chronicpaint: (Default)
 One of my online acquaintances, M, has a sister who was just diagnosed with terminal cancer. By the time they found it, it was too late to do anything. It has spread too far. They figure she'll be gone within the year, if that. M is so full of rage that, I'm not proud to say, I've avoided talking to him about it. I don't blame him. But it blisters to get too close. He knows he can call me if he needs to. But what he wanted from me was information on alternative treatments, which I know nothing about. 

Now, another online pal, P, has been diagnosed with a form of lymphoma and is about to begin chemo. He's this big, brawny, utterly gorgeous man. Salt and pepper hair, English accent, total manly man. I had a total crush on him, but wasn't his cup of tea. We never managed to catch on as friends either, but I sent him a message and he told me about the cancer. We were chatting today and got to talking about chemo. I didn't sugar coat anything for him. Whether he knows it or not, he doesn't need that at all. He asked what my regimen was like and I told him. I've made it clear he can contact me whenever he needs to, that I'll be there.

But I just feel sick and sad and angry about it all. Some is memories. The chemo I had and the lymphoma that killed my mother. Some of it is just frustration at seeing more claimed by this evil, hateful, bitchc*nt disease. 

And there's this insane, ridiculous irrational thing, just at the edge of my vision, this thought that maybe I brought this in. That the demon followed on my coat tails, like some infectious agent on poorly washed hands, like some spirit that snuck in behind me because I didn't knock three times or throw salt over my shoulder. 

I know how bugfuck bonkers it is. 

But when I hear these stories, I get shaky with hatred, with a venom I can't begin to describe. 

Maybe it's the realization that it never really ends. Even if you best the disease, it can return, even years later. So, no matter how long you are free, in a ghostly sliver of a way, you are never clear. 

Maybe it's just that I want to help them so badly, to make it all right again. And I can't.
chronicpaint: (Default)
 One of my online acquaintances, M, has a sister who was just diagnosed with terminal cancer. By the time they found it, it was too late to do anything. It has spread too far. They figure she'll be gone within the year, if that. M is so full of rage that, I'm not proud to say, I've avoided talking to him about it. I don't blame him. But it blisters to get too close. He knows he can call me if he needs to. But what he wanted from me was information on alternative treatments, which I know nothing about. 

Now, another online pal, P, has been diagnosed with a form of lymphoma and is about to begin chemo. He's this big, brawny, utterly gorgeous man. Salt and pepper hair, English accent, total manly man. I had a total crush on him, but wasn't his cup of tea. We never managed to catch on as friends either, but I sent him a message and he told me about the cancer. We were chatting today and got to talking about chemo. I didn't sugar coat anything for him. Whether he knows it or not, he doesn't need that at all. He asked what my regimen was like and I told him. I've made it clear he can contact me whenever he needs to, that I'll be there.

But I just feel sick and sad and angry about it all. Some is memories. The chemo I had and the lymphoma that killed my mother. Some of it is just frustration at seeing more claimed by this evil, hateful, bitchc*nt disease. 

And there's this insane, ridiculous irrational thing, just at the edge of my vision, this thought that maybe I brought this in. That the demon followed on my coat tails, like some infectious agent on poorly washed hands, like some spirit that snuck in behind me because I didn't knock three times or throw salt over my shoulder. 

I know how bugfuck bonkers it is. 

But when I hear these stories, I get shaky with hatred, with a venom I can't begin to describe. 

Maybe it's the realization that it never really ends. Even if you best the disease, it can return, even years later. So, no matter how long you are free, in a ghostly sliver of a way, you are never clear. 

Maybe it's just that I want to help them so badly, to make it all right again. And I can't.
chronicpaint: (Default)
Otherwise known as "Why  you are looking at pictures of my naked, flabby ass"

A couple of the questions in the comments on the pictures made me realize that some of you may not actually know the cancer story.

In 2000, I was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, (the cancer that killed actor, Robert Urich) a very rare soft tissue cancer, in my left knee. The tumour was about 6 centimetres when they caught it. I did 5 weeks of radiation (while still working in the book store)  In May of that year, I had an 8 hour surgery that removed the joint (except for the front face of the kneecap) and about 30% of my quad. The replaced it with something called  Kotz Prosthesis, and took a muscle flap from my calf to cover it, then took a skin graft from my thigh to cover it. Was in the hospital for three weeks, got an infection that required weeks of IV antibiotics to treat, then was on crutches for three months, unable to bear weight on the leg. It took 4 months of physio, 2 hours a day, 5 days a week to learn to walk again and then another 5 months of tapering off physio to regain about 60 degrees of bend.

On my one year anniversary, they found 8 tumours in my lungs. I had fifteen weeks of aggressive chemotherapy (I was hairless and kind of yellow-ish when the WTC went down) then they cracked my chest open and removed the tumours. Less than a year after that, they found another tumour and I had another surgery. About nine months after that, they found another in a different spot and had to go through my back to get it (hence the scar y'all were asking about) The tumour turned out to be too close to the vital structures of the lung itself, so they had to remove the lower lobe entirely.

Few months after that, I had to have a revision on the knee (they thought the polyethylene bushing was going, but it turned out to be the upper stem which hadn't bonded properly)  As it turns out, there was just enough bone damage from the radiation to prevent the proper healing, so I've had ongoing issues. Hence the crutch. But since I can function and there am not in severe pain, we are not making any changes as to fix the prosthesis would require everything coming out and starting from scratch. And if there's another infection or other issues, the leg would come off entirely.

But in October, I celebrated my five year anniversary clean of cancer, so I'm officially cured

And now you're up to speed
chronicpaint: (Default)
Otherwise known as "Why  you are looking at pictures of my naked, flabby ass"

A couple of the questions in the comments on the pictures made me realize that some of you may not actually know the cancer story.

In 2000, I was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, (the cancer that killed actor, Robert Urich) a very rare soft tissue cancer, in my left knee. The tumour was about 6 centimetres when they caught it. I did 5 weeks of radiation (while still working in the book store)  In May of that year, I had an 8 hour surgery that removed the joint (except for the front face of the kneecap) and about 30% of my quad. The replaced it with something called  Kotz Prosthesis, and took a muscle flap from my calf to cover it, then took a skin graft from my thigh to cover it. Was in the hospital for three weeks, got an infection that required weeks of IV antibiotics to treat, then was on crutches for three months, unable to bear weight on the leg. It took 4 months of physio, 2 hours a day, 5 days a week to learn to walk again and then another 5 months of tapering off physio to regain about 60 degrees of bend.

On my one year anniversary, they found 8 tumours in my lungs. I had fifteen weeks of aggressive chemotherapy (I was hairless and kind of yellow-ish when the WTC went down) then they cracked my chest open and removed the tumours. Less than a year after that, they found another tumour and I had another surgery. About nine months after that, they found another in a different spot and had to go through my back to get it (hence the scar y'all were asking about) The tumour turned out to be too close to the vital structures of the lung itself, so they had to remove the lower lobe entirely.

Few months after that, I had to have a revision on the knee (they thought the polyethylene bushing was going, but it turned out to be the upper stem which hadn't bonded properly)  As it turns out, there was just enough bone damage from the radiation to prevent the proper healing, so I've had ongoing issues. Hence the crutch. But since I can function and there am not in severe pain, we are not making any changes as to fix the prosthesis would require everything coming out and starting from scratch. And if there's another infection or other issues, the leg would come off entirely.

But in October, I celebrated my five year anniversary clean of cancer, so I'm officially cured

And now you're up to speed

All Clear

Jan. 9th, 2007 10:14 pm
chronicpaint: (Cocktails?)
No change in the x-rays of my leg or of my chest. No cancer. Remission still holding.

Every time I go, once I check in at the desk, I get a requisition for chest x-rays, and it always says the reason is "follow up: sarcoma" but it's always abbreviated as "F/U Sarcoma" Which pretty much sums it up, eh? I was on the subway on the way to the appointment, and this utter calm descended on me. I remembered back a couple of years ago, when I believed, deep in my heart, that if the cancer came back, I wouldn't fight. I was too tired, too beaten to do it again. It would take its course. But this afternoon, rattling along the tracks, that feeling was gone. Even if I had received bad news today, I had too much to do, too many things to live for. That much, I knew. I began to compose something in my head, running the words around as I arrived at the hospital and waited in the various rooms for various tests. This is what I ended up with:

An Open Letter to My Cancer

Fuck you, Sarcoma
Seven years ago, you had your chance and you couldn't do it. It took me four years, and more than a pound of flesh in blood-price, but I kicked your cancerous ass to the curb. You didn't have what it takes. I beat you. And if you show your face at my door, I will do it again. I will lay more hurt on you than any man ever has. I will beat you again and again and again if I have to. You've lost. And even if I die tomorrow, I will be in every word I have ever written and the minds of everyone who has read them. I will be in every painting I have painted, and every eye that has seen them. I will be on the lips of every man I have ever kissed and I will be in the heart of everyone who has been my friend and whose friend I have been. The marks I have made are indelible. My footprints are in the earth on the other side of the world, in places I have never even been.

And that's why you will lose. Over and over.

You and me, we're done.

All Clear

Jan. 9th, 2007 10:14 pm
chronicpaint: (Cocktails?)
No change in the x-rays of my leg or of my chest. No cancer. Remission still holding.

Every time I go, once I check in at the desk, I get a requisition for chest x-rays, and it always says the reason is "follow up: sarcoma" but it's always abbreviated as "F/U Sarcoma" Which pretty much sums it up, eh? I was on the subway on the way to the appointment, and this utter calm descended on me. I remembered back a couple of years ago, when I believed, deep in my heart, that if the cancer came back, I wouldn't fight. I was too tired, too beaten to do it again. It would take its course. But this afternoon, rattling along the tracks, that feeling was gone. Even if I had received bad news today, I had too much to do, too many things to live for. That much, I knew. I began to compose something in my head, running the words around as I arrived at the hospital and waited in the various rooms for various tests. This is what I ended up with:

An Open Letter to My Cancer

Fuck you, Sarcoma
Seven years ago, you had your chance and you couldn't do it. It took me four years, and more than a pound of flesh in blood-price, but I kicked your cancerous ass to the curb. You didn't have what it takes. I beat you. And if you show your face at my door, I will do it again. I will lay more hurt on you than any man ever has. I will beat you again and again and again if I have to. You've lost. And even if I die tomorrow, I will be in every word I have ever written and the minds of everyone who has read them. I will be in every painting I have painted, and every eye that has seen them. I will be on the lips of every man I have ever kissed and I will be in the heart of everyone who has been my friend and whose friend I have been. The marks I have made are indelible. My footprints are in the earth on the other side of the world, in places I have never even been.

And that's why you will lose. Over and over.

You and me, we're done.

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January 2012

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