Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ten Years is Not Enough

Recently it seems like a lot of people, myself included, have said things like "well, she's been fighting cancer for ten years--that's a long time." Meaning that someone who is dying now, officially, can be looked to as a valiant survivor for having lived with this disease for a whopping ten years.

And then the other day I realized: I have cancer. I have been fighting this disease for three years already, and looking forward to many more. But ten years--just seven more--is not enough. I can't lay down to die when I am 34! That is far too young. I have friends older than that. And I have far too much to do. I want to have babies, of course, even if my womb is now in permanent hibernation; but I don't just want to have them, I want to see them grow old and have their own babies. I want to be a grandma. And I have things to do at work--not just beating Host in Vancouver, but taking over the labor movement. We have a lot of work to do if the good guys are going to win and we're going to have a real movement of working class people. And that is going to take more than seven years.

So I have a new plan. No more of this idea of living with treatment for the rest of my life. We are going to blow this thing out of my body once and for all. That's why I have been miserable for the last few weeks. That's why my life was risked by multiple infections when I didn't have any white blood cells (first line of defense from infection). That's why I have more new scars than I can count and more on the way. That's why I will do whatever it takes to win.

Because ten years is not nearly enough. And I don't want to spend the rest of my life fighting. I want to win decisively. And I will. Or I'll just keep fighting. But either way: I Will Win.


Julie said...

Ten years is not enough. You will keep beating this thing for as long as takes to become a grandma and unite the workers of the world.

As for your previous post--no one expects you to go away and fix this thing and come back when it's better. We're with you in this fight every step of the way, in spirit if not in person. I'm sure I don't speak only for myself when I say that we have all had to process the return of your cancer and try to accept, as you're doing, that the first awful battle was not the last. But I know everyone who loves you wants to do everything we can to help you win the war.

I love you and can't wait to see you next week. And your nephews can't wait to talk to you about superheroes, so hopefully they'll garner you with some superpowers for the next round of life.

Mayumi said...

Sending love your way.

And seriously if you ever want to borrow a puppy ... she's full of barking and licking and wiggling and slobbering, but it all comes from a place of love.


Anna said...

Amen sister!

Ethan said...

Hey Rose:

I realized I have two friends in their 20s going in and out of Sloan-Kettering with cancer issues. The other is Jonah Eller-Isaacs, who I met through continental YRUU. I think you were both at Con Con 1995.

Anyway, you can find him at . He's a first-timer (melanoma) so you might have some wisdom to share.

Thinking of you,

Ben said...

been thinking a lot about you, thankful for your friendship and all that, you are somebody that a lot of people care a tremendous amount about.
love ya,