It’s Sunday, one month since The News.
Two nights ago, after losing all hope that the treatment regimen would at least temporarily relieve me of the need to cut my hair, I finally got the trimmer out. It had taken two months since the last “trim” for my hair to grow back to a length where another attempt could be made. The result this time was only a semi-disaster. We have smart phones, smart watches, and smart TVs. Why don’t we have smart hair trimmers? Has the hair stylists union subverted its development? Last night I attempted to touch it up so it could pass for one of the “messy haircut” styles (specifically the “I Woke Up Like This” style). I’m debating whether to risk some refinement tonight. One slip and I’ll have to try for a mohawk instead…
Reflections at one month…
Things have been a frenzy since The News, and I can’t really believe that a month has gone by. On the one hand, knowing you have a tumor growing in you, you want treatment to start ASAP – to halt its advance if not to start reversing it. On the other hand looking back at my calendar it’s hard to believe so much has happened in such a short time. In some ways I was a bit relieved that the first infusion has been pushed out a week – it’s a little extra time to prepare for some down time. And yes I still have lots of things going on, like running a homeowners association and my own efforts in NextGen TV. (I’m told I’m not really doing the retirement thing correctly. Maybe by the time I re-re-re-re-re-retire I’ll get it right. Maybe by then I’ll also have learned how to cut my hair. Not likely on both counts.) In addition there’s turning the house into a place of healing and planning for the possibility that I may not be as self-sufficient as I usually am.
There have been hiccups along the road. Squabbles between Blue Cross and hospitals, individuals who offered help and I was sure I could count on, but who mysteriously abandoned the journey, and Costco’s selling out of furniture in the day it takes me to arrange for delivery. (Almost as bad as The Great Spam Musubi Shortage of 2020 when Costco had no rice or Spam for a couple months!) But that has been more than offset by the care and attention I’ve received from the team at PAMF, bits of help from friends and neighbors, and especially people like JT who have stepped up in ways I would never have imagined.
It’s also been an excuse to get in touch with people who I haven’t seen or interacted with in a while – both relatives and former colleagues. Along the way a surprising number have shared their own cancer stories, or of caring for a loved one with cancer. A couple were even treated at PAMF, making their experiences particularly relevant. And yes, many are survivors!
And after a month we stand on the cusp of treatment. Hopefully the next few months with chemotherapy then chemo-radiation will be uneventful. Hopefully I won’t be writing about how I needed that extra-strong anti-nausea prescription. (Hopefully I will be writing about how cool it is to glow in the dark – though it seems radiation treatment will start closer to Christmas than Halloween. If only I’d scheduled that colonoscopy a couple months earlier…)