A few weeks ago, around the time I started streaming, I got a question from a fellow gamer when we played Diablo together. He wondered what I was doing when I didn’t stream as in, what I was doing for a living. I told him the truth, that I wanted to play video games for a living and when I don’t play games on stream, I play games for my own enjoyment. I’m not making any money on Twitch but I do get a monthly subsidy from the government and that’s what I make a living off at the moment. Once I can start making money on this I will notify the government of it and have them withdraw the subsidy. For someone not used to how things are done in Sweden this might sound very strange. So let me begin from the beginning of all this.
I was studying my second bachelor’s at the local university in december 2014 when I was scheduled for my regular gynecological screening. I have to do these screenings because I’m carrying a gene mutation, HNPCC (commonly called Lynch Syndrome), that give me a severely elevated risk of developing several cancerforms. During this screening the gynecologist said I had a possible cell change but it was so small he wasn’t sure what it was really. I was set on a bi-monthly extra checkup while he went through the possible implications this could mean for me. He said that he usually wouldn’t worry but since my case was so special and sensitive he wanted to be safe rather then sorry.
I was recommended to get a hysterectomy as soon as possible to minimize the risk for cancer but the gynecologist held off on putting me on a waiting list as there was still time. Time to get biological children, time to make a decision, time to decide if I wanted to risk it or not. The question of children was something T and I had already discussed. We hadn’t put anything in stone since we were young when we met and you change as you age. But with this on our hans he simply said: “I’d rather have you alive then wait for something neither of us have wanted so far. Get the surgery, now.”
My mind crashed around this time. I’ve always been very scared of the big C. Both my uncle and aunt, that also carry this gene, have had cancer twice in their life. Grandpa had cancer 7 times before his body couldn’t take it anymore. On dad they have snipped several polyps that would have developed into cancer given time. And now me. I was never in any real danger of developing cancer because it was discovered so early but try telling that to an escalating anxiety based in fear of death. In a little over a half year later I went in for the surgery, after loosing 47 kg (~103 lbs) while waiting for it. After the uterus and ovaries was taken out the lab looked at it and confirmed there where several small tumors in both. Had I not had them removed I would have gotten cancer within a few years. But after a few check-ups after the surgery they could say with certainty that it hadn’t have time to spread.
It’s hard not think morbid thoughts when faced with something like this. I was put on sick leave to begin with because my body needed time to heal. I’m still on sick leave because of my fragile mental health, my body has long since healed. One day I’m expected to get out there and work again, but since my surgery so much have changed. I have hormones high and low, once I had my ovaries and uterus removed my body went into menopause within hours. I had my first hot flush while still being in the wake up room.
These steps I’m taking on making a name at Twitch isn’t the first time I try to get ut there since my surgery, but it is the first time I do something of my own volition. I have so many looking after me, almost holding their breath and in the beginning it really annoyed me. But things aren’t what they used to be. I can’t do what I used to and force myself to do something I hate, I’m somewhat restricted by my mental health, the anxiety and the tiredness I more then often feel. With this experience I know my time isn’t infinite and if there’s something I want to do, I should at least try to get there.