Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Brain mets

...Ensure for food
Morphine for pain
Marinol for appetite
Kytril for nausea
Advil for sleep

Sit on the toilet
Shit and vomit at once

O This is ridiculous
And still
I'll sing my song. 
from Fuck You Cancer, Rick Fields
Photograph of a photograph
on the 4th floor at Kaiser

I was going to write about how cool it was talking to the social worker Carol Gerstein yesterday, and some details about the areas she helped me with, which were HUGE for me, like a burden had been lifted. For that and other reasons, I got out of bed this morning feeling profoundly happy. Which is a good thing, because when Po and I were at Rainbow Grocery this afternoon, Dr. Nelson called and told me that the MRI showed brain metastases (several).

Though she left everything up to me about the chemo, getting radiation in my brain came with a strong recommendation. I told her I'd do it. Of course, I have no symptoms as yet, which is always very strange, until you think about the alternative. She said she didn't want me to start developing those kinds of symptoms. Nor do I. Three main things to look out for, and as she was telling me, I thought, Damn, I'm only going to be able to remember two of them. And so it has come to pass: headache, losing balance...Paulette and I conjectured that the third one was probably memory loss!

She sent me a copy of the report but I can't quite face it now. The big bummer news from my point of view is that I will in fact lose my groovy hair with the radiation. I don't feel that there's a real choice.

In a way, this news changes things. You think, Can this really be happening? Really? To me. But in another way, my overall situation is largely the same: body astonishingly riddled with bits of cancer, and the biggest bits are still in the lungs.


  1. If this were Facebook I'd hit the BIG DON'T LIKE button.

  2. Yeah, me too...plus the miscellaneous cuss-words button. Sending many XOXOXOs

  3. Dear Suvarnaprabha - I want you to know that I am faithfully reading every single word of every single blog post & comment because I am so honoured to know you & want to know what is happening in your body and your mind. I have not let you know or commented before - I've been afraid to say something wrong or stupid. So rather than just being a creepy voyeur lurker, I am here to tell you that I have been holding your hand, kind of in a stunned silence with a cyberspace distance until now. You are a dear soul and make a beautiful impact on so many people with your creative spirit, writing, poetry, laughter, and personality. Oh yeah, and you reading out the 32 Hells on that retreat many years ago made me laugh out loud in the shrine room. You do have a way with words. Lots of love, your dharma sister, Sandy Currie