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Thursday, October 1, 2015

I'm Literally Radioactive

A pretty pretty PET.
 (not mine)
As a deliberately happy person, recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, I sometimes teeter between a kind of prophylactic pessimism and its opposite, a crying out for hope. This is one of those times.

I had a PET scan today and as I write this I am literally radioactive. Under doctor's orders to not touch babies or pregnant women. I'm extending the courtesy to my family, of course and, well, pretty much everyone I encounter. Or would encounter, since I'm staying home.

The first rule of PET scans is that the prettier they are, the worse the news. My first scan was a lovely thing to watch. Like zipping through a cross-sectioned christmas tree in space. Splashes of color—intense pinks and blues and greens—identified the tumor and its metastatic progeny. And those fuckers were everywhere.

But that was taken in June, when I was first diagnosed. I'm feeling much better these days. I keep most of my food down, most of the time, which is a pleasant change. My weight is within five pounds of normal. So I'm optimistic.

Which poses a problem.

Most of the time I'm sure all of this cancer business is just something I imagined during a notably peculiar bout of indigestion. I feel silly that such a fuss is being made over me; I worry that I'm taking up a chemo chair that an actual sick person might need. It's called denial, and I'm finding it the most nourishing of the Kübler-Ross food groups.

But what if my PET christmas tree has grown more decorations? Or worse, what if my improvement is exactly what the doctor expected, and well within the confines of my shitty prognosis?
I'll let you know. Until then, I'm optimistic.

In happier news, I will be hosting guest bloggers on the topics of death and dying. If you have an essay, a piece of flash or short fiction, a published study or freshly baked cookies to share, contact me here. Actually, if you have slightly stale cookies, contact me here.

10 comments:

  1. Stay optimistic, honey. And I would bake you fresh cookies. No stale cookies for my Tanya! I'm anxious to hear of the PET results. And I'm hoping so hard that it's an ugly old boring picture. Nothing to see here, folks! Just a gorgeous, strong woman with no Christmas trees inside. <3

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    1. I do prefer external Christmas trees. And fresh cookies, but I'll take what I can get. xoxoxoxo

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  2. Praying on what Amanda said. And sending hugZ...many many HugZ. I will spare you the horror of my baked goods.

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    1. xoxoxo--what I really meant was a bottle of wine and a long, random talk about literary matters, cancer, and fathers.

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  3. Praying on what Amanda said and sending hugZ...many, many hugZ. I will spare you the tragedy of my baked goods though. :)

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  4. How do you write so eloquently about such a brutal experience? You are truly gifted. And although it's great to support the LBGT community, let's try to wear our rainbows outside our skin. Here's to a monochrome Christmas! Please let us know if there's anything we can do. Does the WAT still do soup Sunday? Maybe we can do that soon. Let us know!

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    1. Yes, rainbows are nice, as long as they're reflecting light rather than darkness.

      Oh man, I would LOVE some Wat Mongkolratanaram, but it will be a while before we can get up there. We'll see you guys sooner than that, I hope.

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  5. Fresh Cookies Fresh Cookies Fresh Cookies ....

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  6. Positivity and fresh cookies! That has to be a feel good combination. Its good to hear you sounding positive Tanya. Sending hugs my lovely friend ❤

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