Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chemo sucks.

I have a brain tumor. I've probably had it my whole life, but I found out about it when I got hit by a car in 2003, had a CAT scan, and the doctors were like, "You might want to have that checked out."

I wrote a lot more summary of previous events, but I've written about this so much, so moving right along: I had the tumor mostly removed (my neurosurgeon couldn't get it all because he was afraid he'd mess up my vision), got an MRI every year and it stayed away, moved back to Portland, and after my second annual MRI, the neurologist was supposed to say, "Looks great, see you next year," but instead she said, "It looks like there's new growth," and she referred me to an oncologist.

He put me on a miraculous little chemo pill, and I was on that for almost two years, no side effects, and the tumor wasn't shrinking, which would've been the best case scenario, but it wasn't growing either. I kept living my life. It was terrific.

But then I had another appointment post-MRI; again, the doctor was supposed to say "Looks great, see you next time," and again, he said, "Actually..." So now I'm on the old-school chemo, the hardcore IV stuff. Went in for the first time on Friday, and I'll be going every two weeks... a round of chemo is six weeks, three sessions, but as long as it seems to be effective, I'll keep doing it.

I'm generally a pretty positive person. But I made a list of my least favorite things about chemo:

1) nausea
2) fear
3) the bad taste in your mouth
3) the woman in the chair across from me who says, "What are you here for?" I'm wondering, "Is this standard etiquette? The appropriate topic of discussion?" But I answer her: "A brain tumor." She says, "Oh my god!" which thank you, is not helpful. I ask, "What are you here for?" She says, "Breast cancer" and gestures. Then, thank god, she leaves.

I started making a list of the best things about chemo, and I got as far as
1) Megan going with me

but then I realized that fuck it, I don't have to make a list of the good things about chemo. Chemo sucks.


John said...

*sending strength & love from brooklyn to portland*

millowski said...


Danielle said...

I hope you don't have to see Breast Cancer Lady again. Seems she missed some basic etiquette lessons.

Also I ditto what John says <3