Thursday, December 29, 2011

Things They never tell you about having had cancer:

1. While cancer might be simultaneously boring and terrifying, it beats waiting for the surveillance scans. There's an up-and-down rhythm to getting your lymph nodes biopsied (ow!) that just isn't matched by the four-month drag that is waiting for your first chest CT.

2. Growing your hair out after having had cancer sucks just as much as it does when you're well. You still have weird flippy pieces and flat bits, and you still look like hell, but at least nobody says anything snarky. They just look at you and say, "You lookin' good. Whassup with yo' 'fro?" (credit: Friend Lisa from work.)

3. Every beer, every french fry, every night out on the town is larded with guilt that This Might Be The Thing that tips you over the edge into another horrible diagnosis.

4. Your blood pressure will always be a source of concern for the nurses at your surgeon's office, and they'll waste lots of paperwork on you before you say, through gritted teeth, "MY PRESSURES ARE HIGH BECAUSE I DON'T WANT ANOTHER BIT CUT OUT OF MY HEAD, THANK YOU VERY MUCH."

5. Your foresight in putting all your favorite colognes at the back of the closet during the first week of treatment will be rewarded when a patient in the chemotherapy unit says you smell good.

14 comments:

Barsola said...

I used to think that way about beer and fries and what not but then I realized, if I'm gonna go out cuz of one of the things I like, so be it. I would rather enjoy what makes me happy then deny myself the good things in life.

Knot Telling said...

Yes.

1. Just finished another round of chemo, waiting for the first post-tx scan. Yes.

2. Hair has started growing out. Yes.

3. Found myself doing comfort eating on salad. Yes. (Of course that might be incipient dementia...)

4. BP elevated, stress related. Yes.

So all in all - yes!

(Knot, formerly Lurkette)

messymimi said...

Friends and family don't like the waiting, either. When there's a plan that can be executed, great. When it's just sitting on hold, it's scary.

darev2005 said...

My blood pressure is one thing that I have yet to have any trouble with. Once before surgery the nurse remarked that my BP was high. I said "No snap, Sherlock. You're going to poke about inside my body with sharp things. Let me open you up and see where your BP goes." Sheesh!

Rosanna said...

January 1, 2012:

We'll all help you, Jo, with the "waiting for the surveillance scans" part----(i.e., with your Chest and Abdominal CTs coming up in April of this year). I've personally only been through the cervical-, uterine-, breast- biopsies stuff for cancer; however, I can understand how periodic Surveillance Scans............ e.g., like Wash~~(of "Wash and Tashi," on the right upper-hand-side of your homepage)~~also has performed, too............ are genuinely *A Different ~ L.E.V.E.L. ~ Of Scary*, though.

So, I'll wish you a gentle "Happy New Year!!" now; but I'll wish you an even "HappIER New Year!!" in April, 2012, when~~(I sincerely hope and pray, Jo)~~you'll be able to *very*-relievedly type............ that one little word "clear."

Marsha said...

the gift that keeps on giving. hard to be a bystander and not be able to do anything to 'make it better'. not this time.

Rosanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Nerdy Nurse said...

the wait. It must be unbearable. I just cannot even imagine.

yono said...

My question is, why all this could not be discussed frankly? As with the hair. Or for reasons of keeping the feeling? My aunt had cancer, and her hair had clearly become damaged

Karin RN said...

my future

Ry said...

Big, big, big hugs of empathy to you. And congratulations on the 'fro?

Thank you for writing honestly; it helps me understand what my mom's going through.

wv: worraing... weird.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Jo? There hasn't been a blog posting on this site for months. Jo, I hope you are okay....

Jo said...

Anon, I don't know what's up with your browser, but I'm fine and have been updating pretty regularly.

xoxoJo

Anonymous said...

You are correct, Jo. It was my browser. Thanks for illuminating the correct path for me and I'm happy you are well....