Thursday, June 24, 2010

I get it - I'm cleaning to control something

No one can accuse me of living the unexamined life - not Greek philosopher nor two-bit psychologist. I examine my motivations and examine again until I can't stands no more.

I'm cleaning my house today because it's something I can control. I get it. After two days of uncontrolled emotions, bad news and changing courses of treatment, a girl's gotta get out the Clorox. I think I inhaled a little when I was emptying it into the bathtub. My first thought was, "ooh, that could make me sick." Sick indeed.

I feel good today. I talked to my friend and work colleague who is going through a very similar cancer and course of treatment that I have yet to begin. She isn't a rah rah type of girl, which I respect. She was honest, and told me the truth about side affects and the range of emotions, but somehow talking to her made me understand that there is living beyond the initial tests and first few rounds of chemo.

Admittedly, yesterday was tough. I wasn't feelin' it with my cancer doctor. She had these eye teeth that stuck way out and after I got over my initial Austin Powers "mole!! moley mole!!" reaction, I was left with the thought that with dentistry being what it is today, why has she not taken advantage of what must be a pretty good benefits plan at the BC Cancer Agency and gotten that taken care of? Of course, one could argue that she's been so busy curing cancer that she just doesn't have the time to fix her own damn teeth, so smiles beatifically for her patients as a reminder of her dedication.

Pete and I decided to take off for a night this weekend and go to Sooke Harbour House. We've been more the Point No Point types up to now - the cabin in the woods, jacuzzi on the deck, total solitude kind of getaway - but have always wanted to sample the restaurant at SHH. Well, no better time than having a bout of breast cancer to make it all happen.

And yes, I played the cancer card when I requested my reservation. The web special they were advertising said "room type and amenities not guaranteed", so I put in my remarks that I had just discovered I had cancer and would be unbelievably happy to get an outdoor jetted tub to enjoy before my treatment begins. And shazam, I got an email a couple of hours later from SHH telling me I'd been upgraded to their best king-sized ocean-front suite with an outdoor tub. No extra charge. Believe you me, my friends, I will milk this thing if it gets me the free stuff.

Today I also talked to my surgeon's assistant, who lives in Youbou (pronounced You-bow for you non-Island folk), which is just outside of Duncan on Cowichan Lake. Talk about a mobile worker policy at its most modern. Surgical assistance by distance? Love. She's a lovely woman, and even remembered my mom from when she had seen Dr. R a few years back for breast cancer. I told her I liked but didn't like like my new oncologist. I said I wanted a firecracker of a gal - one who could take dictation, file her nails and cure cancer all at the same time. I mean, Dr. A seems perfectly lovely and capable, but not completely my type.

The assistant said she knew Dr. A was one of the better ones (makes me wonder about who gets one from the other group of docs) but would ask Dr. R who she likes. I'm thinking whoever Dr. R likes, I'll like. Maybe it's just my 1970s coming out, but Dr. R is like a cross between Chris Evert and Christie Brinkley. I feel a good connection and I'm happy there. I want to be happy with everyone without going the Evian bathwater route with my fussiness.

No word on the CT/bone scan appointments yet, but did manage to give blood yesterday so they can tell me more about my individual brand of cancer. On Tuesday Dr. A goes in front of the breast cancer conference board to get a decision on my course of action (surgery first vs. chemo first) and then I hear all about it next Wednesday.

In between, I will clean my house, enjoy my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes and hang out with my daughters as much as possible.

Oh, and did I mention my man? Oh brother, he's a good one. No matter the shit he's going through himself with this (and he's more than entitled to have as many bad days as I do from here on out), he's exactly him and so fucking amazing. A cruel way to remind me what I gots around this joint.

PS - commenting is fixed now, so go ahead and tell me stuff.


  1. Thanks for sharing, Carissa. I just finished the Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan. Have you read it? If not, I'll mail it to you this weekend. Stay strong.


  2. Write on girl, sending my woman power along the way to fight this damn monster; I know you are strong, stay powerful and fight, fight, fight!
    Janice B