Yeah, I know. I haven't been here for a
while. Well, heck, whaddaya want? I
had cancer, for crying out loud!
Now I hope you noticed something very
important about that last statement. It
happens to be the most optimistic
statement I've dared to make in quite a
while. The operative word in it is "had." I
had cancer, i.e., I do not have it now.
Well, all right, no, I'm not 100% sure. But
no one is 100% sure. And I've been
slashed, burned & poisoned, all in aid of
killing cancer, so I think I have even more
right to believe I do NOT have cancer
than most people. So, that's my story &
I'm sticking to it.
December 31, 2008
Once again, I did not get around to sending out Christmas cards, but I had a much better
excuse than usual. However, the above message really belonged on a new year's card.
|Comments: "Beautifully said and presented. Amen,
Love you, L."
" 'Accidental Amazon' BRILLIANT!!! Just saying it makes me so proud to know you. Hope
you are doing well." CMH
I have a problem with some of the words
used around breast cancer. Words like
'mastectomy,' 'lumpectomy' &
'breast-sparing surgery' may mean
something useful to surgeons & other
physicians, but they seem a tad
euphimistic to me.
What, precisely, is a lumpectomy? The
excision of a lump, right? And a lump
is, what, about the size of a large
marble or, tops, a golf ball, yes? NOT!
No, no, no, folks. A 'lump' is whatever
the surgeon has to cut out to get all the
crap out of you. It may be anything from
a pea to just short of a total
mastectomy. My 'lump' comprised half
of my right breast. So, probably it would
have been more accurate at least to call
it a partial mastectomy.
But that's not my point. My point is that
these "-ectomy" words are meaningless
in everyday semantics. I'm reminded of
what my mother used to say: "Let's call
a spade a shovel." In other words, let's
cut the crap with these euphemistic
terms & use a medical term that actually
means something. Like, say, the word
amputation. There's a good, hearty
word. Makes much more sense. If they
cut off part or all of your leg, after all,
they call it an amputation, which is an
ugly, violent removal of a rather
significant part of your body. So, if they
cut off part or all of your breast, that
would also be an amputation, right?
Works for me.
|This is my new cell phone.
This is almost as big as the
so-called 'lump' that was
amputated from my right
breast. Actually, it was
probably about as big as
the Ipod Nano here
(click on the Size button,
then select the Nano).
Anyway, I love my new
phone, which is like a
teeny laptop. I figured it
was a decent exchange
for losing half a boob.
|My favorite breast cancer website.
Gets my personal award for 2008.
|Just click on this, okay?
You'll be glad you did.
The Sweaty Prosthesis: nothing like wearing a thick slab of
silicone-filled plastic wrap against your skin on a hot day.
The Mother of all excuses.
Here's how goofy the mind can be. When I got back to work, for
the first month or so, I had to crawl home at the end of the day,
toss crunchies at the cats, let the dog out, give him his dinner,
paw through my available clean or at least not smelly or dirty
clothes to find something to wear if I had to work the next day,
then fall into bed. I'd be asleep by about 6:30 p.m. There would
be no energy to wash dishes, do laundry, vacuum, get the mail
from the mailbox, listen to voice mail or any of that other stuff
that people with a normal life do. So, when I finally got around
to catching up on my mail, there were a few bills I had entirely
forgotten about, so I had to call people & ask them not to cut off
my water or charge me $35 for being late with the check. And
as I'm talking to these people, I'm feeling a little ashamed that
I'm trying to get away with something by telling them that I had
cancer. But then I'd catch myself & say to myself, "Hey,
Einstein, you DID have cancer. It's not just a handy excuse."
So, while we're talking about semantics, let's just add a few
more aspects of cancer treatment to the discussion. There
are some that may tell you that getting radiation is cake, but
I'm not one of them. You may note that I haven't been here
since my previous humorous diatribe about radiation. That's
not an accident. Around week two, I felt like I'd been run over
by a truck. One day, I barely got home from my 7:00 a.m.
radiation appointment, parked my car & crawled inside &
into bed. That was it, folks, no more little Miss Sunshine.
She was down for the count. My face started breaking out
like I was 16 again, except at 54 you're not having as much
fun. Then I came down with a hideous sinus infection & had
to go on antibiotics. Then, about 5 days after I finished this
wonderful experience, I had to go back to work.
Subsequently, I developed a nice ol' burn along my right
clavicle, down my sternum & under my armpit. The armpit
one was the worst. I used to come home from work, pull my
sweaty prosthesis out of my bra, pull off the bra & whatever
top I was wearing & slather Silvadene cream all over my
boob. Then I'd just lie there & think of England, as someone
once said of sex.
May I point out that radiation is known to kill people. Think
Hiroshima. So, let's just call it burning & poisoning & be
done with it. They admit that the side effects of therapeutic
radiation last up to two years. No lie.
|Smile on a Stick:
for those days when
you're just too tired
to come up with one
of your own.