Friday, April 8, 2011

The Nakedness of Cancer

   The process of discovering you have cancer and the resulting treatments to come can lead you feeling naked and examined to death, vulnerable and exposed.  Not much modesty going on here, you are a body to be examined.  A lot of this is done behind closed doors, under a microscope at the cellular level.  The x-rays and Cat Scans and Pet Scans offer a detailed, didgitalized image from head to toe.  Constant blood analysis
furthers this image and becomes a part of your chart.  Item by item you become this information and from it the doctors can prepare their line of attack.
    "Jerry, you have Stage 3 and a half Hodgekin's Lymphoma and a 40% chance of survival."
Forty percent is all I understood of this, a good 80 proof whiskey, 94% payback on the slot machines, more likely to be struck by lightening than winning a lottery ticket, a 3000psi concrete mixture.  I understood the math.  Stage 3 and 1/2 meant it had spread.
    It was just a little lump I saw while shaving six months earlier.  I noted it and looked at it and for awhile actually tried to will it away, but it took six months before I went to the doctor!  It wasn't bothering me, I felt fine.
   "It has spread into your spine and spleen and throughout your entire lymph system," the doctor was giving me the basics here.  "Here, let me show you!" he was happy with his didgital display and it looked as if my body had been seeded much like the gold mining days with a shotgun.  I had cancer pretty much everywhere.
    There is a lot that they can't put into that computer.  Me, for instance.
A friend of mine now has cancer and that is the reason I recount this story a bit.  My Blog on ArtWanted I no longer use but I keep it as a reminder to where I have been, on a train wreck to the very edge of hell.  If you ever look at it it reads best if you scroll to the very bottom and read it backwards.  It is a day to day from discovery to leaving the station and every step in between.  I read it from time to time myself, like life in a rearview mirror.  This is the site, you have to click "BLOG" at the top of it.


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  2. Stage 3-1/2. I am speechless, and left more hopeful for my father-in-law and my other friend.

    Yesterday my father-in-law, in preparation for a cyberknife, had to have three gold particles placed onto his prostate. It is not a major procedure - it is in-office. He had to crouch butt up. They inserted a tube up the rear end. There were 4 men and 3 women around him. Then they had him roll over and a woman gave him a cloth to cover himself. Mario is a very modest individual. He was dreading the procedure and found it mortifying when it occurred. The great part is he was very happy when it was over! Who can buy such happiness! So your post is once again very timely for me. It is very hard for me to see what he is going through. He is stage 4, but so far - knock on wood - mostly asymptomatic.

  3. Its absolutely wonderful that you made it through. My step sister is just finished with Radiotherapy - the side effects are terrible! And your treatment was so much longer.