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Monday, May 12, 2014
Since then, every three months I go in for blood work and x-rays or a CT-scan. Then about a week later I get a quick exam by a nurse followed by a consult with Dr. Robyn where she tells me that the blood work is clear, the scan looks good then we talk about our dogs for ten minutes. I think they like seeing me because when you work in oncology it must be nice to give good news.
In the movies and in books, people who have lived through this sort of thing always seem to have gained some profound insight into life. I wonder if that is true.
I can feel those, btw. There is a nub sticking up just below the suprasternal notch (that dip at the base of your neck where the collarbones meet), and sometimes when I’ve been sitting hunched over for too long, there is a sensation like a popped knee or elbow when I stand up.
Friday, December 13, 2013
1) Items you must pack: A padlock, comfy & warm jammies, an extra blanket, warm socks, slippers, a tooth-brush, toothpaste and floss, and most importantly .. this cannot be stressed enough ... quality tp.
2) Supply lines are critical. You will need a steady supply of laundry, rides and meals. Someone to go out and scrounge up local take-out menus is also a plus.
5) The TV and phone service are scams. Find a wifi connection asap and remember to bring your cell-phone charger.
6) Despite the joy and happy purple kittens that it brings, pain killers also bring dyschezia. Fibre is your friend.
7) They have drugs for almost everything; Do not be afraid to ask. While this might seem facetious, they cured my hiccups.
8) Hording is key. If they will give you extra of ANYTHING, take it.
9) Suck up to the Chaplin. He can get you discounts on parking.
10) Roomates are a blessing or a curse. Your best bets are coma patients or people whose spouses like to bake. In the event of an overly Chatty-Cathys or the late night flatulents/nurse callers, try slipping a few random meds into their breakfast. If nothing else, the side-effects might provide some entertainment.
11) Sleep when you can. Nurses' shifts start early and the bloodsuckers and orderlies start even earlier. Between that, bed checks and midnight meds and tests, I usually got my best sleep after morning rounds. They usually leave you alone for a while after that.
12) Make sure that the guy giving you that exam is a qualified medical professional and not someone who just wandered down from the psych floor. Boy, did I learn that one the hard way.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
My body, my fault.
This is a thought that occurred to me sometime about halfway through the chemo when I was looking for someone to blame. Best guess is that the medication I was taking for my Crohn’s Disease may have triggered the cancer, but ultimately I was aware that there was a one in a thousand chance of developing cancer associated with the drug and I took it anyway.
Then I began to think of everything else that had gone wrong in my life and kept coming back to the same conclusion; I could blame other people and make all the excuses I wanted, but ultimately it comes down to one very simple thing …
It was my own fucking fault.
When we’re babies almost nothing is our fault. We at the mercy of our caregivers, our environment and a world we cannot hope to understand yet. As we grow we take on more and more responsibilities until sometime in your late teens when pretty much everything in your life is now your responsibility. That is not to say you won’t make some colossally stupid decisions along the way, but that is okay; screwing up is a crucial part of growing up. Fuck, it’s a crucial part of being a human being. We don’t ever stop making mistakes.
It sounds bleak, but there is a very powerful upside: if it is your fault, you can fix it. And if you can’t fix it, at least you will learn from it, which is the whole point of fucking up in the first place.