Wednesday, January 30, 2013

chemo skin?

before i moved to massey, i was under the care of another dr, who did the first surgery at a different hospital.  this was before we knew it was cancer. at this point, we knew there was a chance,  just not for sure.  that's what this first surgery would eventually tell us.

 that morning we had to first go to another facility to have a wire placed in the tissue, deep in the breast (wincing even now thinking of it) so the surgeon could use this as a guide.  this was required as part of a 'wire guided excisional biopsy.' (who can keep up?) i told the godfather, this doesn't feel like a wire, it seems more like a fish hook.  i can feel it when i move.  but think about it.  fish hooks are wire, aren't they?

later, when we arrived at the hospital, when i was finally moved to the surgical unit for prep, the nurses said 'time for happy hour!'  i said what?
they said we're going to put a cocktail in your iv, so you'll be relaxed going into your surgery.  i said fine.  i already had a fish hook. 

before they did that, i was trying to lay as still as i could so i wouldn't feel that piercing.  but my eyes kept following the colorful surgical caps the nurses were wearing.  i could see all of them had hair underneath.  except for one.

after a while, they all seemed to disappear, except for the one with no hair. she appeared to be close to my age.   she had on colorful glasses, colorful earrings and sweater, along with that brightly colored cap.  

it felt like something was up. so i just asked.  happy hour hadn't even 'started' yet, but i thought big deal. 
i knew they were looking for cancer.  and she did too.  

i said are you in treatment?

she said yes.

i said i figured.  

she said it's not so bad.

but i knew it was bullshit.

i said come on.

she said okay.  okay it stinks.

it felt conspiratorial.  like we were together in some kind of cancer conspiracy.  there we were, sharing a kind of off beat bond.  i'd never been to a happy hour like that before.

i said i'm sure.  but you look great in your cap.  it's so cute with your glasses and all your other colors.

and i said wow.  you're here working too.  that's really something.  

she said well it helps.  everyone is so supportive.  you can probably tell by the caps.  i said yeah. and then i said if they find out i have the kind of cancer where i'll need chemo, i'd wear a cap like that i think.  and i would have.  but 'my kind' of cancer is treated with radiation.  so yippee.  i think i said that before.  

she said i hate every single bit of it.  i'm so mad i can't believe it.  

i never really heard anyone talk like that before about cancer.  but then again, being a rookie, why would i?

i said well.  i get it.  i'd probably be mad too.  (and sometimes i am, what a surprise.)

but i said still.  i know you've lost your hair. and chemo sucks,  but what's the deal with your skin?  it  positively luminous.  

she said oh.  that's the chemo.  it kills everything but somehow it improves the skin on your face. go figure.

i said well.  that's kind of an upside, isn't it?  it's gorgeous. seriously. it's even kind of lucky, don't you think?

she probably wanted to kill me for that. and she could have, given the iv, if you think about it.  this is where your mind can go when you have 'mob ties.'  (which i don't.)

are there any feds reading this?

  she probably thought come on.  an upside to chemo?  what does she know?


   i don't think i'd say that now. actually i know i wouldn't. i'd just let her go on and say what she wanted, not try and turn it around, and turn it into some kind of bs plucky campaign. 

but what did i know?

xx katy

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virginia, United States