Saturday, June 22, 2019
Not what I feared
When I first learned I had a stage 4 tumor, I imagined a cure that was worse than the disease, a cure that was worse than death. Pumping poison into my body, hoping it killed the cancer cells before the rest of me? Bombarding it with radiation without destroying other critical functions (like my brain)? Did I want to go through all that just to die of something else, or a different cancer, in an unguaranteed number of years/months? Should I save myself the suffering and just end it all now?
Well, in my case, so far (that’s an important disclaimer), the most painful thing about chemotherapy has been the insertion of IV needles, and that’s just a brief ouch. I expected some sort of searing toxic pain as medicinal Drano flowed through my body. Nope. It felt exactly like the hydration fluid, exactly like nothing. No convulsions, no nausea, no whimpering in a fetal position as flesh boiled from my bones.
And radiation therapy was not like sticking my head in a microwave oven. Other than the press of the mask against my face, I don’t feel anything. And, most days, my irradiated throat feels better, not like it’s being seared in a space age charbroiler.
Generally, I feel like I’m going through prolonged bout of the flu. Sore throat, achey, tired, very slight trouble breathing. Oh, and with plumbing in my neck. That’s the most uncomfortable, inconvenient thing.
As I’ve also said before, I’m lucky. Very lucky. My heart goes out to all those for whom treatment is torture. They don’t deserve it.