By Shormistha Mukherjee
So much has been happening.
And most of it involves answering the damn doorbell.
Seriously, it is a curse to stay at home. The doorbell rings all the bloody time. It’s like someone put out a word to every single courier, postman, dog walker, security guy, internet guy. Go ring that bell they said. And ideally ring it between 2.30 and 5pm. As a result of which I have given up on the thought of ever sleeping in the afternoon.
The other option is to call an electrician and figure out how to get the doorbell disabled at will. Though with my luck he’ll only come between 2.30 and 5!
Luck brings me to the other thing. My doctors.
They are both awesome. My onco surgeon, who’s like a big bear. And my plastic surgeon, who’s always grinning, and according to O, bringing with him cyclonic gusts of aftershave. My sinus prevents me from smelling anything except kosha mangsho.
The Onco Surgeon is the boss of my breast cancer. He’s the team leader who directs everything and tells me who to go to. And he’s my age. Note: I’m writing a horror story set in a hospital, and he’s going to be the professor/mentor like figure who the hero turns to, and who holds the key to saving the planet.
Fine, I am now one of those people, who think their doctor is god!
By the way, I wish I could put up a picture of my stitches. They go on for miles, and I’m just bowled over by the body’s ability to heal and regenerate. Also, this is now my party game. I am scaring people by asking, “Want to see my stitches?”
I am also considering asking for the best table in restaurants by saying, “I have cancer.”
So now onco surgeon sends me to medical onco aka chemo doctor. And I’m hoping I get someone I like.
And we have our first visit, which is like a get to know each other session. And he seems really nice. He says I don’t need to feel like a patient. I don’t need to lock myself in a room all day. And I don’t need to change my life, and give chemo more importance than it deserves. I immediately want to get up and hug him.
It also gets me thinking. Chemo is necessary. It’s a cure. So there’s really no point in me agonising over it or fearing it. It’ll help me get better. So I will have to deal with it.
And then I’m talking to O this morning. And she tells me that her friends mom had cancer, and she swears by a homeopathy doctor who made her chemo really easy. And we wonder, what if the chemo itself was easy. And she’s refusing to accept that. Because you know, chemo is the bad guy. And that homeopathy doctor is suddenly the hero, who everyone is rushing to!
Anyway, the cool party trick the doctor’s have discovered is the Port. It’s this thing that they insert under your skin, on your chest. They do this when you are passed out during surgery thankfully. The port is then connected to a large vein in your neck, and takes the chemo straight to your heart, where it’s pumped out into your bloodstream.
Which eliminates the IV in your hand, and the chemo going through that. I have really thin veins and my hand swells up like the hulk and the pain is crazy. I think the only time I cried in hospital was on the second day, when they were trying to push an oily medicine into my veins, and my hand was feeling like it’ll tear apart. That pain is insane. If they hadn’t put a port, I could have begged them to gas me every time they had to hook my hand to the IV. Brrrrr.
That apart, because my cancer was caused by too much Estrogen, I am now on a high vegetable and fruit diet. With no soya or dairy. I’m also eating wheatgrass. And am going to start juicing and having turmeric shots. Oh wait, dang, finally, I am a hipster!
The thing is, inspite of all my madness, I do believe there are ton of things that’ll cure me. And they’ll have to go hand in hand. Chemo, alternate medicines, yoga, nutrition, meditation, visualisation, staying calm and happy. And of course Netflix and all the Agatha Christie’s, in chronological order!
Last but not the least: Mom and dad, I love you to bits. And I hate that you’re seeing me go through all this. Can’t wait for our road trip in December.
A, I love you to bits too. There’s no way I could look at the glass half full, if you weren’t by my side.