i have been having pain on my left side for a couple of weeks now. it has progressively gotten worse so i asked for an ultrasound and we did it yesterday. i was already going to be over at seattle cancer care for a counseling session (aka alli walking into the room and immediately bursting into tears time) and so they made their magic happen and got me in. in the ultrasound room, instead of those stupid fake tiles that apparently make you think you are outside when you really aren't (you all know how i feel about those), they have this tile on the ceiling. as i was laying there and the ultrasound tech was moving the equipment all over my stomach, i told him this was my favorite room because of this design. something about it brings me comfort, i can't quite put my finger on it. it just does.
as i laid on that table, and shifted from side to side, i thought about how many other times i have been in that room. more than i can probably even remember. i know how the cabinets look when i lay on my left side, i know how the machines look when i lay on my right side. i know that the tech's name is tom. i know that he will inevitably get the gel on my clothes even though he tries hard not to. i know that when he finishes the ultrasound, he will leave me in the room for about 5 minutes while the radiologist looks over the screen shots with him. i know that those 5 minutes will probably be the only 5 minutes of the day that i am by myself in total silence.
there were definitely parts of the ultrasound that hurt, but he didn't see any abnormalities. but i am waiting on the final results and didn't hear today, so will expect that i will hear from them tomorrow. maybe i pulled something when lifting boxes over the last couple weeks. it hurts, that is all i know at this point. he didn't think that it looked like there was a hernia either, so i will see what they say and then determine if there is more to do or see if i start to feel better. hell, after next week, a sore left side might be the least of my worries frankly.
i had my monthly dinner with my friend chris last week and we were talking about what lays ahead. i was thinking as i drove home that would be our last monthly dinner before i begin treatment. every dinner we have from here forward i will undergoing treatment. i had my haircut on friday and i thought that by the time i would have my next regular appointment, my hair might be falling out. i was drinking a cold cider this weekend and was wondering how many more of those i would drink. when i had treatment last time, i had zero interest in alcohol. my taste buds changed and what i wanted to eat and drink changed.
any plan for the future now needs to end with "it will depend on how i feel." that is a shitty way to live your life - not being able to make plans on your own terms and know that you will feel good enough to see them through. which is exactly why when i went through treatment last time i didn't make too many plans, not planning was easier than the mental game of cancelling because i felt too bad to do anything. i am already tired of having to talk to people i don' t really know well about cancer, mostly this comes up at work. getting what i call "the look" which is a cross of "i have no clue what to say to you right now" mixed with a bit of "i am so glad that isn't happening to me" which i totally get and can understand. but that look, i think that if you have been on this side of it, you can spot the look from a mile away. sometimes i just want to say (obviously in a nice way) -- "i know that you don't know what to say to me right now. i get it. and i know you are going to give me the look. i get it. and please protect your skin so that you don't have to be the one on this side of this kind of awkard conversation at any point in the future."
so obviously i have about a week to pick up the boxing gloves. to wrap up my wrists and get ready for the fight. to head into my corner and wait for the announcer to ring the bell. i can tell you that i am not yet ready to do that.
in many ways i am still reeling from the news. i am still making my way through the calls, the appointments, the schedules, the realities. the hardest conversations i have had to do yet. i think that cancer is so cruel to make parents have to talk to to their kids about cancer. cancer isn't a word that anyone should have to talk about (because there should be cures). but especially kids. i will never, ever forgive cancer for that. ever.
but i can also tell you that i have no doubt that i will be ready to pick up the gloves by next thursday.
because i have a 7 year old girl sleeping upstairs.
and that is everything.
ps) because sometimes you just have to laugh. this.