Friday, 18 March 2016

Dead Nature in my Guts

Rotting nature, fixed nature, dead nature.

I eat it, and it dies inside me and will not depart my world. It becomes densely compacted matter, somewhat cork-like, and it sits there because it is the most common side effect of all the medications I currently take. I am packed with the natural world in its edible components and I cannot determine whether nature/Nature has made my body into its tomb, or if it wishes me to suffer for tearing up grass for no reason, or washing too much shampoo down the drain and into the river, or what. For I do suffer. Hideously bloated, heavy, weighed down not only by the heavy heavens above but also by my intestines, full of horrid dry immovable feces that make me sink down into the earth by gravitational force. I cannot rise when my bowels are this heavy. Several litres of water per day and fibre fibre fibre and all the truly helpful foods and things that induce peristalsis, and exercise, exercise, yet nowhere does the clog of toxins go. 

So, they give me chemical laxatives at the hospital

(random google image for "laxatives")
And all that happens is ... nothing but a slight softening of the situation. It still sits still, and it's all like, 'Oh, I'm just messy in these tiniest bits&bits of near-nothingness that still barely exits', and the pain and weight and bloating remain, and it's already been a week at this point. So I quit their ridiculous prescriptions and return to my herbal witchcraft, feared by all. Especially medical doctors. But I do not give a shit. I drink my special tea, for they do not understand the herbal world - and what occurs but the joyful release of nature from my confines in the best way I could possibly hope for! Overnight. The special tea contains no high levels of antioxidants, which is the main concern, so why do they give a shit if I don't give (enough of) a shit on their chemical de-cloggers. It is truly a most excellent turn of events, the revival of movement and changing matter and life and nature and love and regeneration and recycling and hippie skies and Wow, the sacred/profane object that happily and comfortably emerges after a nice cup of senna-based tea. Lovely, the object that presents itself in the porcelain void that I stare into deeply, and with great satisfaction.

Unfortunately this will be ongoing, as it comes with the territory. The Great Side Effect. The only horror that is greater than The Nausea. Rotting, fixed, dead. That chemo has to get out though, innit. Its the bubblegum dustbunny that needs to be rotting, fixed, and finally dead - just not in my guts. I want it out. Out. All of it. GO!!!!! Flee, not only you great turds, but the murdered fragments sloughed off my healthy cells that are rife within you alongside your crusty edible nature. Be gone, far, far into the underground infrastructures of this city, and eventually dissipate out in open air, in the atmosphere that will accept your fizzled particles and let them blow away, harmless, never to return. A massive fart, blowing in the wind, gradually fading away. Because when you gotta go, you gotta go. Same shit, same pile. Constipation will not stop the elimination of this cancer, bitches!

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Who Wears Pink Sequin Dresses to Greet THE MACHINE? Me. ME!



Is it surprised to see me? Is it attempting a tender embrace? Is it eager to suck the innards out of my cutaneous covering? Is it curious? Is it going to clap and crush my skull? 

The First of the Days

Radiation therapy and chemotherapy will be concurrent for almost seven weeks. After that, chemo gonna storm the stage and play a relentless horrifyingly bad guitar shredding solo for an additional twelve months. For the love of all that is sacred and profane, Jesus wept, and it was blood, and his mother was furious, and punched a donkey. Such are the effects of hearing too much bad shredding.

Last Friday was when we began the zapping. Oh, 'twas a fine afternoon, the sunshine lovely, the not-unwelcome butterflies gettin' down and groovy in my belly as I confidently popped my temozolomide before getting out of my mother's vehicle. (Look at my paranoia - I even put on nitrile gloves. And for what! I'm already supremely toxic, ffs).
My sister snapped a shot of me with magical dots in black markers on my hand, and then I happily headed to the room where THE MACHINE was waiting for me. Where my face without my face was already on the table. Where the exorcism takes place. I got on said table and it all happened in a speedy, secret way: THE MACHINE didn't tell me what was going on. It hissed hideous non-sounds at me, spiraled and zoomed around me and literally spun the bed - and then it was done for the day. Out the door into the early spring air I sprang, Day One complete. I'm sure some professionals explained a thing or two to me while I was there, but it was irrelevant. Irrelevant. Invisible sparkles had occurred, and Oh, the beauty of it all! A brilliant start! I felt GREAT.

Then. Three hours later, THE NAUSEA. From what I can only assume was my body telling the temozolomide to get out, but possibly also the effects of invisible sparkles and death rays. I was shaking and sick and vomiting the universe into a 4L bucket over and over and over again. And I'm sorry, body, I really am. It has to be done lest you forget you have a traitor within you, a cellular saboteur that is out to get you. So puke, puke!

But it's all been fine since. No nausea, touch wood. Power of the four dots, yo.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Begins Friday Next


So, I went to have my radiation therapy mask made. Photos of part two (the actual mask) to come. But here was the first stage, the moulding of the back of my head with expanding foam that almost scalded one of my ears. When I sat up, the entire foam backing, plastic sheeting and all, were still attached to my head. Such an elegant photograph. 

" it's always night, or we wldn't need light. "

said Thelonious Monk (via Jeroen Nieuwland). And I feel that this makes sense. 


blood gloop sparkle steel shards

And after glittering for a few hours before I was set free from hospital, I went home and glowed, a few days later, in warm orange tones.

And sometime after these photos I had the staples removed. I gots no glam shots of that.

2016 = 2013 = 2008

Now that I'm just past my third craniotomy and resection of the bubblegum dustbunny, let's revisit the images my surgeon captured for me back in 2008. I have not asked him to snap any more shots since then, for I don't imagine the appearance of my brain has changed dramatically. And yet, my convalescence selfies are also similar every time (staples, blood, scars, etc.,) except they feature an array of colourful new clothing to further spotlight my penchant for vanity. I will therefore continue with those.
The 2016 surgery went smoothly and relatively quickly, and I emerged quite lucid and in control of myself - my thought, my speech, my body and motor control, and my emotions were not affected in the way they were the last two times. I didn't have to go to the ICU and was wheeled straight into my room. I was released from hospital after two nights and part of a restless day, departing with a few bouquets of flowers and a tramadol prescription, morphine no longer possible due to detachment from intravenous drip. Damn. 

What was different this time was that I vomited a blackish-green liquid about nine hours after arriving in the room. I'd taken care to not drink water for most of the day, and I'd only crunched, tentatively, a few slivers of ice. The upsurge of liquid was unexpected and totally unwarranted, although in hindsight I consider it to have been a blessing of sorts: that anaesthetic. It's got to get out. It's the worst part of it all, I swear.
Another thing that was different was that there were markings on my forehead (and a few on the side of my temple) that were leftover from the surgery. Four dots from a surgical pen that are used to mark the spot for, presumably, part of an apparatus that holds my skull in place during the drilling and removal of existing clips and the lifting off of the existing bone flap - plus the use of lasers or whatever mysterious means of targeting beams into my head to construct 3D images to consult while they simultaneously pick around with little tools in my brain. Behold. The four dots (and three on the side, but they rubbed off quickly, so whatevs):

I must report with great honour, that my partner in crime very recently had these four dots tattooed on his fuck-you finger, a valiant act of true magic so that the remaining bits of tumour (yep - there are always some leftovers) know they are despised and not welcome. Radiation and chemicals will be employed to sizzle those bits out. But having the fuck-you finger pointed at it will be the ultimate tool in terroring it out of my skull.

And finally, while the pathology of the tumour is exactly the same as it has been since I was first diagnosed, the WHO has changed its naming system. I will miss calling my tumour a Grade II oligoastrocytoma. I am apparently now the host of a Grade III anaplastic astrocytoma. The shift in naming is significant, not because it has gone "up" a grade, but because it demonstrates how much knowledge has been gained in the last eight years: an unpredictable tumour with a few cells showing anaplastic tendencies has turned out to be more unpredictable and dangerous than previously thought. That is, the kid swimming around in the water with a fake shark fin strapped to his back is, in fact, himself strapped to the back of a real shark. Meta meta meta. We have always known this.