Thursday, February 18, 2010

I want to be de-cancered.

Kairol Rosenthal will be at Modern Times in the Mission next Wednesday to read from her book, Everything Changes. I will be there too, so if you are in the area, let's meet up and exchange horror stories...

My mom gifted me Everything Changes shortly after it came out. I had just finished treatment. I sifted through some of the pages thinking, "This would have been great a year ago". I wanted nothing to do with cancer, I wanted it to be solely in the past. So I put the book down and went on with my self proclaimed un-cancerous life.

But, Kariol's book is a resource for those who've already ridden the cancer roller coaster and lived to tell about it. One thing that is becoming more and more apparent is that I'll never rid myself of that death-defying thrill ride. It wasn't the cancer itself that was traumatic, it was the treatment. And, the treatment rarely cures us. It affords us more time, at the very least, and for that I am grateful.

I have been attempting to manage my chronic pain via Kaiser's services. It's slow going, with the majority of treatment lines requiring you to take weekly classes that have little to do with anything before you start the program. Once I'm past all of the red tape, I hope to learn to manage all of these nasty after-effects, both physical and psychological.

One quote in Everything Changes that perfectly encapsulated my sentiments:

"I felt like I had to fight for my right to be pain free. My Nurses made me feel like a drug addict after my bone marrow biopsy. 'Nobody else needs pain killers,' they said, all condescending. Sorry, but I'm the boss of my own body." -Dana Merk, 24