Enough is Enough

When is Humanity Going to Get That We’re All in This Together?

It’s Hard to Keep a Good Mother Down

Posted by honestpoet on February 23, 2007

One of the purposes a blog can serve is to allow people to vent. So, please, allow me.

Argh. My body has been invaded by microbes, and right now victory is not exactly clear (I exaggerate). Actually, several weeks ago, that was the case, but this time I just have a cold.

So I’m not in fear of involuntarily abandoning my family at this point, just really frustrated. Because after battling a double-whammy cipro-resistant (thanks to anthrax-paranoid people overusing that heretofore-effective antibiotic) bacterial infection for two months, the home and garden have fallen into disrepair, and I was really psyched about getting out there on this beautiful day and really making change.

And instead I’ve lain in bed most of the morning, waiting for the Nyquil that I finally agreed to take in the wee hours (I hate that sort of medicine) to wear off. It has, but I still feel queasy (one of the symptoms of the cold both my daughter and husband are getting over, caused by massive post-nasal drip; yes, I have a belly full of snot) and not really up to digging in the dirt.

But I have accomplished the most important thing on my to-do list, and I’ll have to satisfy myself with that. And I am so glad: I finally got my best friend to schedule an appointment with her oncologist to plan her next round of chemo.

She’s been in denial. We found out she had stage-3 cervical cancer a few weeks before last Christmas. Her first round of chemo was rough, as they all are, though she didn’t lose her hair (not all of the agents do that). But the final radiological treatment, which involved her being on her back, in pain, in a lead-lined room, in a panic, with capsules of radioactive material stuffed up her hoo-hoo, for three days, was absolute torture. She had one of those sadistic doctors who seem to hate their patients. He denied her the medicine that my husband had prescribed for her to help her with the pain and panic, and then, at the end of all this, the doctor removed the capsules and gauze, which had fused to the walls of her vagina, with no anesthetic and no lubrication. She couldn’t help but scream. The nurses were aghast at the doctor’s cruelty. I’m not sure she went through with the complaint we urged her to file. I hope she did.

That was about six months ago. Since then she’s gained a nice bit of weight back. She’s been strong enough to start the next round of chemo (with a different agent…unfortunately, the mass was reduced by less than 50%) for a few months, but she’s been avoiding it. She feels well enough, but she’s got a little boy (my godson) who’s about to turn 3, and she’s been having fun planning his party and looking for presents. She’d rather not be out of commission again. It was hard on both of them.

Chemo is absolutely no fun. Not to mention sometimes it’s as deadly as the cancer. If I believed in the power of prayer I’d write a moving email and send it around the world. Or ask you, dear reader, to ask that allegedly benevolent being to heal her, or at least not kill her, yet. But I don’t. I believe in something much more effective: the power of will. I trust in the power of her mind over her body (since I know they’re not actually separate). She’s defied the odds before. She was supposed to have been dead years ago, from leukemia. But she fought that, and she’ll fight this, too, just like I fought death when it came for me. She’s got a very good reason to live. Like me, she’s got some very important work to do.

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