The Meeting After The Holiday When We Talk About Chemo
We come back tanned and slimmed. But not relaxed. We did not bring back a present for the consultant. Sorry no Retsina or postcard for you!
I meet my nice surgical consultant again. He has brown eyes and warm hands and a nice smile. I start to fangirl. I meet my oncologist too. He is brusque and professional. Again I am asked to strip. This becomes a common theme. Stripping I mean.
They start to talk, one at a time. "You are quite small" Yes, I know this. I am size 8 /10 and petite, if you know what I mean. I make a joke "Yeah, I have always wanted to be bigger. You know - DD. " The joke did not go down well. Tumbleweeds rolling in. Silence. "OK" I think to myself "This is not the place for humour. Damn!" Then "The tumour is quite large. " Not good. Not good at all. "We are going to try and shrink it first". Now that's when I get weirded out.
Perhaps the oncologist has a special machine - like a ray gun - that he is going to bring out of his pocket. Like a cowboy or a gansta, he will cock this ray gun at me, line it up in front of my boob, and a green ray will come out and go "zapppppp" and it will shrink. Then I realise, once the word "Chemo" is spoken, that is not going to be an option. I realise I am in for the long haul. "You are young. We have to throw everything at you and hope it sticks. Chemo first, before surgery, will give you a better chance."
A better chance. Of what. Of not dying? (No answer. Well that's shite). Of Going bald? (tick - more about this later). Losing weight? (No I am assured most people put weight on due to the steriods. Well that is a bonus, not, isn't it!). Heaving my guts up and being sick as a dog? (We have very good anti-sickness drugs for that. Don't worry.).
I have seen what chemo does to people. My sister nearly died from chemo. I start to shake. This is whack. This is freaking me out. I am very, very scared. Really scared. I say "Are you sure? Are you sure I really need chemo?" More "Yes. We are sorry. You will be starting chemo asap. Probably next week." Man. OMG. This is getting bad. Really, really bad.
My oncologist and my consultant surgeon leave the room and my nice nurse goes through everything again. I am told I will have some scans first. And a pre-assessment. And then the magic will begin. CHEMO. Did you hear what I said? C-H-E-M-O. I am crying again (this begins to be a recurrent theme).
I go home to contemplate my fate. I decide then to make a stand. Against the shit of cancer and chemo and all the other bollocks. I decide if I am to have a chance, I am going to have to fight. And I mean, really fight. Fistfights. Karate. Ninja style. With lightsabers and flamethrowers. With grenades and tanks. Bazookas are good. I need to put my warpaint and armour on. I am going into battle. I decide that music is the way to go with this. Especially Rock Music. So I make a promise to myself. I take the following oaths:
1. I will be positive 90% of the time.
2. I will keep my sense of houmour.
3. I will fight this bastard for my husband and my children and my friends and family.
4. I will fight this for me.
5. I will beat it.
And I decide to select a track to keep me going. I am not going to fight fair. I will use every dirty trick in the book. No more Mrs Nice Girl. So here is my first track. Fall Out Boy. The Takes Over The Breaks Over. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVbPvf2aYH4.
To quote Star Wars : “I’ve got a very bad feeling about this.”
Onto battle my friends.