Sunday, January 18, 2009

the thermostat is broken.

Fact: when I am all done up in makeup and a wig, the technicians prick me harder while they draw blood, as opposed to when I look like a chemo patient. Note to self: look sick all of the time and reap subsequent sympathy benefits.

I've noticed a pattern with many health care professionals I've dealt with. They view their specialty as their business, instead of people. When I was having a phone consultation with an oncology surgeon, he told me that hip surgery was his business, it was how he made his money, so he wouldn't tell me his assessment as to whether radiation was the best choice. In my opinion, helping people make the right decision is part of this job responsibility. Helping people. not just processing blood or taking temperatures or preforming a routine surgery. Caring for people. There are feelings and nerves and souls underneath all of those bodies. I guarantee I will remember the onc nurses who put care and compassion into their work until the day I die.

Radiation is finally starting to rear its ugly head in the form of a massive purple-and-slightly-itchy bruise on the left side of my hip. This thing BETTER heal. I suppose it's less obtrusive than the scar I'd have if I had opted for surgery.

I have had fevers all week but haven't gone to the ER quite yet. I've decided to wait until my temperature hits 102, as hospital stays are not always conducive to wellness. I love how sensuous a fever can be. Hedonistic, even. Heightened body temperature, drenched in sweat, your heart beating faster. You can almost feel the blood pulsing through your veins. Your body aches all over, but a tolerable ache, so that it's not so much pain as a total awareness of the body. Vision becomes blurry. You melt into yourself. I almost enjoy it.

hello from iceman.
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Val said...

Hello Iceman!
I hope you feel better, I wish I could make it better.
I'm in Wyoming right now. The night sky is amazing! I miss you- I'll see you soon

Anonymous said...

I just came across your Jan 18, 2009 writings. I am a survivor of melanoma, 6 years I am proud to say. What you say about the medical people, in particular docs, thinking of their vocation as a business is a concept that most people fighting cancer experience. Many of these docs were never taught to view it as anything but a business.
If we cannot change that situation, we as survivors must change our reaction to the situation. It is up to us, those who have fought the battle, and continue to fight, to stand up to such treatment. We must demand what is our due as human beings: dignity, respect, a feeling of empowerment, modesty, and our right to be treated as individuals. No one's illness, be it cancer or diabetes, etc. is the same, the treatments will not be the same, and each person's reaction to the diagnosis and treatments will be the same. Anyone who is in the medical profession and does not understand and appreciate that, is in the wrong profession.
I wish you well in your battle and I appreciate your sense of humor throughout it. As things get tougher (or not) please maintain as much of that as you can. It is a valuable personal asset.

Levi said...

I have been lurking for awhile. I enjoy reading your blog. It's struggle is certainly poignant.

My diagnosis uterine adenocarcinoma, stage 3C. One year ago. I started blogging about that time.

I chose not to do radiation. I met 4 different docs at Stanford where no one would commit one way or the other to radiation. I chose chemotherapy and chose to skip radiation. I was afraid of what the radiation my do to the lymphedema (I was born with).

I don't want to melt into myself. I am a wuss. I have been in hospital with temps as high as 105 and the nurses don't treat you that much better, temp or not.

Back to lurking. Take care.

Anonymous said...

what hospital are you at again? That's horrible to be talked like a client instead of a patient.
At Standford, everyone was so genuiley kind and patience, and very understanding. I love going back for checkups just to see everyone. It's nice when they're there to make you comfy, instead of treating you as "their job".
If you need to, just tell them...sometimes you have to be frontup with them.

stephen said...

hell care is disgusting in this country. one of the worst days of my life happened 3 years ago when i was a tour bus driver in sf. I was driving a bunch of CEO's of various health care companies to a conference. two ladies were sitting behind me, we were driving across the bay bridge when one of them snipped, "It is always so awkward when i have to weigh the cost of saving someones life and the financial burden of that life, but usually i chose the money."

i wanted so desperately to crash through the siderails and kill her.

but a part of me reasoned, no one in the media would state why you did it.

hate them!

good luck, angel!!

kaylin andres said...

sara- I go to Morse Ave. Kaiser. At times I wish I was being treated at Stanford, but that's not really an option financially.

stephen- you drove tour buses?! crazy! That lady would off me in a second- I think every day of chemo for me ends up costing a couple grand...

stephen said...

It's like your buying creative writing school... plus you are getting lots of material.

can't wait for the full length graphic novel!

Anonymous said...

Reading your post makes me grateful that my country chose (in 1948) to largely remove financial motives for diagnoses and choice of treatment.

UnparalleledUmbrellas said...

omg! what a cute little guy! he must be whats helping melt u! i hope i get to visit u still and meet iceman too! i fucking miss u! and cant wait till u get to come back! tofu buritos will be even extra foodgasmic and awesome with u like the old days! we should do yoga and more things together! i always wanted to spend more time than we actually ever did, lots more lady dates and fun times to come! this summer is going to go down in the books!

Anonymous said...

Awww such cute fluffiness!!

Healthcare in this country is just a money sign to people. My boyfriend is sick and has no insurance and he gets treated horribly by most doctors. Usually they do nothing for him, he almost died from it. He still does not have proper treatment and social security keeps denying him.
I am going to school and unemployment, we live with my father and struggle daily.
I do not get this country, not at all, not when people who are deathly sick cannot get help but 400 pound obese people can.
Chelsey McClelland

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