Thursday, August 2, 2018

DAY 026 -- "The Hitchhiking Gorilla"

Here we’ve gone again into the late early hours, writing yesterday today.

I used to joke, and I suppose I still do (once during therapy, and my Dr. Wannabe Freud didn’t like it), that I was in the past, tense, and though I didn’t feel like I was in the present, tense, the way things were going I probably would be in the future, tense.

Another ho-hum day in the radiation glow room on the terrible table (eleven more to go) and I don’t mean to sound blasé about it. It’s probably the least blasé thing I’ve ever been through. But, an odd thing is happening:

I’m setting up some tension on my mind’s back burner, and I can feel it beginning to simmer. This regimen I’ve been in for more than a month, radical and un-blasé as it is, now also feels like a kind of sanctuary for the anti-hero in me.

The side effects of radiation treatment have now become fully realized, and with two weeks to go, the Doc says I can expect some worsening before the bettering begins. My chest skin over the target area reddening and on the brink of breakdown, painful all the time, itching at the edges, -- bad as it is, and as much as it and other fallouts may not have reached their peaks, they're also the outward manifestations of the inner healing: a shrinking tumor.

We won’t know what degree of healing until we re-assess with the follow-up diagnostics at the end of radiation and chemo.

That’s where my anxiety sits like a soup about to boil over. I was going to say like a hitchhiking gorilla up ahead, but I’ve already mixed enough metaphors and clichés in this diary to touch a ten-foot bridge like there’s no tomorrow.

Point is: while I’m being treated, yes, there are these side effects we’ve been reading about, some annoying, some damned painful. But, underneath and inside, I’m on the mend.

And, as long as I’m being treated, I’m healing, and everything else is on hold.

But, when the treatment(s) stop, that’s when my “normal” life jumpstarts and we’ll find out just HOW MUCH healing.

And that will determine where my cancer has taken me, and where my next stops might be.

So, screw it, I’m going with the hitchhiking gorilla visual. I’ll just have to hope he’s got gas money.

More as we go, El


  1. Thank you for sharing .... most of have no clue what people go through with chemo and radiation..noone talks about it.

    1. Thank you, Susan. That's the finest kudo I could want for this reportage. Thanks again for playing! Best, El

  2. I agree with Susan, appreciate you sharing. I knew some of the physical things about radiation but not so much the emotional/mental stuff. And as always, appreciate you can talk about it with both humor and tenderness.

    1. Thanks, Kathy. It's all new to me, too, at least from this side of the cancer. A learning curve for all of us....Thanks for playing! Best, El


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