The Cancer Clinic

(cue creepy music)

Driving down ye olde highway into the sunrise.
Normally, I am already at work by now. Normally doesnt figure much anymore.
It is a cold day and all I can do is pray there is no snow on the Malahat.

The anglo saxon coming fast and furious from my mouth hints as to my state of terror. The other person in the car - Lady D., has just completed her part in our long discourse on whether or not using the f word constantly in sentences means you are a comfortable inhabitant of the working class (her contention) or just plain lazy in your speech (mine). In an eerie echo of my Edwardian grandmother I hear myself say: "It sounds so common."

Aha! It is out. I am a snob reveal-ed.
A language snob at that. An unarmed language snob I think to myself.

We wonder on to the topic of my cruel trade-off which of course is one of my trademark rants.
The Brain Medication rant. I suppose I nurse curse AND rehearse that one.
It is a cruel trade-off though. I miss my metabolism, my smaller self and my multi-tasking. I do not miss the inability to sleep and the hyperactivity. I want middle ground. Sadly, not possibly. So say goodbye to more of my liver but a happy decade of roundness is mine.

We soon arrive in the Garden City and find the Royal Jubilee Hospital very easily.
Our destaination, The Cancer Care and research place, sits just behind.
The Centre is a newer building. As we enter, I am instantly aware that this is very probably the very best building/ work site our Health Authority has. It is open and airy and has windows that can let in fresh air. I have some serious workplace envy happening.

We see a series of people. Firstly a Client Care Aide. Excellent information compassionatly delivered. (Thank you Terry) Then we see a Radiation Oncologist. Another wonderful influx of information. But weighty, and oh so serious.

We stagger out under the weight of tmi to find a funkie lunch spot. We agree on the Parsons Cafe, and two thumbs up on that! YUMMY! Now is it Parish Cafe? Rectory Cafe? Parsons?
well buggerit all but it was tasty. Organic food grown locally. Cooked beautifully. Priced moderatly.

Back for round two: Chemotherapy 101.
Now we are getting somewhere. This is the suggested immediate.
We are fully loaded now with options a go-go.
After agreeing to be part of a test study, it is off for blood samples and then out to the car and homeward bound.

It is Lady D at the wheel. She does not take well to my suggestions of driving below the posted speed on the icy road. She believes that the posted speed is just an indicator and it is best to keep up with traffic. I bite my tongue so as not to mention the other drivers are in cars more winterized- we dont even have snowies on.

So again we rant our way home. Rant on her crazy ex- husband, on my ongoing war on mess in the home, and blah buggery blah blah.

The truth is we are both processing the information that in ten years time 20% of women just like us die of the cancer. The truth that even with chemo AND radiation it is still 7% that cannot be helped. The truth that we hate cancer and we hate these salesmen of treatment.
Yes they are salesmen. They are selling a product that likely we will feel obliged to buy.

That will be one round of chemo over 18 weeks thanks.... hold the radiation for now.
And the Tamoxifen 5 yr plan for dessert.

Lovely. Just bloody lovely.