(2007) There are people who believe that cancer is caused by diagnosis: if you ignore suspicious physical and mental changes (and for god's sake stay away from doctors), you won't get it. They would say that my cancer began as a result of a thorough gastro-intestinal exam (itself the result of a couple of months of pain and other stuff), after which the physician telephoned:
"I have bad news."
"What?" I fairly chirped, assuming that my self-diagnosed ulcer was worse than I had imagined.
"It's cancer," he stated.
That was sometime after my 60th birthday last March and signaled the beginning of the spin.
I can honestly say I remember almost nothing about the phone call (keep that picture of Linda Blair in your head). Here's a suggestion if you are ever in a position to tell someone she has cancer: don't assume that the victim had even the slightest inkling that this was the case. On the contrary, assume that the victim is totally unprepared to discuss treatment options or ask intelligent questions.. From hearing the word "cancer," all the victim is probably now hearing is an endless echo of the word. Or some other word. Shock doesn't cover it.
To make a long story short, with help from my sister and other friends, I was able to get accepted for treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, which is the best cancer facility in the world, and I am now halfway through the process with four chemo's under my belt. All indications are that even though my cancer is the dreaded ovarian variety and even though I was well into Stage 4 by the time treatment began, I'm going to be around for at least another five years and probably longer. I believe that without the skill and talent that overflows M.D. Anderson, I'd be dead already.
Anyway, that's why I haven't been writing in so long and probably why I was too tired to write for quite a long time prior to that darned diagnosis. It's good to have an excuse, but cancer is a little too good an excuse.
Celebrating birthdays today: John Cusack (1966) and Kathy Bates (1948). Coincidentally, Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in her early '40's, was born on this day in 1946.
Saints celebrating feast days today include Saint Irenaeus, Saint Plutarch, Saint Potamiaena and Companions, Saint Paul I, Saint Heimrad, Saint Sergius and Germanus of Valaam, and Saint John Southworth.