The dreaded meeting went much better than planned, though I’m still not best pleased with my oncologist. Still, I didn’t have to fight; nor weep*; nor list my symptoms ad nauseum; nor threaten to go under the counter if need be – and I was seriously prepared to use some of those tactics, and feared others as unwanted possibilities. I filled out the usual form listing complaints and symptoms, told the doctor I was having a pretty rough time, and got a referral to another oncologist (this one’s a gynecologist/oncologist) pretty quickly. Transdermal HRT has been mentioned – hoopla!
All of this sounds like good news for me – or at least a bit of sorely needed hope. I do feel an awful whinger – it seems as though most folks have their cancer year and move onwards without all this drama (assuming no recurrence and – knock on wood – I’m not in that reality as far as I know) and I haven’t been able to. I feel as though I ought to be able to, and gods know I want to, and why aren’t I already? I hate talking about it, I fear getting stuck in that logic trap, listing complaints until they’re all I can see, all I think about – and yet not talking about it, trying to smooth the covers over the rough spots and pretend they’re not there, lipstick and powder save the day: that’s not a working solution either.
Honestly, this – these lingering “side effects” from the chemo and the quality of life they’ve engendered- has been harder and worse than the chemo itself. With the chemo, I knew it was going to suck, I knew it was for a limited time, and I had faith that it would reduce my risks for recurrence. It was suffering, make no mistake, but it was suffering with a purpose. During the good days, I felt pretty close to my ‘self’, albeit a bald self – I had energy and stamina; I slept well; my body was *mine*.
This, by contrast, has been utterly wretched, and I was utterly unprepared for it. Suffering without sense or purpose. Everything has been getting consistently worse; I keep trying different remedies and nothing works, or works in only in the most limited ways; things fall further and further apart. The second law of thermodynamics in action.
It could be a great quality of life – if I was eighty, and had eased into it gradually. At forty-eight, and with a six month or under decline – it’s a bit rough, to say the least.
I see the new doctor this Wednesday. I choose seeing the oncologist over seeing my friends and the cherry blossoms in DC and didn’t even grouse over losing the ticket cost, which gives you some idea of the reality.
Fingers crossed, boys and girls.
Meanwhile, spring has turned to insta-summer with a vengeance here – at least a month early. The crocuses are popping out, the mosquitoes are too; I’ve been sweating to get the spring clean-up underway before *everything’s* up; the roofer’s been sweating finishing up the roof repairs; it’s been over 70 degrees already; and where it will all lead I shan’t like to say. If I didn’t know global weirding was a liberal myth, I might be seriously worried.
Luckily, I rest secure in my knowledge that this is just part of the *big* cycle and, anyway, *I* won’t be around to see the worst of it. Roll on, you crazy carbon weevils, roll on!
*I’ve been doing a lot of that lately – it’s utterly appalling. Thanks for the shoulders, folks, and all apologies for the salt stains – you can forward the dry cleaning bills.