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Way Back Machine Activate: The Diagnosis...Cue the organ music with a side of sad trombone..Dun dunn

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Happy Anniversary Colonoscopy:

May 20, 2019. The thirtieth anniversary of our first date. After a grueling night of colonoscopy prep, showing up at the clinic feeling as if I had been in battle, (honestly, it should be mandatory that everyone who prescribes the clean-out protocol experience it first), I noticed colorectal cancer advertising wherever I looked.

Charles asked me if I wanted to shift positions so I wouldn't have to see cancer advertising in 4D. But I felt too miserable to move unless I had to. Finally, the nurse got me and set me up with an IV. I felt better instantly.

My anesthesiologist gave me the drug Propofol. "Isn't that the Michael Jackson drug?" I asked him. "Yes," he said. "And I really wish people didn't associate Propofol with the death of Michael Jackson, because it is a really great drug." "But, it killed Michael Jackson." "Yes, but I wasn't administering it to him. Now count backwards from one hundred." I don't think I even started counting, though. Propofol is really, really good.

Side note: Seriously, if Propofol doesn't kill you it is a pretty awesome way to be knocked out. You wake up as if nothing happened, no grogginess at all...amazing.

Anyway, once I got dressed, the nurse put Charles and I in a room. I didn’t suspect anything. In hindsight though, when do they put you in a room to give you good news? The doctor, a young, handsome, matter-of-fact man, took his sweet time getting to the consultation room. At which point, he told us he couldn't do the colonoscopy because I had a "mass."

I felt Charles crumple beside me. “It’s okay, babe,” I said to him.

To the doctor, I said: “Mass? You mean, like cancer?” He said yes, and asked if I had time to do a CT scan. I did the scan.

Happy anniversary, Charles.

One of many sick couch selfies and proof of life however limited that had become.

The phone call:

Waiting for the call to confirm the doctor's diagnosis. I didn't know what to do but continue with my life. So I worked.

Now, the one saving grace of my failed colonoscopy was that I lost ten pounds doing the prep. And because I was completely cleaned out, I didn’t have to take four breaks during a massage session. A slice of heaven--the first in months.

Between clients, I checked my phone. Of course, I would miss a call from the doctor. So I tried to reach him at his office. I couldn't remember his name, though. Now, before I continue, keep in mind I was exhausted from the colonoscopy prep, stressed from being told I had a "mass" and not thinking too clearly.

"Hi," I said to the receptionist, "can I please speak to... ummm, I don't think this is right, but... Dr. Vindaloo?"

"We don't have a Dr. Vindaloo here," the receptionist said. "Perhaps you were at a different clinic?"

"No, I was at your clinic. Is there any way you can look him up?"

"Dr. Deenadaylu," the receptionist said, after some searching. "One moment. I'll transfer you."

Of course, I had to leave a message.

Dr. Deenadaylu finally got a hold of me, though. "Sorry," he said, "you have cancer and it has metastasized to your liver." Just then, Charles walked into the house. "Hey, can you repeat what you said to my husband?" I mean, I couldn't hear this just now and had a client to attend to.

Charles took the phone. "Hello? Yes? She what..."

I went back to work.

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