Saturday, June 22, 2019

Not what I feared

As I’ve said before, humans are not all the same, cancers are not all the same, so treatments are not all the same and side effects are not all the same. Therefore, my experience is not representative of all cancer patients’ experiences.

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.


  1. I celebrate your less agonizing battle with cancer than maybe most. I don't know. However, I totally agree that medicine, illness, cures, etc....are not a one size fits all skin suit. I too would have posed the same exact questions to myself. I'm presently question the pros and cons of western medical intervention!

  2. Thank you for posting about everything that's been happening as you continue treatment. I think your posts will help other people contemplating their next step after getting a cancer diagnosis.

    I'm very glad to hear that it's been relatively painless so far and hope that holds true for the future.

  3. Interesting post, will ponder on it awhile ... Thanks!

  4. I am so happy for you that things are not nearly as bad as imagined. I hope that continues to be the case.

  5. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, the average for most is somewhere in between such as your situation. Amazing what they are now able to do for many of the stage 4 cancers compared to just 10 years ago.

  6. And now, or rather yesterday, on 7/30/20, someone - I noticed in my stats - input "key words" that were the title of a blogpost around this time. It's: Lone Pine Art - Kremmling Colorado. You commented.

    That prompted me to go see where you were then. And you were at

    and though you were perhaps somewhat relieved, it was a tough place nonetheless.

    And now here you are, today, able to escape the fires.

    It seems to be about least that's what my physician told me yesterday...that and being in the moment.

    And I know you're doing both.