Sunday, May 25, 2008

This Tumour of Mine Longs to Hold Me

I am beginning to think that my tumour is my mini-me; my alter ego. It is so oppositional in every way.

To avoid the probe of the papsmear it devilishly tucked its feet up and curled itself away three times. It offered only the cancer-free cells for testing, yielding negative results and took the time it needed to nuture and propogate, to deepen and breed.

Even at the biopsy, it's self-willed ways irked the oncologists. They scratched at the tumour nearly 8 times, (all the while telling me I was so strong and so brave and that they were almost done), before they got the sample of its 8cm breadth that would finally reveal it's type and character; adeno carcinoma.

It endured 35 rounds of radiation and two rounds of deep penetrating radiation (Brachytherapy), where it faced radiation pellets head on, in the ring for 36 hours. After that it merely skulked away for long enough to impregnate the nearby lymph node and returm to centre cervix in bloom. During this fight, it vengefully resisted the Cisplatin by sending swelling and rash to all my extremeties, including my throat and tongue, deeming me allergic to the family of chemo drugs specific to a cervical tumour.

In our second attempt to treat the cancer and prolong my life we tried Paclitaxol and Carboplatin, a distant cousin to Cisplatin. The tumour casually layed back and allowed the chemo to nibble at its toes; his body stretching, pulsing and bloody.

While I generally consider myself more altruistic than black hearted, I chuckle (believe it or not, yes, with all my whining, I still chuckle) at its counteraction and polarity.

As the doctors have recently told me there is nothing else they can do for me or my tumour, I can only believe that as I learn may out of my oppositional nature, so too, will the tumour.


Soressa said...

You are back at it! Both these latest entries are so beautifully written, and moving. I catch myself wishing they were based on your interview with some distant stranger and her tumour instead of your own very real experience.
Those smiles are all directed at you. Your pesky little "friend" still has time to bid you farewell and shrink into the distance.

Brent Smart said...

I've often started to write a comment here and then stopped, feeling not capable, feeling that anything I think of is banal or maybe just plain irritating. We've had some powerful moments and conversations over the last 15 years. I think especially of a sunny afternoon in Kamakura, coming into the presence of a 9 metre 13th century bronze Buddha -- or comparing notes on our families while strolling around a bird sanctuary on the North Shore. I wish I knew how to contribute to this conversation in some helpful way. Thanks for writing about your experience with such honesty and grace.