Monday, January 19, 2009

Jan. 18

Jan. 18
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy
Sadly, girls' night with Melissa got postponed. One part familial obligations, and two parts laziness, and we didn't get around to it until about 11, when we decided it was too late. Ergo, hopefully tomorrow I get to be a pretty girl!

I got the chance to talk a fair bit with one of Melissa's aunts today, who went through the breast cancer fiasco a couple of years ago. It's funny that despite shared experiences, the mere fact that she's so much farther along than I am led to some inability to fully relate. I completely understand that indeed, something like this can awaken a person, and maybe it's easier to see the positive aspects of it once you're done chemo, at least, but we both agreed that while you're in the midst of it, it's pretty damned hard to see anything good.

I'm sure a lot of people are forced to re-evaluate their lives as a result of cancer. I'm sure a lot of people change their lives drastically once in remission. I, on the other hand, don't really foresee that. I was perfectly content with my lifestyle, and I miss it like fire. I was healthy, I was happy, and I was working toward something good. Sure, I've learned to no longer take some things for granted... But I learned that lesson within a month of my diagnosis. Fuck, I learned that even before I got formally diagnosed... I don't need to sit in the Chemo Suite at the hospital every other week, waiting for my veins to shrivel up and die, in order to become a "better person".

Boo-fucking-hoo for me. To paraphrase the crappy old song... It's my cancer, and I'll cry if I want to. Getting sick is definitely not showing me how strong a person I am. Instead, it's throwing me for near anxiety attacks with alarming frequency. If I stand any chance of not becoming an impoverished version of Scrooge McDuck, I need to give up and let someone more qualified take over. Otherwise, I'm headed for a massive tailspin between this arm crap, the port, chemo, cancer, and this cold that's the immune system equivalent of a major cock-tease.

Hoo, and this entry started in decent spirits...


Tori said...

Weee... goood times. Much love, monkey. I'm looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Amy White said...

I felt the exact same way when I was in the middle of my treatment. It sucked, I hated life and for real did I need cancer to "teach" me anything because it's a pretty crappy teacher. But once I got some perspective I really could see all the lessons that I learned and all the growth that I had made as a person. For me it's not so much that cancer made me a better person as it has opened up so many doors of opportunity for me. It's very difficult to say no to me after I throw out the whole - but I'm a cancer survivor! ;) At any rate, one day you will see some positive come out of all of this but right now - it blows.

Holly said...

You are completely right on Armand...this whole goddamned thing sucks majorly...there is no 'silver lining' in the midst of all bright side, no lesson to be learned...if that is to come, it comes way afterwards...still waiting for a lot of that good stuff to come my way and make me enlightened! So far I've learned - don't trust life too much, don't trust your partner of 13 years, don't trust work (they were going to 'separate' me but I cam back to work during radiation tx and surprised them and oh yeah...if you thought you were financially stable before - forget about it now!

deborah d. lattimore said...

i'm stealing "chemo suite," which made me laugh. as if it were a delicious room at a fancy-ass resort in a warm climate, overlooking the sparkling ocean, with someone (nurse ratched) bringing us cold salty margaritas and wearing a low-cut blouse, and we had nothing to do except contemplate our next fabulous meal and massage. yeah. that's the ticket.

Anonymous said...

Hi Armand,
I'm still waiting for the 20/20 vision that hindsight is supposed to bring. And for recovery to feel really good. It is a long road. I've asked a few breast cancer survivors how long it took them to have some semblance of normal life, and the typical answer is "years."

You are very funny and very wise even in your pain. If that helps at all.

Armand said...

Tori: And what an epic time we had!

Amy: The most valuable lesson I've learned thus far is to really not get upset by ... oh, just about anything. On the list of crappy things that can happen to a person, I think getting cancer is pretty high up. Everything else kind of pales in comparison now.

Holly: Gotta love the curve balls. I always said I like routine... Nobody believed me...

Deborah: Oh, I wish I made chemo suite up. They actually call the big ol infusion area the "chemotherapy suite". It's quite lovely. Kind of like a day spa, where they wreck your skin and make your hair fall out.

Kathy: Can't help like we've been robbed of time off our lives, but right in the middle of it all. Blah. So unfair... And thank you. I'm glad some semblance of sincerity comes through the seemingly free-associated string of profanity that my writing is slowly becoming.