Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Next Step

Yesterday, I had my appointment with the oncologist. He seemed to be in a more receptive mood, or maybe that was me. I was a little pissed with him during our last meeting when he didn't back me up on my desire to avoid the axillary dissection part of my surgery.

Anyhoo....he talked with me at length and we settled on a date to start my chemotherapy--June 30th. I'll be having treatments once every three weeks for four sessions.

The oncology nurse led me to the treatment room as she explained the process. A large room, lined with cushy reclining chairs and IV poles, was filled with people receiving their chemo. Attached to the ceiling, in the center of the room, were multiple TVs facing each part of the room. It was very quiet despite the the presence of 15-20 people. I guess silence is the status quo response when your veins are being pumped with chemicals for a few hours.

Being in the oncologist's office feels surreal. I have to keep reminding myself that I had cancer and am supposed to be here, but it's hard to remember that when everyone else in the office looks to be in their sixties, and here I am, seemingly healthy and mobile in every other way.

Humor tends to get me through all of this, leaving the impression with my doctors that I am somehow unfazed by everything, which is sometimes true. On the other hand, laughing is easier than crying. While lamenting to the nurse that I had just gotten back from vacation and probably had gained a few pounds, she adjusted the metal blocks on the scale and pronounced,"No worries...you actually lost weight."

I replied with a laugh,"Yeah...having a mastectomy is a quick way to lose a few pounds!"

She looked shocked for a moment, and then realized I wasn't offended, but was simply making light of the situation, and allowed herself to laugh too.

Now, it's just a waiting game until the end of this month. I plan on having some more summer fun in the next two weeks and getting any large projects out of the way, before this next part of the journey. Who knows? Maybe I'll be in the small percentage of people who don't react dramatically to chemo. I always seem to fall in those small percentages, so maybe I'll land on the positive side of those statistics this time.

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