Friday, February 01, 2008


Here is a sequence of events:
3 pm: my dermatologist office calls me at work to let me know that my biopsy was malignant. They tell me to call the oncologist ASAP because he can probably see me on Friday. I start crying immediately. My tear ducts are always about a million years ahead of my brain.

3:30 pm I leave work after calling the oncologist and leaving a message. My VP drives me home. I finally get some privacy and have a real breakdown. Stare into space. Cry. Call Mom.

4:15 The oncologist calls, he can see me at 6pm that night. Dinner club aka support club agrees to come along for the party. Now I know I can’t get bombed because I have to go see the doctor and have blood drawn. Take bath. Cry more.

6:40 I finally get in to see the oncologist. He is quite possibly the nicest person I have ever met. He takes a good 20 minutes just to talk to me about who I am and what’s wrong. He tells me it’s a lymphatic-kind of cancer: lymphoma or leukemia. Not terminal skin cancer. Something that I’ve heard of and lots of people live through. The onc examines me: I’m totally healthy. Nothing weird to speak of except crazy ass Little Buddy. More info as blood and biopsy work comes down the line.

7:15 Blood draw. The phlebotomist goes down in history as the third person to actually hit my vein on the first try. He takes 5 vials of blood. Support club cheers me on. Phlebotomist regales us with ridiculous jokes.

8: Pho. Really spicey.

9: Come home, tell the roommates, ruin their days, monopolize conversation.

9:45 Mom shows up, mostly keeps her shit together.

1:45 Staring at the computer, feeling totally alone even though I know everyone loves me. I don’t want to deal with anyone. I need to be alone. But I also feel alone. How emo is THAT shit?

There are a lot of things that are hard about this beyond the fact that my cells have gone all rogue and shit and are finally getting back at me for my goddamn philosophical EcoFem inspired diatribes about cancer being part of evolution. I mean, stubbornly, I still believe that, but I’m still in shock. There must be a lab error. I mean, I’m healthy.

1. I don’t know what to say to people. The outpouring of love is really important and I think I would do the same thing if someone I cared about found out they were sick. However, the all sincerity all the time is hard. I also hate to watch people struggle to look for the right words after I tell them. No worries, I wouldn’t know what the fuck to say either. I certainly don’t know what to tell you.

2. I’m afraid that I’ll be infertile at the end of this.

3. I can’t actually believe that I have cancer. It just doesn’t seem right.

4. I don’t like to ask people for things. I don’t like to be vulnerable. I have a feeling I will have to get used to both of these things.

5. I’m afraid no one will ever insure me again and I won’t be able to quit my job EVER to go back to school. I feel like I’ll be perma-tied to jobs with insurance. Fuck. This.

6. I was just starting to embrace my life as a young adult with disposable means. I was going to date, and take classes, and you know, get a life. Now I have to deal with being sick. WTF.

7. Am I supposed to tell people?

I suppose this is like God throwing down the ultimate gauntlet and now I need to prove that I actually am one tough cookie. I think I am.

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