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April 10, 2016 / thackersam

Just One of Those Things

Depp-WolfI know it seems like I gloat too much about my view of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty, but I do appreciate it. I also appreciate that I have a second view of the City and can see the Freedom Tower and the new weird looking Path Station, and whatever it is they are doing with that. The river calms me. It takes me from my cares and woes and leads me to another place in my head. All its goings-on take me from the day, or the days to come. It gives me a sense of the bigger picture, how things work, or don’t work, as I wrote last week. I babbled last week, I know, but that’s my avoidance. I don’t write about a lot of things on my blog. Most of the more grizzly stuff I keep private. Besides, it’s the past, and the past led me to be a strong survivor, and with all my flaws and defects, it’s what I depend on most.

Cancer is a scary word, particularly when you hear it the first time. But this is my second, and I’m not so scared anymore. Those of you who’ve been with me for a while know that three and a half years ago, give or take, I had surgery for tiny, stage one lumps in both breasts. I was all prepared to do the radiation thing until my research showed me that it was actually not the thing I wanted to do. I decided to roll the dice, and had an inkling that regardless, I would be back on the surgeon’s table in a few years. So, I was not surprised at the results of the mammogram and then the biopsy, which diagnosed me with what my current regular doctor called “the least stinky” of the breast cancers. They are in the milk ducts and even though my research shows that they are possibly non-invasive, the oncologist, who was short on information, still recommended surgery, radiation and estrogen blockers. When I questioned her about the non-invasiveness, she pooh-poohed it and told me to ignore what I read on the internet. My research is random, yes, but also includes sites such as NIH and the Mayo Clinic. Disappointed that I was being once again limited to the box that doctors place you in, even those you think would have a wealth of information, my facial that I had scheduled for right after my oncologist appointment, was ever so much more informative. My wonderful facialist, whom I also refer to as my bartender, suggested that I have the surgery. I can make my own decisions, but her advice to me helped as she is more versed on nutrition and lifestyle than these doctors are, and knows me better.

I work for a medical school, and have just realized that nutrition is not something taught to would-be doctors. I come from any area on Long Island that is a cancer cluster, and after research was performed years ago, the idea that the cancer clusters could be a result of external influences such as the aquafers or power lines was denied and the conclusion was that the cancers were based on poor lifestyle choices.

But I don’t want The Walrus Was Paul to be about cancer. I’ve not even highlighted the word. I’m just sharing. If you know anything about me, you know that I’m not in this for the hits or the likes. It’s not about the attention. Well, maybe a little. The blog is just about things in my life and the cancer is just one of those things. I purposely did not lead off with the cancer thing because I don’t want the blog to revolve around it. I don’t want to think about it more than I have to. I don’t want pity, but I will take your empathy. I will sometimes have the need to talk about it, and I talk best with a pen.

Don’t cry for me Argentina. Or Brazil.

BTW – We’ve had a weekend of free STARZ, so I’ve seen Ricki and The Flash and Into the Woods (can’t have too much Meryl Streep), and I’d like to point out that Rick Springfield and the partial glimpse of his naked chest that we were treated to, makes aging look good (he’s 66 and still truly oomphy), and Johnny Depp as The Wolf in Into the Woods – yeah, I don’t even have to explain that.

I prematurely hit publish a few hours ago when I meant to hit save draft. So those of you who may have seen the earlier version, will see the difference in the two and we now have a secret.

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