“Holy Hell, check out this seretoma” I screeched at my husband the other night as I lay on my bed rubbing my belly bruises, waiting for him to stab me in the stomach with my 6PM injection.
He paused, tilted his head in that ‘surely she knows what she just said’ and quietly (in a do not startle the already delusional cancer patient) and whispered “hematoma, Sertoma is the Memorial Day BBQ”. I of course cracked up and rolled off of the bed as he shook his head and walked out of the room.
Now, I do know the difference between a hematoma and the annual Sertoma BBQ however for the most part, I am choosing to chart my course through the cancer river with as much oblivion as I can afford.
It is what makes me sane and I am able to do it because I have an amazing team. My sister is an RN and even with her own very personal battle with cancer, she is still my go-to.
She is the one that I call when my fingers go numb and she is the one I call crying when the doctor tells me I will have to have 2x a day stomach injections for the next 6 months. She is the one I call, because she gives it to me straight but only as much as I need. She tells me that I need to suck it up because the alternative is a pill that is super easy to swallow but that means way more possible complications. She tells me that I am lucky my insurance is covering these injections for the duration of treatment. So I sniff that snot right back into my nose, mutter “OK” and go on with my day.
My husband has had my treatment plan reviewed by more people than I even know. Doctors, scientists, colleagues, the people he has talked to know my medications, they know my chemo plan, they know what my chemo plan would be if I was diagnosed 3 years from now because they are Freaking Genius’s.
So I sit quietly in blissful ignorance. I am not avoiding reality, I am clinging to it. I know what my reality is, I also know how I need to handle it to stay sane. I know that when I had a headache and googled one of my medications to see if I could take a Tylenol, I emerged 45 minutes later sweating, terrorized and fully convinced I was dying…in the next 5 minutes.
There was also a fear of becoming a humpback, which frankly scared me more than death. FO REALS!
I learned a valuable lesson that day. Now, when I have a headache, I call my nurse or doctor and I simply say “I have a headache”. Then they say, “suck it up”, or “take a Tylenol” and I do what they say. DONE and DONE.
Now I am not a complete ignoramus, I know my chemo regimen is named FolFox. I know that my favorite chemo (the one that does not make it impossible to drink cold beverages) is called 5FU (I didn’t even make that up). Somewhere, sometime, a scientist came up with a snazzy new chemo drug and I would like to believe they knew someone like me. I would like to believe they knew that sometimes just saying 5FU when referring to their current drug regimen would bring a smile to a sassy cancer patients face.
The fact is, that even if they never thought of me smirking every time I referenced my drug aptly named FU, like a 14 year old boy, I don’t care. All I know if that if I emerge 8 more treatments from now cancer free thanks to the big FU, I am going to open mouth kiss a lot of people. In fact, I am saving a big sloppy one for the FU-inventing scientist, hell, I will make out with their whole scientisty team, but they will have to find me because I am not googling 5FU, not even to track them down with a grateful offering of 30 seconds in Heaven.