I had 2 doctors visits in one week. That is unusual for me lately. Both were routine follow ups from oncology and radiation oncology. I didn't have the usual scanxiety that I usually have. I had a mammogram just a month before and everything was normal, so I naturally assumed that neither doc would find any problems.
I like to drive. Everywhere. I drive more than Doug. When I lived in LA that was part of my job, driving to set, from editorial to one of the post houses, mix stages etc. Most people get totally stressed in rush hour on the 101, the Hollywood Freeway. I find it relaxing. Yeah your not moving, but you can clear your mind and focus.
I would always drive to my doctor appointments, chemo, radiation, I think I even drove to surgery. Most of the time after chemo I wasn't in any shape to drive, the drugs would knock me out (and no I didn't drive after my lumpectomy surgery, but apparently I called several people to tell them I was ok while I was still heavily medicated. Wonder if that audio is still around.)
Monday I drove to the oncologist. Driving to the hospital for what I knew would be a routine follow up brought a flood of memories to me. Why I don't know. I thought about the routine I would have for the day. I would get my blood drawn out of my port at about 9am. Hated that goddamn port. Looked like a fucking bottlecap under my skin, and it would hurt sometimes when I moved a certain way. Go to work and produce The Vic McCarty Show for 2 hours, drive home. Put lidocaine on my port and cover it with plastic wrap so it wouldn't rub off. Lidocaine numbs the area. I would see the oncologist. he would go over my blood counts to make sure I was strong enough to do the chemo, then it was a short walk to the infusion center. There were a couple of times that I forgot to put Lidocaine on my port and when they jabbed the syringe in me for the chemo it hurt like hell for the entire treatment, which lasted anywhere from 1-3 hours, depending upon the meds.
I thought about how much I had been through. Sometimes I can't believe it. Its only been 3 years but it also feels like a lifetime ago. I thought about how much Doug has been there for me. Every chemo, every radiation. During chemo I would fall asleep because of the meds and he would go to the cafeteria to get something to eat for himself. He would come back with Lays potato chips for me. They made me feel better when I was done. I would groggily walk to the exit of the cancer center and Doug would get the car and pull it up so I wouldn't have to walk too far.
During the drive to the doctor I wondered why I wasn't nervous or scared. Was it because I was just too busy with work and advocacy? Maybe I have just gotten to a place where I know I am going to be ok, and as my friend Donald Wilhelm would say "It is what it is."
No its neither one of those things. I don't know why the appointments didn't bother me. I still don't. It makes no sense.
Cancer still affects me. Well the side effects do anyway. The neuropathy that went away now comes and goes. Like I need a fucking reminder that I had cancer. It frustrates me that I still have it. That when sometimes when I am doing pilates I can't feel my toes or part of my foot. Kind of hard to focus on the poses and breathing when you aren't even sure where your foot it. I know its where it should be. I just can't fucking feel it. Frustrating when the instructor asks you to move a part of your foot and you have no clue if you are or not.
And the damn depression.
Of all the side effects I have had I wish I could trade that one for something else, like you used to to with marbles or baseball cards when you were a kid?
Hey I'll trade you depression for insomnia or chemobrain.
Shit. I have both of those too.
Mel is the producer/co~host of The Vic McCarty Show. Listen Live Monday~Friday 10am-noon eastern time on wmktthetalkstation.com
Check out my podcast The Cancer Warrior on Empoweradio.com Available on demand and also available on Itunes