Tuesday, June 7, 2011

the night before the rest of my life

April 7, 2011 at 8:22pm
Ok, I'll admit it, I'm terrified of tomorrow.  I am torn between not wanting to know and needing to know and damn it, they've given me far too long to think about this cancer stuff.  Yes, cancer.  I can say it.  I can read about it.  I can even sort of think about it pseudo-objectively.  I cannot, however, reconcile these online images and cold medical terms to the fact that right now, inside of me, are these clusters of abnormal cells getting larger and larger and there isn't a thing I can do on my own to stop them.  Control is completely out of my hands, and I definitely do not like it one single bit.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, if only solace were so easily found.  Tomorrow I find out the numbers.  Tomorrow my life becomes divided into Stages, Grades and Survival Rates.  Tomorrow, tomorrow, the sun will come out tomorrow.

Stages I and II have decent survival rates, 50% or better
Stages III and IV not so much.

Stages I, II and III will result in surgery.
Stage IV doesn't bother.

Grades have never been this important - even when I made straight A's.
Grade 1 isn't so bad - it's a naughty little set of cells, but they're sitting there doing their thing and trying not to bother their neighbors.
Grade 2 - they're starting to spread, like running bamboo or thistles... rather annoying to the neighbors, but still pretty well contained. Probably want to call the homeowner association and issue a reprimand.
Grade 3 - starting to blend in and make everything look the same.  Even amounts of bamboo and thistles all over this yard and the neighboring yards.  Not nice.  This is the one that gets brought up loudly at the association meetings and demands for eviction are eloquent and protracted.
Grade 4 - you've let it go untended too long - all the property values have plummeted and there's not a thing you can do about it.

Tomorrow.  In fact, now that I've had the records sent over and filled out the seven pages of paperwork the new doctor sent, I am supposed to "relax" until tomorrow.  14 hours from now I'll be sitting in the oncologist's office.  I'll be outwardly calm.  I'll hand over my paperwork, my insurance card, my ID.  We will pay the copay for the visit.  We'll sit down on those awkwardly stiff chairs in the oppressive waiting room and do just that... wait.  Wait for a new nurse to call my name.  Walk to the little room with the cold table and the stirrups.  Mustn't forget the stirrups.  In another setting it might be erotic.  Here, it's just another shade of terror.

I am vaguely amused when they say "relax" - because whatever I'm doing, relaxing isn't it.

I am even more amused by the offices that stick ostensibly cute posters on the ceiling.  As though a puppy or kitten would make this more bearable.

I want to see an office that puts "Happy Bunny" posters on the ceiling. Let's show a little realism.


Somehow I hope you never come.

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