The “C” Word

My hair is falling out.  No, this isn’t some metaphor for frustration or stress. Chemotherapy is, for the second time in as many years, about to turn me into a female Yul Brynner, or for you younger folk, maybe Vin Diesel?

I have cancer. Unfortunately, it isn’ t the sort of thing where you freak out at first, then learn that it’s really going to be OK as long as you make it through some nasty treatments, and maybe surgery. Mine is Stage IV colon cancer, diagnosed in 2009 when I had surgery for an intestinal obstruction. The doc took out about a foot of colon, he told me.  For those of you uninitiated in colon cancer jargon, we refer to ourselves as “semi-colons.” I’ve always liked that.

Word of warning/explanation here.  In my experience over the past 3+ years, cancer patients are more than happy to talk about their cancer.  So, one, remember that if you are talking to someone with cancer. They might appreciate your asking, “are you in treatment right now?” or “how have you been doing?” Second, please forgive me if I go a little overboard on telling about this.  I’ll try to keep it to a minimum. Or just skip this page and go on to something more interesting.

So since 2009 I’ve had two surgeries, and have recently started on my fourth round of chemotherapy.  The cancer has spread to liver, lungs, one ovary and adrenal gland, and two bone metastases (hip and skull).  So, you’re asking, how is it you’re still around?  Well, they tell me that so far most of the cancer is small – like the lung stuff is tiny dots.  But it gradually grows as the various chemotherapy types lose effectiveness. At some point they use up all the officially approved treatments – I’ve got one or two left – and then sign you up for clinical trials. So the statistics don’t look too promising. But my doctors are not talking “time” yet, so I try not to focus on it too much. My family, I think, especially my dear husband, expect/hope that I can still get over this.  Sometimes I feel that way, too, and sometimes I think I may just get tired of fighting after a while.

So this blog is, in addition to the two other “topics,” a way for me to vent a bit on this monster that has taken over much, but thankfully not all, of my life.  I’m guessing there are lots of other bloggers out there in similar circumstances, and I welcome the chance to exchange thoughts and feelings.

As you might imagine, this gives life a whole new perspective – not in a bad way either.  It relates to all the other topics here.  On the one hand you search for some meaning now and some comfort for what’s likely to happen in the future (spirituality).  On the other hand, you feel like saying screw it all, if I want to obsess about Richard Armitage or find some outrageous past time (can’t think of one now, though), then I’m going for it!

So, for the record, you can guess which I prefer, between discussing the “C” word or purring over Aurora’s Prince….


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