Sunday, November 30, 2008

24/7/365 366* (and counting)

It's my cancerversary today--one of many commemorating various battles of my cancer war, but this is the big one--the one year anniversary of the first time they told me "you have cancer."

It was a week after Thanksgiving and I had a late appointment on Friday. We went into it with big plans to go to a fish fry for dinner so I could eat my face off after having done the whole fasting and bowel prep thing in advance of the colonoscopy.

It was cold, and it was snowing. It was the first time I'd ever been in UW hospital. We parked on the top of the parking ramp.

They gave me a key on an elastic ring for the locker where I would store my clothes. I wore my long wool socks, thinking I was clever. I remember getting wheeled into the room, but very little after.

Coming out of sedation, I would ask Jody what time it was before falling back to sleep. We had to wait for something, so why not sleep? This happened again and again, although I didn't realize it at the time.

Eventually the nurse came and brought us into a room. Getting brought into a room is never a good thing, but my Versed-addled brain didn't make this connection. Jody had seen it coming ever since they said we had to wait. His train wreck was in slow motion, whereas mine happened at full speed, if through a fog.


It couldn't be cancer. They must have gotten it wrong. How much can they tell from looking at something, anyway?


But I'm young! Fit! Vegetarian! Clean family history! I have a four month old, for Chrissake! It can't be cancer! It can't be.


But as we know all too well, it was. Despite all the odds so clearly being in my favor, I had rectal cancer. Ass cancer, if you prefer (I know I do). What the fuck were we going to do?

Burn it.
Cut it.
Poison it.
Bomb it to the stone age and then salt the earth so it never comes back.
We hope.

A year ago today they told me I have cancer. And I'm still here.

I had a bad day yesterday. Not cancer-bad, but related to it, so in the vicinity. I was all ready to post something really depressing and maudlin but Jody and I had a chat and got my emotional train back on the rails.

I made a plan. Something to distract, cheer me up:

I got my Suzie Homemaker nails done.

My nails are the longest they have been since finishing chemo--which is to say not long at all--and I wanted to do something indulgent and solo over Violet's nap.

The color is Russian Navy and is appropriate on so many levels:
  • When I met Jody, he was in the [U.S.] Navy.
  • Like my daughter's name, this color is a shade of purple
  • This color is also blue, like the "awareness" ribbon of my fellow colorectal peeps.
It's also totally badass.

Speaking of those last two items--ie my ass and it being a bad one--I applied to be a model for the 2010 Colondar. I'll let you know if I'll be flashing my scars for the masses when I do. :)

*I stand corrected--it was a leap year. Of course it was...

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