Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The sun is out in Chicago today

I walked into the clinic for my doctor's appointment today--the same clinic where I went to get my chemo treatments every two weeks--and had quite an emotional experience. It rushed upon me as soon as I walked through the automatic doors; this is where I spent some very unpleasant Fridays. But it was more than that; it was also that I seemed to have beaten the cancer, and that I was walking through the halls like a survivor. I wouldn't have to go again to that place for chemo treatments. Stooped, bald-headed people were going to appointments, their green-pale faces held the tell-tale signs of chemotherapy. I, too, had that green color once. But friends and family had the grace not to tell me about it until my cheeks turned a normal hue again. Until I again had the body of a plump medieval nymph.

Today the doctor said: You did good. I answered, You did good too. I told him I planned to live to age 86. He chuckled and asked why not longer. That seems long enough, I answered. You know, if you live to be 100, you get a card from the president, he said. Well, I wouldn't want to live until 100 just for that. What if I wouldn't want a card from the president in office. Everybody nodded.

While I waited to get my next appointments--my port removed, my colonoscopy--I saw a daughter walk out of an office where her mother was in with my doctor. She was crying, so I knew the news they got wasn't as good as what I heard.

I asked him about my curls. How did this happen, I didn't lose my hair. Some people get curly hair, he said. But mine didn't fall out, I said. He shrugged. The nurse said later that hers started getting curly with age. And she's about 15 years younger than I am.

So the plan is: colonoscopy within a year of my surgery, which is now. Port removed! Symbolic to me, like the clanging of the bell at the end of a boxing match. The referee has counted to 10 and it's my hand he's holding up. Visits to the doctor every four months for blood work and check ups. CT scan every six to eight months.

I do feel great. I'm a little hungry.


Catnap40 said...

Congratulations! Ask to keep your port. I kept mine. It was a part of me for so long that it felt wrong to have it thrown in the garbage.
I am down on visiting the doctor 4 times a year. It seems more like a reunion than a medical appointment.
My wish for you is nothing but good times ahead.
I was in a newsroom conversation about a woman celebrating her 103rd birthday.
"Who would want to live to be 103?" some cub reporter asked. Our old-school publisher barked "Someone who's 102!"

Terri said...

I thought I would put my port in a jar and sit it on the mantle. I really want it out. I know a lot of people like to keep theirs but I just feel like it's the end if I take it out.

Terri said...

SET it on the mantle

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