With Christmas 2007 behind us (and what a lovely Christmas Day it was!) we’re back to planning the next step in the campaign against the cancer. This afternoon we spent time in a chemotherapy education session at the Cross Cancer Institute with “Nurse Elizabeth”.

One of the things that we noticed was the complete lack of ostentation. There is no money, no privilege on display there.

There was an immaculately dressed woman at the centre of an adult family of five others, and quite honestly, until she pulled out one of the letters/agendas, I was guessing that it was one of the family members who was ill; she seems to be the most centred, the calmest of the bunch.

There was a couple in their early thirties who are still devastated by the diagnosis of her cancer. They got the news just before Christmas and are having a lot of trouble dealing with it. I didn’t find out what type of cancer she has. She is withdrawn, he is sullen and bitter. They’ve got a tough fight ahead… just to hold on to each other.

And the most scary individual there was a man in his late 50’s, early 60’s with all the same scars as I have, including the forearm graft but they are old scars; he is totally healed up. What makes him scary is that he has a new tracheotomy (still wearing the tube in his throat) and a new graft spot on his upper arm. Now, I may be reaching, but the fact that he and his wife were attending the chemo education session says to me that this is his first contact with chemo. And, if you follow the thought through to its logical conclusion, the reason this would be his first contact with chemo is because he either refused it, or wasn’t offered it during his first go ’round.

Yep, I gotta pay attention, follow through. I don’t want to be going through any of this again!

Just as a side note, my digestive system is wreaking havoc, again. This is not as pervasive as the bout with c.Diff, but something is definitely askew. I’m losing too much weight, and I’m spending way too much time in the bathroom. I sure don’t need any stool softeners! This morning I collected a specimen for the lab hoping that they will say “oh hey, just take this little pill and it will all be better”. I’m afraid, however, that I’m starting to suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) as a manifestation of the panic I’m holding at bay.

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