Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mad Cow, I've Been Thinking, A Super Hero, and the Kindness of Strangers

Holy Crap, what a rough rough day at the mercy of my hormones in all their glory and fury.  If my hormones are on their way out, they are throwing one hell of a drunken depraved animal house party.

and then I started thinking.  Do not try this at home or make any major decisions while on chemo while your hormones are shutting down while you are bald.

I started thinking about my PET scan.  I started thinking no glow, anywhere.


I am outta here.  I don't need any more chemo.  I'm done.  That's it.  Isn't anything more overkill?  Can't I just operate on FAITH now.

Am I allowed to do that?  Am I crazy enough to do that? 

My gut and my body and my pre-menopausal mermaid brain were talking loudly to me today.

I needed guidance.

I wrote The Good Witch an email, something like this-

Can we talk?  I don't know if I am suffering from Mad Cow, but I am thinking about my PET scan and I need to talk to you before chemo next Friday.

I didn't expect a reply for a few days, I mean, it's Saturday.

This lady is something.  She emailed right back.  "Give me your cell.  I'll call you when the kids are down."

Let the record show once again, The Good Witch is a super hero in high heels with a stethoscope and pearls around her neck, the lives of cancer patients in one hand, and kids who still need naps in the other.  Damn Lady.

A moment of applause and bowing to The Good Witch.  (loud clapping and whistling is heard)

She called me a few hours later.

She knew before I even said so where I was headed.

She did not patronize.  She did not scold.  She told me like it is.

This is what my brain heard, in her words and implied tone.

Settle down lady.  Yes, I know you are a thinker and a studier and searching for answers on this path.  Yes, this news was potentially very very positive in the long term.  Let me unequivocally tell you, you must finish this course.  It is based on the best of our best knowledge, research and protocols.  We are not measuring success by whether or not cancer is present or not in your breast.  We will measure success 40 years down the road when you are an old lady.  We are working on your long term survival.  We never, and I mean never with a capital "N" stop a course of treatment unless the patient flatly refuses, and I would do everything in my power to convince the patient otherwise; or if the patient simply cannot tolerate the treatment.  Settle down.  Keep going.  I hear you.  I'm listening.  Keep going.  Are you listening to me?  Are we clear?  Tell me we are clear.

Yes.  Yes.  Heavy sigh.  Yes.

The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers. ~ Erich Fromm

And impel woman too Erich.  Unfolding my powers under very uncertain conditions.  Thank God I've got The Good Witch as my co-pilot.

May I also say thank you to all of the incredible strangers facing this diagnosis and still undergoing treatment, and those who have graduated, the survivors.  I recently joined two sites, one called The Network of Strength, and the other,  Hello my people. 

Thank you for the messages on that site and sent to my email address.  Thank you Bobbiejayne.  Thank you Busymom.  and others who have posted comments here who have remained anonymous but have walked this path.

And, thank you to all the others in my expanding safety net, who bounce me back up to the tight rope when I stumble.

I'm back up on the rope again, way way up here in the stratosphere, trying to keep my balance and faith and wits, taking one careful step at a time towards uncertainty like I've never known.

Here I go.

Spot me.

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