Thursday, May 11, 2017

Of Course, But Let's Hope Not

Of course.

Of course you're having another surgery.

In your throat.

With a laser.

Can we stop, please?

Can we just please stop the fucking ride?

Let's hope it's not cancer.


Let's hope it's just warts caused by Human Papillomavirus.

On your vocal chords.

That the goddam backcountry half-assed Poulsbo ENT thought were polyups. Or nodes. Nor nodeules.

He never said warts. 

But the Lady ENT never said warts either. She said polyups. Or nodes. Or nodules.

And The Man ENT, when he removed your tonsil and sliced your neck open and took out lymph nodes just last May, and we asked about the polyupie-nodey-noduley-thingies on your vocal cords but he couldn't take them out because that's not his area of expertise and he'd leave it up to the Lady ENT.

Wait. What the fuck? 

Because if a throat is like a vagina, and a tonsil is like a cervix...I don't go to see one doc for the front of my vagina and a different doc for the back of my vagina. I mean, it's all one vagina. So, isn't all one throat?

Goddamn healthcare system is too big and too specialized and that's where you thank Baby Jesus for the Master's Degree in Community Health Promotion, because you know how to work in and with the system. But it shouldn't be this fucking hard.

"Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard"

The bottom line is that no amount of study, level of education, faith in God, or lack there of, can prepare anyone for what I've walked through. What we've been through. What the boys have been through.

What we continue to go through. Just. Fucking. Stop. Already. Please.

I've prayed. I've bargained. I've cried and begged and ranted and yelled and screamed and lost sleep and lost weight and have had no appetite and ate even though I wasn't hungry because it had been several hours since I'd eaten a graham cracker with peanut butter....

I've questioned my belief system, the way I was raised, the tattoos I have, the choices I've made...the people I've had sex with...and thankful for the ones I didn't....

I've practiced yoga, and I've journaled, and I'm following the rules to the best of my ability, but I'm having to make new rules for me and my husband and my sons as we go along.

Yet still it continues. The health issues that plague my family are enough to make anyone feel like driving off a cliff. Epilepsy. Autism. Breast Cancer. Tonsil Cancer.

And when my 8-year-old looks at me, pleadingly, and says, "Mom, I really want to make it through this summer without cancer."

All I can do is look him in the eye, be honest, and say, "I want that, too honey," and then wrap him up in a the best Momma hug I can give him, as tears run unashamed down my face and land upon his beautifully dark hair. 

The boys don't know you're having surgery next month. They don't know the ideas I'm generating. The planning. The talking with close friends who we trust to medicate with proper doses and at correct times. The phone calls, texts, emails that have started. The hotel reservations. The dog sitter.

The anxiety, though, the boys know it's there. I had a delayed reaction after our meeting with the Lady ENT on Monday (thank you FaceTime for letting me be there in the best way I could). After I picked them up from school and we got home, I dissolved into a hot, wet, dripping, steamy pile of mush on the kitchen floor.

As I was preparing their snack.

I'm classy like that.

The Lady ENT will remove the warts and have them biopsied. Surgery will be at the end of June, after school is out. 

I am thankful, my dear husband, that you are confident that your cancer hasn't returned. I know the PET Scan you had 6 weeks ago indicated there was no cancer in your throat. I am doing my best to be optimistic, too. But, I am more frightened now than I was when I received each of the diagnoses our family has received over the past 6 years. I love you, and am terrified for you, for us, and our children. 

Fuck you cancer. And HPV. You are one sneaky little bitch of a virus. Even though they can't really get them till they're 11, both of my boys are ready for their HPV vaccinations so they don't have to go through this. They watched the hell their father went through last summer. We've had deep discussions with them about the fact that even though Daddy was too young to be part of the generation that routinely had their tonsils taken out, and he was too old to get the HPV vaccine, if there was one thing I could change for Daddy is that he didn't have to go through tonsil cancer treatment.

Of course I will do everything in my power to not have my kids get a disease. And let's hope that the blog posts, and the education, and the science is enough to convince people they can prevent their own children from having to contract the disease.

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