“Fighting” Cancer

September 26, 2010

I am a geriatric delinquent.

I am two treatments (Monday and Tuesday) away from being done with radiation. I will resist the temptation to take phone pics of the charred and peeling flesh to share with you all. Those of you that knew me as a young ‘un will understand JUST how difficult this temptation is to resist.Would it make you feel better to know that I can’t feel it? Who ever thought that nerve damage had an upside?! Probably the craziest effect is the fact that my left (your right) shoulder-blade also looks sunburned – I guess the angle of one particular shot had the radiation exiting there, thus the sunburn effect. Can’t get that in Galveston – even with the raging toxicity of the sun these days!

Strange and unexpected downside of the end of radiation is the very odd feeling that, despite the every-three-weeks infusion of Herceptin I will continue to get until the end of March, I am about to no longer be actively treating whatever may still exist of the cancer. This is largely due to the fact that the Herceptin infusions don’t make me feel like total crap. Funny how cancer treatment has to make you feel shitty otherwise you get the impression it isn’t working.

So, I feel as though the next six months will be a limbo-land. Let me explain because so many of you have asked. Aside from a CT scan that either shows or doesn’t show a tumor, there is no way to know if I still have cancer. And, to the best of my knowledge, I won’t have another CT scan until next March. So, no. I have no idea if I am “cured” or “healed” or “in remission” – nor will I until next Spring.

It’s like I’m no longer “fighting cancer.” Then again, I could mentally fight it – but this seems a bit contraindicated as, the more I dwell on its existence, the more it is likely to exist – no? I could ignore it – but that stance seems to drive my loved ones absolutely nuts (hi mom!) I’m sure I’ll figure out the best way to go about it – playing hide-and-go-seek with a competitor that you are not even sure is still in the game.

In the meantime, there is a lot of life to live. Just put a bid in on a “house” (too much detail to include and don’t want to jinx it by divulging those details and just how hopeful I am) and have even developed a back-up plan if it doesn’t work out. Have to find the perfect high-school plan for Jackson that will most suitably accommodate his bursts of dedication, longing for social superiority and overriding sense of disgust for anything that he deems a waste of his time. Not to mention writing. There is so much to write.

Anyway, I’m on Facebook now. Ughhh. I’m pretending to be addicted but could honestly care less. I only joined because it was the only way to enter a contest (another story I won’t go into lest I jinx it). Nevertheless, if you’re on there and I haven’t found you yet, feel free to “friend” me.

Must go tuck the boys in now.

Love to you and yours.

P.S. Your entries in the F.R.O.G. contest were far to creative and wonderful and idiosyncratic and heartfelt for me to judge. As such, everyone that entered wins – not only their portion of the proceeds from my coin tray, but a bowl of homemade lentil soup as well! Details to follow.

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