Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Cold

It's cold here. The kind of cold that freezes air and makes it hard to take a deep breath. I'm in Wisconsin with my family, reading about supplements and cell walls, and getting Luka settled so I can return to Portland and begin treatment. Little wide eyed kindergarten girl will join us again on January 17th, giving me time to adjust to this thing called chemotherapy.
I went to the Oncologist Dr. B last Monday. We walked into the cancer center and up to the 6th floor and around the corner through a really long carpeted biege hallway. When I got the the receptionist counter to check in the first thing I noticed was one of the receptionists was sitting not on a chair, but on a big blue yoga ball. I stared at the ball for a minute and then the second thing I noticed was a photograph of two kids. I was really thrown off, because the photo looked so familiar. As the receptionist was asking my name and birthday, I realized the photo was familiar because I had taken it. It was a from a portrait session I had done a few months ago. I said,"hey I took that picture," and both receptionists looked at me rather quizzically and then one of them said "oh - those are my nephews - did you do those. . .etc." After that I felt a mild sense of comfort and also a little wierd.
We sat in the waiting room for a while and then went and got weighed and blood pressured and then sat in another room for awhile. I kind of paged through a Sunset magazine. Scott's hair was all messed up so I fixed it alittle bit for him and then Dr. B came in.
Talk talk talk repeat repeat repeat what happened where why what hurts now what hurt then symptoms odd cancer advanced do you want to see the pictures of the insides of your body?
I like Dr. B. He is kind but he is no bullshit. Lay it down doc.
You have cervical cancer that has metastitized to the lung, chest wall, neck tissues, and another area near the spine. (Already knew that). It travelled through the blood stream and may have been there for some time, but was too small to see on an xray or scan. (Didn't know that). We can treat it, but we can't cure it. (Was pretty sure he'd say that).
I did not ask for any statistics and he didn't offer any. He said he doesn't think it will go to my brain and that most people living with cancer don't live decades. We will treat it with two kinds of chemotherapy.
That is all I need to know. Because, people of the world, one of my favorite things to do is to prove people wrong. Really, it gives me an almost unruly satisfaction. I understand now that it is my doctor's job to treat this ugly thing, but it's my job to cure it.
I'll take my full deep breaths outside in the freezing air, you know. I grew up here and I know how to do it.

1 comment:

  1. Julie,

    Andrea brought a piece you made and gave it as a Christmas gift to us. I really really like it. It is a piece that says, 'yesterday i rode my bike' and it is very appropriate for us. I am taking a group show to Frankfurt at the end of January. I plan to include your piece. I hope it's ok. Say hello to Scott for me.