Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Diagnosis

I went to the doctor last January with a lump on my neck. I had this for three months and the damned thing wouldn't go away! In fifteen minutes he told me that I had Hodgkin's Lymphoma and $20,000 in further testing by "specialists" voodoo doctors this was confirmed.
It had spread to all my lymph system, into my spleen and was attacking my spine; I had it everywhere! Ten years ago this was a death sentence, so they have come a long way. I had a port thingy implanted in my chest and received a chemical cocktail of four varied and dangerous poisons injected into me every two weeks for twelve sessions. The nurses would wear haz-mat suits and full face shields while doing this. That was comforting!
Their are huge fears when confronted with cancer. It is not like being hit by a cement truck
and having it all over with - you have plenty of time to think about it, wonder about the why of it all and watch yourself as you wither away. This is sort of mass produced medicine with maybe a dozen or more of us getting our chemos at the same time, isolated by the ten feet of space between chairs. We would nod to each other in the waiting area with short "hellos" and how are you's but seldom was there any real conversation. Personally I think this whole procedure would have been easier with a little "group therapy" and a sharing of this experience with each other. There are things you learn along the way, easier ways to get dressed, food that you can actually tolerate, combating the indescribable fatigue to name a few.
Having cancer is like a prison sentence and sometimes you can actually get out alive.


  1. In SA there's an organization that does offer group sessions where people can discuss their experiences. I think it must be very helpful. Since my little diagnosis (nowhere near as bad as yours) I've had tons of people telling me about their own experiences - people who I never knew had cancer - and its good to know I can turn to them for advice should I need to.

  2. I found your blog on Indigo Dreaming. I like your humor! Glad you are doing well. I, too, am trying to recover from chemo and have annoying neuropathy in my feet mostly. I like your observation "having cancer is like a prison sentence and sometimes you can actually get out alive." Pretty insightful!