Tale of Two Cancers V

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By now, it’s around the end of March and I’m without a doctor, a job, the ability to move further than ten feet at a time, and without any idea of exactly what is wrong with me from a medical standpoint.

All I know for certain is that nothing is helping me deal with the constant pain I’m experiencing from the waist on down and that if nothing changes then I’m fucked, a goner. And that if that’s the case I’d rather get it all over with.

Throughout April I’m getting sessions of Reiki therapy with the janitor from the school where my wife is teaching, and it is the only window of relief in the midst of the sea of pain in which I’m swimming. Though the window of relent usually stays open for only an hour or so following his visits, it offers the only respite from what is beginning to unravel my tenuous grip on sanity. Because that is what constant pain does to a person, the erosion of sanity. And I’m not talking about the kind of pain that comes with stubbing your toes or banging your head off the doorjam. What I’m talking about is broken limb pain after the shock has worn off combined with the pain of pouring alcohol into open cuts while someboby is stomping on your feet while wearing workboots and somebody else is punching you in the ribs repeatedly with well rehearsed right hooks. The kind of shit you read about or see enacted in the movies but never experience yourself.

A few weeks into April my wife came and sat beside me on what had become my, rather than our, bed, asking me what I wanted for my birthday with such a sad look on her face that I could see contained her desperation at my condition, which was probably worse than even I thought, and I could only answer “more painkillers”. She nodded and went to get the bottle. When she came back we were both looking at each other through tears as I told her that if this is what the rest of my life was going to be like then I’d rather kill myself.

Another month of this went by, when even the Reiki sessions were of no help, and my condition went into even more of a downward spiral. I lost more weight, had no interest in eating, had to be takien to emergency when I was unable to complete a bowel movement–rather embarassing– and still nothing to indicate that anybaody in the medical system was going to take me seriously. It seemed as if any doctor I saw would treat a symptom or two but refused to play a game of connect the dots. In addition to the pain and increasing despair was frustration. How in the fuck can otherwise intelligent people not see how much is wrong with this picture ? was the question that kept running through my head and began to make itself heard aloud when I did see the odd doctor at this point.

Finally, on June 1 2004, I made my way downstairs to make a phone call. This took the better part of an hour to accomplish, sometimes sliding, sometimes going backward, but without letting my feet or legs do any of the work because they simply couldn’t do anything more than shuffle me to the bathroom by this time.

Once downstairs, I managed to struggle to my feet. Then one shufflestep, two shuflesteps, thr…..BANG ! No more walking for me.

I’d collapsed, unable to stand or walk anymore because of the pain. And although I was now six feet from the phone, I didn’t reach it for another half hour. Once I did, I had no idea who to call, because I was out of my head with fear and pain and who knows what else, I can’t remember. All I could think to do was to call my boss, Jerome, who was instantly shocked and called an ambulance from the cafe beforew rushing over with my friend Rob. The look on their faces was all I needed to know that I was now in no man’s land, and that from here on in my old life was over.

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~ by Rocky Green on May 8, 2007.

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