Cancery trial balloon

So I’m toying with the idea of keeping a running account of my journey through the fun-filled world of colon cancer treatment. Partially this is just to indulge my need to rant without doing it AT my wonderful husband, and partially it’s because, as one writer aptly describes, being an introvert who’s suddenly diagnosed with cancer gets you a rather alarming amount of attention from literally everyone you know, even if it’s well-intentioned and loving and supportive and ultimately very helpful psychologically. I’ve just come to see myself, during my surgery recovery, as having a certain amount of energy bars floating above my head, like an iPhone, and each interaction I have in which I update someone about my situation and try to assure them that I’m doing better takes me down a bar. Before you know it, I’m in the red, battery-wise, and all I want to do is curl up on the couch and watch Will Ferrell outtakes on YouTube (outtakes, Todd and I have discovered, are a little-discussed but key component of coping with cancer).

The latest news is that our meeting with an oncologist at Johns Hopkins went quite well. That place is classy (especially compared to Forbes Hospital, where I had my surgery, which featured graffiti in the lobby bathroom). I liked the doctor, who was a kindly-uncle type, even if he did kind of understate the severity of the chemo treatment I’ll likely be getting (three months of FolFox; have fun Googling that one). We’ll be meeting with another oncologist at UPMC in Pittsburgh this week and hopefully then deciding what the best course forward is. My current preoccupation, though, is with this thing that I apparently have to have implanted in my chest to put an IV in. It’s called a port, and they usually put it in using only local anesthesia, and I am hellbent on finding someone who will do it using that twilight stuff where you’re technically awake but you don’t remember anything. I don’t think there’s any need for me to remember an operation where they insert a tube where “one end of the catheter is connected to the port, and the other end sits in a LARGE VEIN NEAR YOUR HEART.” [Excitable caps mine.] If you have any thoughts on how best for me to achieve my goal of being blissfully unaware that this is being done to me, do let me know.

To wrap up: if I’ve sent you a link to this, please don’t think that I don’t want to hear from you personally via email or text or phone or however we usually communicate. I do. I really do! I just want you to know that if I don’t write back right away, it doesn’t mean I don’t care that you reached out. It means I’ve hit the red for the day, and I still want you to get an update in the meantime if you want one. OK, I think that’s enough cancer narcissism for one morning. xo

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