I am carrying this scrap of paper

30 09 2020

I have been seeing doctors and nurses and techs since the end of May: one primary care physician, one dermatologist, two radiologists, three oncologists, many nurses and many techs.

Also since the end of May: multiple blood tests, multiple mammograms, multiple ultrasounds, multiple biopsies, one COVID test, one surgery, multiple x-rays, and twenty radiation treatments.

And now I am done with all of them—until November, that is.

The acute phase of my treatment ended last week; the continuing (starting with hormone treatments) begins this week, and includes more docs and nurses and techs and tests in the future.

But this week, and all of October, I have no appointments, and only the daily pill to remind me that I am, still, a cancer patient.

Well, that, and the number the radiation did on my skin. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be—discomfort, yes, but pain, not really—but it’s unpleasant, all the same. It should start getting better, mmm, around now, and continue to do so over the next month or two.

Still, no appointments. No doctors, no nurses, no techs, no temperature checks, no forms, no medical machines. Just day after day of not having to be in a clinic in Chelsea or Midtown East or the UES or Union Square. Just day after day of my life, if only for awhile.

I’ll take it.

 


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1 10 2020
dmf

glad you’ve entered a period of respite.

“I want to write rage but all that comes is sadness. We have been sad long enough to make this earth either weep or grow fertile. I am an anachronism, a sport, like the bee that was never meant to fly. Science said so. I am not supposed to exist. I carry death around in my body like a condemnation. But I do live. The bee flies. There must be some way to integrate death into living, neither ignoring it nor giving in to it.”
― Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals

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