I can feel myself getting more anxious. My back went out in a restaurant bathroom this afternoon. Tomorrow I have my appointments at 10:30 am with Lymphoma, and 1:30 pm with Head and Neck cancer.
It’s getting easier to say the word "cancer". Cancer.
But whether you notice or not, I trip over it a little each time.
The appointments are three hours apart because a) cancer is a popular sport b) cancer is a waiting game and, c) bringing too many people together in one room in late November could spread germs. I can’t imagine sitting for four or five hours in my back brace. My mom insists I ask if they have a room where I can lie down to wait. I’m sure their beds are taken.
I was so tired when I turned off the light at 12:20 last night. But I lay there cycling through google analytics stats, aches, pains, tonight’s parent-teacher meetings, treatment options. I have an irrational fantasy they’ll say the cancer might clear up on its own. Like a viral infection. Let’s not bother with the antibiotics or the chemo or the radiation.
There shouldn’t be any surprises – last Friday’s slap in the face, was it. And I haven’t had the MRI yet. That’s scheduled for 8:30 Sunday morning. Church-like.
“There’ll be no one to greet you,” the nurse said. “Just check in with the phone in the waiting room.” So maybe not church-like.
There’s no good reason for anxiety. But tomorrow might offer the beginning of a treatment plan. My Lymphoma dude tells me he is presenting at the Tumour Board first thing in the morning. Is that like the Egg Board or the Milk Board? Will there be muffins and tumour samples? Will they wrangle over options? Will there be consensus? Will I be presented with plans only a slim majority agreed on?
Yesterday, a friend posted a piece on how radiation, not cancer, is the killer. Thanks Neil. If you could squish a horror film into an article, this would be it. At least for me. At least right now. The happy ending is that if you eat, drink and soak in sea salt and baking soda (not powder- I’ve made that mistake with cookies) then you can rid your body of the cancer toxins. Best option: a soak in the Dead Sea near Eilat. But that involves a long - radiating - flight to Tel Aviv.
When I told my mother about the sea salt and baking soda cure, she laughed.
“No really mom, the American military recommends baking soda for soldiers exposed to radiation." Something else I need to believe.
So when I looked at the clock and it said 2:37 AM, and I was pretty sure I hadn’t dreamt any of the shit I was spinning out over, I took half an Ativan and fell asleep.