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June 26, 2016 / thackersam

Cancer is not a sentence. It’s a word.

Cancer is not a sentence. It's a word.

Cancer is not a sentence. It’s a word.

I have a thing about words. For example, while they are pretty obsolete, you should know ergo and ilk and use them correctly, but never with a straight face. Ergo gets a flourish, either in tone or gesture, and ilk should be spoken with a very hard K. And I believe you should only use the word supercilious to describe someone who would use the word supercilious.

I like irk. For me it’s kind of onomatopoeia-ish as it is often the sound I make when irked. And of course if you describe someone or something as irksome, no doubt about it, you are irked – more than annoyed, but it’s hardly worth your time and energy to be angry. My admiration for the word nevertheless has been noted time and again during these blog years, cause c’mon, it’s three distinct words linked together as one that is politely dismissive. How could you not like that?

I will go to my grave with affect/effect issues, but I do have that who/whom thing down. My other senses are affected (autocorrect), like forever confusing eclairs and napoleons, thinking one is the other, and I could never remember which tea I wanted between English Breakfast and Earl Grey. One I like fine and the other not at all. That was one of those things that Vicki remembered for me, and in the two plus years since her death, I’ve not had either.

Have you ever noticed that guys named Dick usually are.

And speaking of good friends (no Dicks), hats off to Gilda, who again took very good care of me on Wednesday. As you can see, I did not die from some freak accident during my surgery. In fact, all seemed to go well and I am oh so very elated to be on the other side of it. I had a completely different post-surgery experience from the last time, when I was so sick from the anesthesia I couldn’t move. I was woken up too soon and because of the nasty weather at that time, and rushed out of the facility. True, we were having a blizzard, however, I had just undergone surgery!

I can go into that some other time, but will say this – speak up! It pays off. They may know medicine, but you know your body. Not only was I allowed to sleep it off this time, but I believe the anesthesiologist slipped something into the concoction to ward off the nausea. Last time they gave me graham crackers I would have sworn were from the previous century, possibly the one before that, and they were impossible to swallow. Gilda said they were just fine. However on Wednesday, when the nurse told me I could leave after I ate, I shoved the graham crackers into my mouth as I was anxious to go. I kept teasing Gilda, who is such an attentive caregiver and read all my instructions while she waited. I would dance about causing her to scold, and I actually made her take me home via subway. I am sore and bruised, but didn’t even bother to get the prescription for pain meds. I am eating whatever I want, and Wednesday evening, Gilda, Max and I had a swell time. And pizza. I would also like to point out that I was diagnosed in February, and more than three months later, there had been no change in the little cancerous lumps that are now somewhere else.

Now when I went through this in November 2012 with my tiny stage one lumps, one in each breast, and decided against all post-op treatments, I suspected that I would go through it again, and expect that this is not the last of the tiny lumps and surgeries. This leads to the explanation of the picture of my chest after the operation. You know I’ve been trying to lose weight and had told the ex that when I hit a comfortable 130, I was going to get my first tattoo. Probably a monarch butterfly, but I’ve got time to think about it. Then when the cancer popped up again, I thought that perhaps the next time, I would have my surgeon tattoo his name across his handiwork. That’s not a tattoo in the picture, merely the indelible ink he used to scrawl his initials across the breast to be operated on. It’s a start. I kind of like the purple.

I had to workout today as it’s Sunday and I needed the music and activity for mental stability as well as the physical aspect, and got to remove my bandage (ick) and shower for the first time since Tuesday night (feel free to insert your own ick). The exercise felt good. Back to work tomorrow.

BTW – Our local news station NY1, has a weekend program called On Stage that I like to watch. One of the news anchors and program contributor Roma Torre was interviewing stage actress, Marin Mazzie, who had just taken over the role of Anna in the revival of The King and I (it closes this weekend). She is also a recent survivor of stage four ovarian cancer, and Roma Torre went through her own bout of colon cancer, so it was a topic of conversation. Coincidentally, I had already penned most of this post on words and cancer, when I heard Roma say that a friend had said to her – “Cancer is not a sentence. It’s a word.” And that seems to be a perfect title for this evening’s post.

Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes. Really means a lot. – S

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2 Comments

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  1. Iridacea / Jul 15 2016 9:11 am

    I have thought a lot about the weight of the word Cancer. After seeing a talk by a physicist that it is not really a noun, more of a verb, I started thinking, saying and writing it as Cancering. As in “I was cancering, and now I am not.” Took much of the boogie man out of the whole process. Wishing you well from across the blogosphere on your recovery, and moving on to engaging in other, more enjoyable verbs.
    Xo

    • thackersam / Jul 15 2016 10:28 pm

      Thank you. And here’s wishing you a slew of enjoyable verbs as well.

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