I have an appointment for a new pain therapy this Friday. "What?" Sez you. " I didn't know you were in pain!" and I know you said it, because every one says it.
Well, yeah, they cut off some of my tongue, and then, mad scientist style, they followed that up with 30 days of radiation aimed directly the surgery site, burning it to a fine crisp. That shit hurts, and it's gonna hurt for a long time.
Like all survivers, I've learned a sort of etiquette that goes along with cancer treatmentst. You just kind of figure out what people can tolerate and what they can't, and you learn what you yourself can take and what you can't.
Realistically, how long can you stand around in your good outfit saying "Gosh, that's interesting, " and then following it up with "Ow, ouch, whoo, man, OW, oh boy! Damn, that hurts!" Right? Who needs it at a party? Who needs it anywhere?
Well, you get it. There's just not really a way to work chronic anything into a conversation. and cancer is so gross, God, if I spent one minute talking about what's really happening? Echhhh. I can't even say the word mucus out loud, and apparently I am entirely constructed of....that. Ew.
I've developed plenty of eccentricities, the ones that it appears people can live with. At least, I hope it's not just good manners but, no, I think they've really forgotten how bizarre I've become. For example, I have this weird brown bottle with a long snoot on it.Well, snoot is not the right word,it's a needle nose cap designed to get to hard to reach places, like the way back of my mouth. Several times during a conversation or at out at a meal I will take this bottle and aim that snoot waaay back there and give it a good squirt. I don't even know I'm doing it anymore. Can you imagine someone taking out a can of deodorant and spraying themselves three or four times while you're trying to talk to them about something? It is so strange.Believe me, I only try to get away with this in front of people who love me.
What's in the bottle? It's lidocaine, similar to the stuff the dentist gives you before the needle. It certainly takes the pain away, replacing it with an odd stinging numbness, and rendering my tongue useless. But I do it and don't even realize it! And that's not the only odd thing that I do that people seem to take for granted after a while. I'm thinking about the trail of napkins that follows me wherever I go. And just in case I can get them to sponsor a lifetime supply, let me tell you that it has to be Kleenex dinner napkins, and nothing else. I won't tell you what I do with them, who cares? It's revolting, but it seems to be one of those things people let me do. I personally would not enjoy talking with someone who dabbed constantly at either corner of their mouth with the Kleenex Dinner Napkin, until coughing up a some kind of hairball and then returning to the conversation without blinking an eye..I make veils out of them to avoid spitting on my audience, and often use them just to blow my nose But there is never a trash can anywhere near by and I've gotten used to that, too.. I just got out of a meeting with the mayor with two of those things stuck in my bra, one in the waistband of my pants and one in my hand, and even he took it in stride.. They might be secretly thinking " Oh my God, that s so revolting," Well suck it, if you are. You should see what goes on at home.
The other thing is, I'm not kidding, when I have to sit down, or go home, I mean at that moment. Not in a minute, or when you finish your sentence.
I am embarrassed to report that I had a client, once, who said that she had to sit, and plopped down on a stone step right where we were standing. I didn't want her to have to look up my dress, so I plopped myself down next to her, leaving the issue of how I was going to get up again for later. She told me that she had MS. I had two thoughts. First of all I didn't all the way know what MS was, but it sounded like the the telethon thing, and I could see she didn't have that. Second, I thought, " Oh, come on, Miss Munchhausen, you could have made it up the fricken' steps and into the car, and then you would be sitting! Now look where we are!"
Well, paybacks are hell, they say, and now I know.When I have to sit, it's because I've reached sit or fall, a state that comes over me not like a wave, but like a kidnappers hood being dropped over my head. When I say I'm tired, I'm using the only word in my vocabulary to describe something so far beyond tired, I don't know what else to call it. And all of that comes a lot from having pain all the time.
So there's a new therapy, and they're going to try it on me. They do try new stuff on us, in measured doses. That's how things that weren't available five years ago are available now. I'm going in tomorrow for a new pain treatment that requires a two hour IV (Just like chemo! Yay!) and if it's successful over time, I'll have nothing to whine about. I've had so many treatments I dont' have much of a reaction to whatever any doctor suggests, but I am kind of guardedly excited about it.
But yo, Kleenex, I'm still going to need those Kleenex Dinner Napkins.
Well, I can tell you that her talent doesn’t come from her formal education. She dropped out of that as soon as she could, so she didn’t have many people telling her what she couldn’t do or say, and trying to squeeze her onto some shape she couldn’t fit in, which she wouldn’t have done anyway — but her going her own way saved everyone a lot of hassle. But she was a voracious reader, and a discerning one. And she was always happily juiced up. She would have been outrageous if she weren’t so good natured. That’s what gets her through the tough ones like this. She’s a lot like her mother, come to think of it. As one of my sons said, “I’m not sure I could even be a fraction of that upbeat, but that’s her and I’m me.”