Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Oh, and by the way....

It's really weird to be missing a tooth. Even a tooth you don't think much about.

When popcorn goes to get lost in a tooth, you tend to notice if it's a tooth you've had avulsed. It ought to be there, and it's not.

You never get away from it, do you?

Edited to add:

I know this is really ungrateful, and I should be thankful for what I have, but:

On the 26th, I've got the first PET scan since surgery. What will I do if that PET shows something nasty? I *know* it's unlikely. I *know* that, statistically, my chances of having a recurrance are nil until 15 years post-first-diagnosis, but I still worry. My surgeon, who was one of the guys who differentiated PLGA from things like ACA and HGA, was surprised at how well I was doing. I have a hard time getting past that.

His pessimism scares me. The reaction of my prosthodonsist, Dr. Elf, scares me: he's always so amazed at how well I'm doing.

More than that, I am not whole. I am not whole in a very big way. I will never *be* whole, in that my Brother In Beer will still look at me when I try to talk with my prosthetic out and shake his head and say, "Sorry".

At some point, this thing in my head will stop being a party trick.

I would like to be understood without a plastic bit.

With the plastic bit, I have to choose what I say. Now, and for ever.

Maybe that's the lesson I have to learn.


woolywoman said...

I hate these kind of learning opportunities.

messymimi said...

Not ungrateful. Realistic. Once diagnosed with "something," it never goes away -- from our minds, at least.

Just My 2¢ said...

I understand your wanting to be understood without the plastic bit. I really do, but...

We accumulate these little things as we age. I'd like to see without glasses, and I'd like to sleep without my CPAP. (What a cuddle turn-off. 'Scuse me while I put on my Darth Vader mask.)

Oh, and I'd really like to survive without my two blood pressure meds that keep my head from bursting like a watermelon at a Gallagher concert.

C'est la vie!

TheSchaft said...

Your doctor's reactions should not scare you, they should encourage you. What they are saying is that you are doing better at this point than the folks they normally see.

Unless you were "whole" before (no fillings, no glasses, no meds for anything), you really don't have much to be down about, especially compared to a lot of other folks who have lost a lot more.

Sounds like disco panties time.

RehabRN said...


I pray for you. Yes, this is your new normal. I have confidence you'll make it. Will you like it? Probably not. But you have the wits to do it.

I told one of my patients the other day when he just couldn't get dressed and out of bed that rehab is a lot like Survivor since you have to outwit, outplay, outlast. Just had cancer. It didn't have you.

Go on and outwit and outlast it, just for the hell of it.

And one of these days, I may wander down to those parts to have a beer with you.

Barbara said...

Its not wonder your scared by his pessimism. Pessimism is highly unprofessional and not good for a patients health. He should realize this being a doctor. I'm optimistic and hoping you'll be alright!

Anonymous said...

It wasn't so long ago that you were in the middle of the cansuh trauma. I think your PET fear is normal. I think your reaction to the doctors being surprised by your progress is normal. (Sounds like they should phrase it as being very pleased with, not surprised by, how well you're doing.) I think the mourning of your former wholeness is normal. Let it out, own it, it's healthy to! The "new" reality hasn't had time to fully solidify yet. --RN in training

Anonymous said...

This sucks doesn't it? You feel what you feel ("I know this is really ungrateful, and I should be thankful for what I have") and it is ok. There are a lot of myths around about people with cancer about being brave, grateful and etc. Truth is we're angry, disappointed, grieving for what is lost and a whole lot more...and yeh, often happy!


Elyse said...

I'm wondering what the two docs expected to see. A bag lady hobbling in with a tattered shawl?File under "things that make you go hmmmmm . . . in the night"

Hope you are seeking out the lessons yourself as opposed to having the thought that this shit was somehow sent to you for that purpose.

Anonymous said...

Sending you the energies of peace and acceptance. My wish is that you may flourish, not just get by, but truly explode with you. And I think you can. You will find your peace.

terri c said...

Well, you know, those "shoulds" will get you every time. Gratitude is terrific and I know you have that too, but that's only one piece of the picture. Will hope with you that the 26th, which cannot be other than stressful, will go well. My dogs say howdy to you.

Penny Mitchell said...

All I got is that you are one magnificent bitch. Now, and for ever.