Friday, September 17, 2010

Well, fuck.

I have cancer.

I'm saying it, "CAN-SAAAAHHH", the way Tim Curry would if he were here, and in character as Dr. Frankenfurter.

It's polymorphous adenocarcinoma, a tumor of the minor salivary glands. Don't bother to Google it; it's rare enough that Wikipedia only has a stub on it. This particular type of cancer makes up one to two percent of all cancers diagnosed in a year in the U.S.

There are no risk factors. Treatment is surgery and radiation. Usually, PLGA (for polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma) is a slow-growing, non-aggressive tumor that has an excellent cure rate. That's the good news.

The bad news is that mine has both vascular and nerve involvement. Whatever surgery happens, I'll probably lose a facial nerve. And, if things go very wrong indeed, I'll find out that this damn thing has metastasized to other parts of my body. That would seriously, seriously piss me off.

But, for now, I'm pretending that all is well and that I'm not going to have any problems with treatment, or any sort of metastasis or recurrance.

I'm going back to the oral surgeon on Monday, to see how I'm healing (brilliantly). He'll make appointments for me at the cancer center that's associated with Sunnydale and Giganto Education And Research Inc, which is actually a very good thing. Not only will I be working with people who are used to weird-ass shit like this, but I'll be working with people I know.

I may lose a facial nerve. I will certainly lose all my hair. I might lose a salivary gland. I'll certainly have a big ol' ugly line of staples down my neck, or a bunch of sutures in my throat, when they take the rest of the tumor out.

It is no longer Cap'n Lumpy. I can't be cute about this any more: I have fucking cancer. I'm pissed off, and resentful as hell. It is NOT welcome here. There will be time for reflection and philosophizing and grieving later, but this is not it. I have cancer, and I am PISSED.

42 comments:

nurse XY said...

Fuck.

Sarah G said...

That sucks big hairy donkey balls.

Uro*MA said...

i agree... Fuck!

Donna said...

I agree with him. Sorry for the sucky news, keep being pissed that's good. Prayers and warm hugs.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry, Jo. There really isn't anything more to say. You are in my thoughts.
--Queen Anne's Lace

Anonymous said...

Well the only good thing I can come up with about this is that the lab didn't make you wait a long time to get the news. I am SO sorry it turned out this way.

ACOR.org is the absolute best resource for cancer patients and caregivers. There is a mailing list for many types of cancer, including yours (although there aren't many people on it). The address is:
POLYM-ADENO@LISTSERV.ACOR.ORG

I urge you to subscribe, write a letter and ask for advice. The subscribers truly know what you're going through, and will give you advice, from coping tips to what doctors to use or avoid, to what side effects to expect to funny stories about the disease.

PLEASE keep posting; you have a legion of people who care for you. Including me. Ann

girlvet said...

shit. man....

girlvet said...

shit. man...

LaLa said...

ooooooh. Fuck.
I'm so very very sorry.

I agree about staying angry. You need to beat the ever-loving crap out of this cancer.

Elaine said...

I am so sorry to hear this. I wish you successful treatment.

Anonymous said...

Wullshit!! Haven't been by in a while and gots this to read. Prayerful thoughts to be sent out regularly for you. I have a feeling your're going to be amazed at the power of others rallying around and lifting you up. E in Los Angeles

Anonymous said...

Fuck. I am so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I think I have sympathy pissyness. It's like sympathy pain only better. Arrrgghhhh!

Lunch Buckets said...

Well. Fuck is right.

Pam said...

Well shit, Jo, that sucks! Please know that we're here with you, holding you in our thoughts.

Brandy said...

Well Jo that sucks.

Not much else to add.

KathyR said...

Shit. Sorry.

Crazed Nitwit said...

Oh Head Nurse I am so sorry!! Sucks. Damn, you do not need nor deserve this. Will keep you close to my thoughts and in my prayers.

Hang in there.

Hugs.

Dr. Alice said...

Oh, Jo.

Dammit. I'm sorry. I'm glad to hear you have a referral to a good place with good experts.

101Md said...

Damn, that sucks. I just started reading your blog at the beginning of the month, and I've found so many things in your archives moving and uplifting and funny and awful all at the same time. So, even though I don't really know you, I can tell that you're an amazing person... and I'm totally rooting for you.

You're in my prayers.

MEYERTRON said...

Well, that wasn't the news that was supposed to come. Fucking cancer is about to lose a nutsac.

I'm thinking of you and have been keeping hopes up in my heart all week. Now they will remain there indefinitely until this cancer bitch cries uncle.

And a message to the cancer: you're dead man, you are about to be eviscerated and burned to a crisp.

JannieCPH said...

I'm so so sorry Jo. This sucks. Please beat the shit out of that cancer- asshole.
Your ever faithful minion in Copenhagen

AM said...

Fuck fuck fuckity fuck.

Lurkette said...

Oh, Jo honey, I am so sorry.

Since you have been blogging this, I have been relieving my own voyage into the world of "living with cancer" step-by-fucking-step. Get angry when you feel angry, cry when you need to cry, hide under the covers when that seems like a good idea, watch cartoons... everything is the right thing to do.

The things that were hardest for me at first were the sense of invastion, that I experienced as a rape. ("Get that thing out of my body now!") The loss of control. As a medical professional that was a real tough one. The unknown.

It's really good that you'll be working with people you know. If there is something to be glad about here - that's certainly one thing.

My cancer surgery left me with visible bodily deformities and nerve damage. It felt like the end of the world. It wasn't, though. It did work some major changes on my world view and priorities in life and as icky as it might sound - I am a better person now than I was before diagnosis.

Sending you constant warm thoughts, good energy, hugs and prayer from Jerusalem.

Girl Noir said...

Well... fuck. That's about all there is to say, I guess. You've got a lot of folks pulling for you, and an excellent cure rate is always a pick-me-up. Your strength through everything has been an inspiration to me to keep going, and that history of strength is how I know you're going to be fine now. And you know what they say - chicks dig scars.

Mr. C. said...

Well....Fuck...
Now, go kick its ass Jo!!

Sapph said...

:(
so sorry Jo. Time to kick some caner butt tell it who's boss!! thinking of you

Leslie said...

Well damn - that sucks. I'm sorry - wish I was closer so I could make you soup and the like.

Omaha1 said...

Lurker coming out of the woodwork to wish you the best in your fight. Doesn't matter what cancer does to you on the outside, I can tell from your writing that you are beautiful and strong on the inside. We disagree on a lot of things but I love your blog. Thanks for many entertaining & thoughtful hours of reading.

Omaha1 said...

Lurker coming out of the woodwork to wish you the best in your fight. Doesn't matter what cancer does to you on the outside, I can tell from your writing that you are beautiful and strong on the inside. We disagree on a lot of things but I love your blog. Thanks for many entertaining & thoughtful hours of reading.

Anonymous said...

Long time reader first time poster. Just wanted to let you know we are out there rooting for you. This news does, indeed, suck donkey balls, as previously noted. But you aren't alone, in spirit or in person. I don't believe in prayer but I do believe in Karma and good vibes and I think you have both of those in your corner already. Good luck and good wishes.

Anonymous said...

jo, i'm sorry. you're in my thoughts. -Sarah

Anonymous said...

Another long time reader, first time poster, who says- well, fuck. Stay angry, stay strong. For what it's worth, one of my professors in grad school had this twenty years ago. He's been cancer free since and is still stomping around terrorizing freshmen with gusto. I pray for the same for you.

me said...

F.U.C.K.

Kick-cancer's-butt and healing vibes going out to you ~

Along with a huge load of hugs ~

messymimi said...

I'm mad for you.

Yelling at G-d on your behalf will continue, and get louder and more frequent.

Sarah said...

Ah no. Not what we were hoping to hear. You remain in my thoughts and prayers. This just sucks.

Not Nurse Ratched said...

Yeah fuckity fuck. Your readers are here with you. Keep blogging. And we won't send you any links or helpful advice ;)

Celeste said...

I'm so very sorry for this news; I will be thinking of you and will hope for the best possible outcomes of whatever steps are next.

Jo said...

Just caught up on this - you are in my thoughts.
Stay strong, stay fighting, and we'll be in your corner, cheering you on.

Colette said...

That really sucks.

C in Canada said...

She-it. I am not happy about this.

I'll be praying they've caught it early and you'll stomp the crap out of this thing and be able to use the whole experience simply as an empathy-building exercise.

Seriously praying for you, you keep strong. Love your attitude.

C.

songbird82 said...

Another long-time lurker delurking to say "shit" and "i'm sorry" and "you rock." Stay strong. The blogosphere would just suck without you.