Friday, February 8, 2013

Dana Farber, Blizzard Edition

I’ve checked another box off my list, I’ve been to the castle on the hill, Dana Farber, for a consult at the conclusion of which, my body finally gave in to the head cold it’d been staving off and now I’m home watching the snow fall surrounded by balled up tissues.

Dana Farber was depressing. It’s efficient, I will say, a procedure for everything and runs like clockwork. I met yet another oncologist, who while personable had nothing to tell me I didn’t know. 70/30, that’s just the way it is. I went and got myself one lousy disease. There are no idicators that can predict who will be the 70 and who will be among the 30, or why the heck anyone gets this in the first place, and like all good western practitioners he believes there isn’t a thing I can do to improve my chances, to stack the cards in my favor.

He told me to live in the moment, enjoy every day... if I’ve always wanted to go to Paris I should go. I should do what I want unless that happens to be buying an old house that will take 20 years to fix up... that wouldn’t be the best choice. Speaking of poor choices, that wasn’t the best analogy. Neither was bringing up writing a will and having my affairs in order. While good advice, I don’t want to hear that from an oncologist.

I still refuse to believe there’s no mind/body connection, no nutritional connection. Not that I would expect either of those to be a cure all, but they’ve got to play a role, have got to improve one’s chances. Many western practitioners don’t believe a wit in acupuncture while a whole other culture embraces it completely. There might not be FDA approved evidence, but there must be a more well-rounded picture.

The last stop on my quest will be in two weeks when I visit a naturopath who is also an MD. I’m hoping he can be my partner in health, help me keep my body strong so it can fight off any relapse at the start. They didn’t even examine me at Dana Farber, just a chat... all those records and slides and films, for what?

So I go back to my life, I feel like I really have been living in the present and I remind myself that 12 years ago I flunked every fertility test and was told I’d have a better chance of winning the lottery than having a baby. I remember so vividly, how I simply would not hear that, would not acknowledge it, would not embrace it and I think I willed my beloved into being, I truly believe that. So I am powerful, and I must will myself into the 70%, but just in case, I won’t waste a minute.

I baked two batches of chocolate chip cookies today instead on one, and I’ve planned a trip to Maine with the tall one to look at colleges in two weeks over february break and I got us the nicest hotel room I could find.

I give in and next week I’m putting him on my auto insurance so he can do part of the driving and show off, and yes, I might take a sedative first.

I’m suddenly fine that my wholesale biz is tanking, I’m going to help the tall one’s football coach raise lots and lots of money to take the whole team to forida. Payback for all he’s done for my boy which is even more than a lot, and because those boys will have the time of their lives and I want to help make it happen, here and now, because I’m here... now. And yeah, I’m going too.

And I’ll enjoy watching the snow fall without giving any thought to shoveling, that’s for another day, I’ll be grateful that I’m holed up in my warm cozy house, and I’m going to stop thinking about numbers and statistics and cancer and just live my life and try to leave nothing and no one unnoticed or unappreciated. Really, what else can I do?


  1. I'm floored. I wish it weren't like that. Did you kick that guy in the nuts?

    I thought DF would be more like a Kris Carr vibe. She has your same old pink hair stripe.

    (sorry if you think she is annoying.)
    (i like her.)

    (super sorry for linking if she is so passe in the cancer community. i have no idea.)

  2. grace, i should be no one's hero... i'm just someone who had the bad luck to get a rotten diagnosis, nothing heroic in that. and katy, I KNOW, i was expecting something much more upbeat -- oh no, we never say never, there are a lot of things we can do... i only recently heard of kris carr and i'm glad you reminded me of her... i need to find out more about her. and as for the "cancer community", i have avoided it up until now and will continue to do so... i don't particularly want to be in that community. i just can't seem to be a zealot for anything, no jesus, no cancer... just not a group joiner : }