Be Careful What You Wish For

I have toyed and tampered with the content of this blog over the years. It started out as my call to action to stave aging, whatever it took, which wasn’t too much at the time. Ah, the good old days! Then it changed course and became a chronicle of my experiences with the health care system, which intensified when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019. As I have waxed and waned with what medicine has to offer, I waver between serving as patient and caregiver (to my husband). The next iteration of this blog is that of band aid, mental health professional and otherwise salve to my creaking body and soul as I use humor to make my way through my own personal wilderness.

When I wished for patience as I approach my 70th year, the universe misunderstood and made me into a patient. This is a role I am not prepared for, and I admit to kicking and screaming all the way to, in and out of the infusion room.

Are there life lessons for me to gain from this experience? Perhaps a crisp note-taking ability, as I write verbatim “You have cancer” while the surgeon delivers the news. Maybe learning to bite my tongue rather than shriek at the phlebotomist who clearly met her match with my “slippery veins” (her phrase) as she fished through my veins like a polar bear on an ice floe. Then there is learning to trust medical providers who have shifty eyes and sport the smooth cheeks of a recent high school graduate.

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