If you’re going to get cancer, pick one where they know everything about it. I don’t know which one that is, but it’s not the one my husband picked, because he picked lymphoma.
That’s how it works. You walk into the Cancer Store, go over to the shelf, pick out the one you want, take it up to the front, wait in the long-ass line, finally get to the front, pay, then take it home, and start whatever fucked up treatment plan they guess might work for the cancer you picked. Unless you picked a cancer that they Know Everything About.
We met with the Radiologist today for our consult. She was 12. And brilliant. All those 12-year old doctors are brilliant. They have to be to get into med school at 4. Because she’s 12, she knows that there isn’t definitive research indicating whether or not radiation therapy is beneficial in cases like my husband’s. Given his type of lymphoma, his age, the stage of his cancer, the fact he’s in remission, how well he responded to chemo, and the laundry list of potential and inevitable side effects of radiation, the jury is truly split on whether or not he should have radiation. It’s a big-ass shoulder shrug.
After a lengthy discussion with her about the pros and cons about specific situation, we’ve decided that the long-term risks to his heart and lungs and increased risk of other cancers due to the radiation aren’t worth the trade off. Mr. I’m All That has decided he’s fond of his lungs functioning at full capacity and doesn’t want to increase his risk of heart disease. Whatever.
There’s also a very real possibility that the radiation offers no added value in his case. Were he not in remission, were he 60 or 70 years old, were this his second time battling the disease, we might be making a different decision. (Personally, I think he just doesn’t want to miss another racing season.)
Instead, we’re looking toward the future and planning the We Fucked Cancer In The Eye Fiesta. It’ll give Mini-Martha something to do. That girl is in desperate need of a party to plan.
Most of all, I/we want to say thank you. Thank you to all of our friends and family, to those of you we know in real life, and to those of you we’ve never met face-to-face, who’ve walked alongside us. You’ve kept me off the bridge (or kept me company as I stood at the edge there in the early days), laughed with us, held us up, prayed for us, juiced the juju tree, baked us cookies, brought us meals, mowed our lawn (literally, not euphemistically), remodeled rooms, hauled crap to the dump (again, literally), cared for our children, cared for us, brought us lunch and kept us company during endless hours of chemo (you know who you are), sent emails, Twitters, Facebook messages, cards, care packages, created a Chemo Boy superhero, made road trips to visit us, rolled down hills in bubble wrap, dropped everything on a moment’s notice or less, walked in our honor, raised money for cancer and so much more that makes us lucky as hell to have you in our lives. You make our socks go up and down. You are that breeze that blows our tumbleweeds into the air. We love you.