide to the wonderful world of long-lasting blood cancer side effects!

Returning to the doctor

What brought this on, you might be asking? Well, recently I finally was cajoled into returning to in-person doctor’s visits after being able to avoid them for about eight months. I had ankle surgery, and I was laid up while I had an external fixator installed on my right foot, and I milked that baby more than a county-fair prize dairy heifer. “Oh, well, I can’t really get there; no one can drive me. Can you please just refill my meds over the phone? Hehe?” and it worked! For a while, anyway.

Eventually my docs said, “Yeah, we are done with that and, also, we can’t even remember what you look like,” so I sadly gave in and set up appointments. Along with the appointments, also came the blood tests I had been tactically avoiding for almost a year. So I ended up at the dreaded local Quest Labs location, which looks very similar to the pictures of the Spanish Flu wards from the old-timey photos, and got my tests done.

That evening phone call from the doctor

I got the results on my phone yesterday, and of course, there were two or three things in the red. Seeing as how I don’t know how to read blood test results and I refuse to succumb to Googleitis, I brushed it off and went about my day.

Unfortunately, when the phone rang after hours and my rheumatologist’s name popped up, I knew it was trouble. You see, doctors only call you personally with bad news after dinner. They never call after dinner to say, “Hey! I heard you got a part in a play! Also your tests are fine! Congrats!” No, it’s always doom and gloom for after-dinner dessert. This one was no exception and it looks like my kidney tests were high.

I couldn't believe it! I had just gotten over a different procedure and now I had to go on another adventure? What could have caused this? I drink water... I pee... I do... other... kidney positive stuff like... I dunno... kidneycizing? Whatever, the point is, I'm not doing kidney-dangerous stuff like drinking acid or seeing how long I can hold my pee just for the fun of it.

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Chemo leads to poor test results, years later

So... what could have caused it? What did I experience in my recent past that involved dangerous poisonous chemicals injected directly into my body that can harm organs... hmmm... let’s think... hmmm... oh yes, that’s right... chemo.

Yup, this could definitely be a long-term effect of the chemo that saved my life way back when (a few years ago). They said at the time that this might happen but after a few years post-chemo and in remission you always just assume you are in the clear. It’s human nature.

Now, I am truly hoping that this is simply a case of dehydration plus eating too much artificial sweetener and having too much caffeine which resulted in even more dehydration, but if it isn’t that when I retest in a week or so, it’s going to mean I have to get back on the medical roller-coaster that cancer started half a decade ago and apparently still has a few loop-de-loops left to throw me through. Ugh, do I really have the mental fortitude to go through all this again?

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Cancer is a lifelong diagnosis

So, this is a real-world example of just how much cancer can affect your body, and how it gets its tendrils into everything. Cancer even apparently has access to a Delorian with a Flux Capacitor and it can hop five years into the future and mess things up there too! Chemo is, point blank, a poison, and you are poisoning yourself when you take it in hopes that it kills the cancer before it kills you. Anyone who hasn’t gone through a bout, or even some who have, may not realize just how dangerous those chemicals are and how long they can stay in the body and affect things, well, now you know.

Trading survival now for problems later

They say cancer is a lifelong diagnosis, and while most times they mean mentally, this is proof that there can also be physical ramifications. You are essentially trading your survival now, for potential problems later, but when you are faced with an emergency you never think about the consequences five and ten years down the road – that's just called being human.

Unfortunately, the body is like an elephant – it gets wrinkled and grey as you get old. Wait, no, I mean it never forgets... that you had cancer. Talk soon.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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