Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cancer the crab

Cancer the crab creeps in all directions. Benign growths usually have smooth edges but cancerous growths are jagged, some appear to have tentacles. It is probably just as well that I didn't see my mammogram last year. The growth, or mass as the radiologist put it, was more than 5 cm across; if it were cancerous, my prognosis would not be good. But its edges are smooth; its insides are liquid; it looks identical to what it looked like last year.
One of my dear readers has skin mets from breast cancer. Bright red lesions creep across her chest choking off blood vessels and lymph passages below the surface. She posts pictures of it. It now covers almost half of her chest. Due to little circulation, there are patches of necrosis. Secondary infections are smelly. Systemic treatment would do little good due to poor circulation. Radiation might slow it down but be painful. at first, it was thought to be radiation necrosis.

In my cooking class the other day, of us 6 BC survivors, 4 of us  are TNBC although one of those was never tested for the her2 oncogene. One of the women just started chemo, still in shock about her diagnosis made right before her wedding. Some people are supporters of cancer patients, their spouse or their child. One woman's experience has been so draining, she wonders what is worse? Being the patient or being the cheerleader. Her husband has no more signs of cancer but there has been so much treatment induced damage that he is finding it difficult to want to live.

Another supporter never has had cancer before but has had 58 pounds of benign ovarian tumors removed. 58 pounds!!!

 I did not enjoy my visit this week to the Cancer Center. My onc thought I needed a flu shot which was administered in the infusion room. I never wanted to see that place again. In the lobby  a sextet of sweet voiced Mennonite women sing. I assume they are not Amish because their modest dresses have small flowers printed on them whereas Amish always wear black. And my aerobic nun that I encountered in the middle of the wilderness was all in white.

A few days later, I was back again on the deserted road. A man on a bike stops in front of me. I wonder if I am in some kind of danger. He isn't wearing the usual bicycle apparel and is shabbily dressed. He leaves the bike  in the weeds and walks into my path carrying...a cross-bow! I guess he is a hunter and it is deer season. It will be tough carrying a deer back on a bike. He is not in orange. Maybe he is after birds.

The small town my son lives in features a 'deer pole' near its town square. There are 12 deer hanging off of it now, a gruesome sight. For some reason, Japanese dignitaries were in town. They were fascinated with this spectacle.

But my cancer week is over. Shanna and her family came yesterday. It was fun having the grandbabies all in one place. Currently they are visiting the other side but this week is what I live for.

For those of you who wonder what a deer pole is, I've posted a photo from our local paper. You have to scroll down for it. As it is disturbing...

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