Metamorphosis and Anger Issues

I remember in 2nd grade Alex told me about a boy he met who told him that he had anger issues. Last week, I felt that I was that boy encountering everyone and stating, “I have anger issues.” Even children who I have known since they were born had commented that they have never seen me this angry. Have I come full circle to the cycle of cancer feelings? Is it possible that it has been too long in this circle that my VIP nurse from Jim’s work insurance plan had commented that she could not believe that Alex was 10 now. Had I known her that long that she was actually noticing years passing. I guess so! I think it started with my testing week. Each step of this process has been more challenging than usual.  After  feeling the love, I should have known something was strange. I went for my blood test  not taking my usual precautions-beverage in case I have to wait, snack in case I have to wait, copy of the order in case they lost it. Oh, what was I thinking? Haven’t I learned my lesson the first 4 times when I put any confidence in the system, the system fails me. Of course, they did not have the order even though Scripps insisted they kept sending the FAX. After almost 2 hours of calling Scripps, they sent the order by FAX, but unfortunately it was the wrong order. I am so glad that I am a “fake” doctor. I finally got connected with a nurse who sent the correct order. I had no faith in this blood test and heard myself say, “it is okay since UCLA is doing more tests tomorrow.”  I proceeded to get the blood test with only minor bruising.

Off I went to UCLA (4 weeks ago having my chemo), I was feeling a little less nauseous than normal since I knew that I would not get chemo. The faces in the chemo matrix were drastically changed. Some of those who seemed full of hope had bodies bent with despair. In the 4 weeks, their faces had changed so much. It is difficult to close your eyes to those who once smiled at you. I smiled and made some chit chat. The “how are you” question is just too much for you to answer in this phase or any phase of cancer. It almost pains you to say, “fine” when you want to yell, “what do you think?”.  I had the ole battle of the minds with my nurses and they thought my opinion that I would not get any more chemo could not be correct. I was “armed” with beautiful butterfly cupcakes, so the mood was lifted for 5 minutes. I did notice the patient that “no one wants to play with” complaining already. I just read Cancer on $5 a Day which also made the comment that if you don’t know who “that patient” is, then it is probably you. Unfortunately, my blood was taken again and some results still pending. The test that came back showed that my bone marrow is not back in the game. News flash all nurses, no chemo today! We discussed all the plans and I just have to wait to hear from Scripps.

I did recover from my anger issues, but a call came from Scripps that they had ordered the wrong scans. WHAT? Okay, how was I supposed to know as this is the first trial I had “auditioned for”.  Fingers pointing this way and that,and  I am not having any confidence. I do have to remind myself that this is not the person or persons who will be injecting me or “testing” me. Attention to details are what? This isn’t like I ordered a burger without cheese. You would think that more attention would be made. Friday starts with a bang as there are only hours left in the day and I have to get the right scan done. I think I have the order, but Hoag insists that my order is for a MRI? Again, I am a skimmer, but you people need to read carefully. I am not going for a MRI. Finally, confirmation and I run for my scan. I am wiped out. Too many areas leaving room for errors. I still go back to the EKG technician who asked me my job. My job is my cancer job or should I say, my job is to not get killed by the multitude of errors made along the way. I also keep asking myself, what do other people do who have to work a real job or just do not have the energy to focus on all the details.

I ended my day with a call from Scripps saying that this week I will be randomized (to drug or not to drug, that is the question). Plus, a call from my VIP nurse from the insurance told me about a 2nd opinion free plan that offers to get opinions from all over the U.S. to see what else I could be doing instead of let’s say chemo?? It all sounds like I am heading in the right direction, but I would really like to take leave from this cancer job. There is no doubt that my body needs a break from chemo. This is a strange phase of cancer treatment as there seems to be no real answer. I count in my head the number of months I had a recurrence last time. It was 4 months, so that would bring me to December? I go back to my original plan which is always one day at a time.  I will continue to do what I can even if that requires a nap. Alex told me that he had a dream that the cancer “got” me. I told him that I will do everything I can to not let that happen. He asked me why I didn’t know if this medicine had worked and couldn’t I say that it will be gone forever. I want to say that and I want to tell him I kicked cancer’s butt and it is gone for good. I just remind him that I am a fighter and I love him so much that I will never stop fighting ever. This is one promise I can make to him.



One Response to “Metamorphosis and Anger Issues”

  1. jen Says:

    Bless your heart Joanie. I am often thinking of you and praying for you. Call me whenever you just need to take a break and see a movie or something.

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