I start to get pissed. Except for Caitlin.


Sorry to have been absent for a while.

Caitlin has been taking more than good care of me — I have been coddled (but not like an egg) and as a result seem to have given up all personal initiative. It feels wonderful, but I have to start taking care of myself again, at least a little. We have had meals at Ultimate Burger (which is), and the Coffee Shack; we have shopped and gossiped and watched t.v., we have dealt with the animals; she has cooked for me and cleaned up afterwards. It’s fascinating watching her run two businesses in Manhattan via text and cell phone. She is also brushing up on her Spanish, since now that she also directs a restaurant, she wants to be able to communicate effectively with her kitchen staff. I hear her in the living room, patiently repeating sounds to Rosetta Stone and occasionally offering curses in English. I don’t want to think about her leaving.


Beach therapy

On the less-pleasant front, my hair has started thinning, mouth is still sore, and I’m still bushwhacked by weariness. My eyesight continues to wonkify, and I am curious about how much of this might be due to the effects of radiation, which tends to promote cataracts. I had the beginnings of those a couple of years ago.

I have realized that the discomfort in the nether parts is caused in large part by a yeast infection, which is not unknown in women undergoing radiation, and have combated it with a combination of OTC meds and anger at the doctors I am dealing with, who should have realized that sitz baths only serve to spread it around. Also, the docs are playing a game of hot potato with me: when I started radiation, the radiation oncologist (Wilcox) said that deep sleep was important and they would give me narcotics to ensure I slept. When I called last week to tell them my prescription for Ambien was running low, they said I should call the regular oncologist. Whose office kicked me over to my primary care physician. Same thing happened with my information about the yeast infection, and with my questions about my eyesight. When I asked when they will know if the therapy is working, Wilcox said it would be weeks, if not months, after the therapy stops, when maybe they’ll take another PET scan or maybe they won’t.

I have an upcoming appointment with the regular oncologist, and will put all these questions to him. But increasingly my bottom line looks like this: If I am going through all this misery, both ongoing and unexpected, and they don’t know and seemingly don’t give a shit whether it is working or not, then why the hell continue? I mean, these side-effects are making permanent changes in me and those changes are not likely to be happy. All I have is their word for it that the changes are worth it, and apparently all they have is their word for it, too.

Disrupted sleep, nasty dreams, increasing state of being pissed-off. If not for Caitlin, it would be gloomy dark days hereabouts.