Sunday, April 23, 2017

Turtle Learning: CANCER IS BACK AND THIS TIME IT HURTS RIGHT OFF THE BAT!

Turtle Learning: CANCER IS BACK AND THIS TIME IT HURTS RIGHT OFF THE BAT!:

CANCER IS BACK AND THIS TIME IT HURTS RIGHT OFF THE BAT!


 APRIL IS STILL POETRY MONTH AND LIBRARY MONTH. MANY WONDERFUL THINGS TO CELEBRATE.

   But in the middle of the month I received some bad news about my cancer which has returned to the lining (epithelium) of my stomach.  This time the chemo won't be as bad, they say.  But the doctor also said that I didn't have to take steroids this time. But she wasn't right about that. One of the chemo drugs is different and there should be fewer effects. But most people I spoke with didn't have pain with chemo, and I did.  As with most health issues, everyone is different, and responds differently to medicine. 
   The pain began two weeks before and the first visit to Urgent Care sent me home with laxatives. Two weeks later they hadn't worked.  Meanwhile, and this is what makes me most angry, a blood test had been done when I first went and some doctor (not the UC doctor) asked for a CA-125 count.  It showed 92!!  Well, the month before, my six month check up, the count was 14!!  Yet this outcome didn't ring any bells, set off any alarms, nothing.  Had I not returned because of the severe pain, I would be walking around with the tumors on the lining of my stomach continuing to grow and spread.
  


Not like a baobab  tree that was across the Ruaha River from me in February 2015 when I visited Tanzania and Zanzibar, probably for the last time.  I am heartbroken that my health won't be good enough to fulfill that bucket list I had:  Amsterdam and the art museums, Yucatan and Oaxaca in Mexico, Ireland and Wales, Vietnam and Thailand.  Or a cruise in a very small ship around Europe. Don't forget all the places in Latin America I haven't seen -- Peru, Ecuador, Chile. 


So I thought I would set my sights a bit closer to home and concentrate on that lifelong dream I have had of creating a beautiful, handmade, unique dollhouse.  Please don't laugh.  It has symbolic meaning in my life as I was gifted a beautiful handmade dollhouse for my sixth birthday.  Made by friends of my parents, it had a lift off roof, and a ranch style feeling, a fireplace, doors and windows that opened plus (I am pretty sure) lights that actually worked.  I turned six in 1953 when I was living in Croton-On-Hudson, New York.  The government was continuing its surveillance of my father and consequently my entire family. We suddenly had to move.  We purchased an old truck with a wood station wagon body that was owned by Allen Funt of Candid Camera. You have to be at least my age to know who he was.


More important than my dollhouse were the many books my father lost. He asked a friend to hold them for him in his attic in Croton but at some point the friend got scared and threw them away (possibly burned them all).  I guess my obsession with books and dollhouses goes back to those dreadful days when I was terrified but didn't know why, was told never to open the door to anyone, and lost the most precious gift of my short life.  I have never seen a dollhouse like it since and do not remember the names of the makers.  So sad.  This is the closest I've ever seen - by 
Turtle Learning: CANCER IS BACK AND THIS TIME IT HURTS RIGHT OFF THE BAT!:

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