Monday, December 25, 2017

It's Christmas! and I have Cancer

December 25 2017

We decorated!
We don't have THAT many cats, do we?

Three days before Christmas I saw the oncologist again and, after studying my latest blood test results, he told me that I probably have breast cancer, spread to the nearby lymph nodes and bones. No results from this week's biopsy yet so he, of course, orders more tests.
PET scan, liver biopsy, bone density scan and then we had this interesting exchange:
"I want you to have a brain scan, just to make sure there isn't anything there," he says.
"I'm sure you didn't mean that as an insult," I replied jokingly.
He smiled a little but didn't laugh, he's tough to make laugh. And then he said it:
"You know how serious this is, right?"

Yeah, I know. It's almost Christmas, and I have cancer. And there is no hiding it, no sweetening the deal; simply MY new normal. I am trying to talk a little about it every day at home so it becomes not such a huge deal. There are more treatments now...it can be fatal pretty quickly...they can lengthen my life...which has probably just been cut shorter. Reality is reality. I am at peace with that.

That night he calls me at home, still at it late in the evening, bless him.
"I got the biopsy results" pause "it is breast cancer"

boom!

I wished him a Merry Christmas and thanked him for calling.
Our Christmas tree well out of the way
of the six cats we don't have

Thought twice about posting on Christmas about cancer. But it isn't just me, it is for thousands of people all over the world who are struck by this snake, trying to be polite to everyone and hiding their symptoms and their pain so other people don't feel uncomfortable, so that they don't pity us, treat us differently. "Us," the cancer people.

I do wish my snake had rattled me a warning, the mass on my breast too diffuse to identify, no lumps to feel, the pain in my rib cage too easy to numb with ibuprofen. I'm active, stuff hurts all the time. The snake bit me alright, and it didn't rattle. Bastard.

My new normal won't define me. I will keep on living until the day I die, just like before the snake bit me. This thing doesn't know ME, it won't own me, I will fight it until my last breath. Don't feel bad for me, feel bad for cancer sufferers who don't get a chance to fight.

It's Christmas Day. I have cancer.
Managed an awesome meal
Mami at the head of the table

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