Monday, September 12, 2011


I was at my cancer center today for two reasons. First, to have my obturator adjusted. Wearing it created enough pain that I stopped using it at the expense of loss in the quality of my speech. Some adjustments were made and I have a follow up appointment next week to assess whether or not a new device is required. Second, I began a volunteer role as a patient research advocate a few months ago. My primary responsibility to date has been to attend a one hour meeting each month.

While at the cancer center, a man of about 50 years old was pushed by me in a wheel chair. He was having a complete meltdown. It's not often that one sees a grown man cry. Cancer is a terrible disease. It's been 4 plus years, but I've been there on at least four occasions. I remember each one vividly. I'll share one here briefly. It was on September twelth four (or five) years ago today. I was in the chemotherapy unit scheduled to receive some very toxic substances. A nurse was making attempt number four at getting an IV line going. First one arm then the other, then the back of my hand when the other usual suspect areas didn't work. It was also the anniversary of my mom's death. She died at age 72 after a 6 month battle with lung cancer. The world felt pretty crummy right about then between the poking, the anticipation of toxic substances, and my mom's death from lung cancer. I lost it and had a good hard cry. I don't know anything about the man in the wheel chair today, but I know that cancer can have that affect of you.

Mom - rest in peace, thinking of you today.