The Disconnect

March 26, 2009 erinmcgrathwo

Hodgkins lymphoma. Everytime I say it to someone, or to myself, or to explain why I have not been in class it feel a little more detached from me, Erin, who I actually am. It’s like it’s happening to someone else’s body. And here I am, the gawker, the nosey detail lover watching each moment of it. Up until my primary care physician said “oncologist” my body and I were quite friendly with one another. I knew its curves, its noises, its subtle aches, or the cravings, I listened to it, my body. And I in turn responded to its needs and wants.  But now, after the first chemo treatment my body feels like a foreign territory. A place where I am invading with food, liquids, with conversation.

I have been trying to wrap my head around all “this”. The nausea from the treatments, the personal information about my bathroom habits that I must now record in a “symptoms journal” the nurse at the hospital told me women were better at this task, she chuckled and looked over at my brother. Neither he nor I laughed or found this amusing.  I mean this all sounds like I am angry, and I think at times, yes I am. I must acknowledge the anger, confront it and let it go if I am ever going to get through this. It’s positive thinking, and love and support that I need to be welcoming. I am not dealing with my weird ingrown toenail or a rash from cleaning up dust, I am dealing with cancer.  There I said. I have an incredibly treatable, curable, stage 2A cancer.

I have every intention of beating this damn thing.  It’s just the whole concept of these greedy “pac-man” cells all over my upper body and out my control I have a hard time reconciling. I don’t feel like a sick person. And I think before this I listend to my body reasonably well, fed, clothed, showered, rested, even bought cute shoes for. So what gives? It’s like trying to find the damn needle in the haystack. Every google hit telling me “doctor’s do not know the exact cause of hodgkins.”  And I guess the unknown will have to suffice for now. Besides there is still air in and out of my lungs, I can walk reasonable far without complete exhaustion, I am discovering my old childhood love for popsickles, I cannot drink alcohol, so that’s a healthy life style change, and the support and wealth of love I’ve felt from friends and family is incredible. “I am going to be just fine” I hear myself say, that’s a reminder body.


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