I’m having such a bad day. I went in for my get-processed-for-radiation appointment and was immediately disconcerted because I know I was there a few weeks ago for a consult and yet nothing seemed familiar to me. I’d swear I’ve never been there before, but I know that I have.
They left me waiting for a whole hour which gets me really tense and annoyed because I feel like I have so little time, I don’t want it wasted. The process entails getting out of your clothes and into a hospital robe and then laying in a freezing cold room in an MRI machine until they get you positioned just right, I'm experienced, I wore socks. They molded something to my head for future sessions, drew all over me with pen and marker and finally tattooed 5 black dots on me which hurt like hell and I’ve had tattoos before. I was complimented on my ability to be a "statue" for so long, a skill I've acquired this past year. While I understand that everyone is just doing their jobs and they couldn’t have been nicer and this is all for my own good those tattoo’s make me feel violated. I’m fair skinned, they’re noticeable and they sent me out to change while I was still bleeding. Now I have these ugly marks on me, visible above the neckline, I don’t care how tiny, it just feels like one physical indignity too many.
I came home and showered and tried to wash the pen drawings off me as best I could and I went to the grocery store. On the way home I felt overcome, I wanted to lay in a fetal position and moan, wail, scream, I don’t know what. It was all I could do to get the groceries in and put away.
Then I got a snarky email from the guidance counselor at J’s school rejecting my very polite pleas to have Jonah’s math class changed, even though she had previously inferred it would happen. At first I wanted them to switch him over to the other team entirely, but I was willing to settle for just getting him out of the math class with the really unimpressive teacher who makes him nervous and into a class on the other team because then, he’ll have the same math homework as his local friends and they can help him and they can sometimes do homework together which helps me out while I’m in treatment because I only have so much energy.
This email implied that I have no good reason for asking and that these switches are never done which is absolute bullshit. All the public schools here say this and then I hear of person after person who got their kid switched. Rule, sure, but can we say discretion? They always act like you're asking for outrageous favors, but I like to think I’m their client... it’s a public school and we are the public. They are supposed to engage me and negotiate in good faith, am I being unreasonable? I feel like my little family has special circumstances right now and it would be nice for our school to accommodate us by switching one single class so that my kid would have friends to help him with homework when I’m too sick or too tired to.
I wrote back a pretty direct email but refrained from asking them to imagine the headline “public school refuses to help out cancer mom.” I’m not hopeful, we’re just homogenous cogs in a great, big, giant wheel in a great, big, giant machine and us little people don’t get to steer.