Monday, May 7, 2012

Manifest Destiny

You would think I could make an 11:40 chemo appointment with no problem. Sadly, no, not when you keep falling asleep and falling asleep and the clock doesn’t stand still like you’ve convinced yourself it’s going to. I drove here today because I wanted my laptop with me which felt like it weighed 80 lbs. while I was toting it home last week. Warning boys and girls, writing can be addictive. It’s a beautiful warm day, but I know that it’s always freezing in the chemo bay, so I didn’t want to lug a coat with me too, while walking. I don’t know why I call it the chemo “bay”, maybe it reminds me of sick bay on the Enterprise, or the starship of your choice.

I was running a few minutes late, but I really wanted to stop at my local spot and get a berry muffin and ginger tea. I’ll be here for hours and I can’t eat the crackers they offer, chemo robs you of your saliva. I don’t know how I became a punctuality nazi, but I’m always on time or early and I was having heart palpitations over being five minutes late which is insane. They’re never running on time here, but I imagine everyone dropping everything at 11:41 and declaring Kim Clark is late, her appointment is cancelled and we’re putting a red flag in her file. In the real world, it’s 12:18 and I’m still sitting here waiting for them. I don’t know why I stress over the dumbest things, gotta work on that.

I’ve asked the nurse to contact my doctor or any doctor to see if they’ll dose down the benadryl and steroids, I’m trying to be a better advocate for myself. Things are chaotic today, I’m not even in my usual wing, with usual nurses, apparently there was an emergency earlier which threw everything off. The level of chaos is a little unnerving. It’s strange being in a place that looks the same as I’m used to but isn’t... the fridge isn’t where it should be or the bathroom, on the upside, the little rooms are bigger and the chairs are all new. I had the same exact experience yesterday when Jonah and I went to see the Pirate movie from the {revered}, Aardman Studios of Wallace & Grommet fame. J doesn’t like to go to the movies, too big, too real, too loud, he prefers to wait for video, but he’s been counting down the days until this came out for months and of course, movie theater popcorn is an additional draw. We were so busy talking when we left, we exited the back of the theater instead of the front and just stood there, both of us, entirely perplexed. It looked like the same parking lot, the same, but different. We turned in circles for a few minutes until we figured out what we’d done, but for a moment it was like we’d arrived in a parallel universe.

Agh, back to real time, the nurse has accessed my port, but can’t get a blood draw. Ewww, I shouldn’t have looked, I’m very good at not looking, but it was taking so long. Maybe now that I know how much a bag of blood costs on the open market, mine doesn’t want to leave my body for fear of needing to be replaced.

O,K., phew, that’s done, but it’s 1:00 and I’m still not hooked up to my drugs. Definitely not making it to the bus stop, and grateful to the nearby family{s} that will take J home with them. G has a baseball game today and I haven’t been to a single one. I feel bad about that, I missed his whole basketball season and now baseball too, I need to get to a game, I’m used to going to all of his games. Weekly chemo seems oppressively often.

I’ve been pondering this cancer thing and realized that I don’t know how to refer to myself. I have cancer, I had cancer, I don’t know which and I’m starting to think I won’t ever know and that’s unsettling. I’ve done chemo and the whole tumor and then some was removed and so possibly I’m cancer free at this very moment. This chemo may be an insurance policy to make sure, to track down and zap and stray cells floating in my bloodstream looking to set up an outpost. The wanderers, the adventurers, the just plain dumb and lost and wandered off from the pack. I suppose the difference between having cancer and being recovered from cancer, will at some point be nothing more than a choice in perspective. I don’t like that, I like empirical evidence, data, I want a declaration of certainty, a certificate, but you don’t always get what you want which is too damned bad and you have to learn to adjust.

1 comment:

  1. wouldn't that be nice, you could sit in a body scanner in the sickbay of a starship, being whole-body scanned by a blue light, large bright displays above and behind you showing the wise and straight-shooting doc your innards, every cell of your body and bacteria and viruses and your breakfast all up there to see, and with a flick of his fingers he can zoom in on the very molecules of your DNA, double-helixes twirling like bumpy twizzlers, and find any cancer cells and beam them out into the cold of space, where they pop like soap bubbles.