Arranging yet another biopsy.
I had this week off work.. it was supposed to be about getting ready to move. Instead, it got devoted to dealing with more appointments, the most pressing of which was arranging the biopsy.
There were some negotiations to get the biopsy arranged. The earliest the place that my cancer surgeon recommended could offer was June 01st. The idea of waiting that long didn’t seem so great for my mental health. My GP was able to get me in on the 21st May. This sat much better with me. I could not control the outcomes, but I could manage the pace.
I started to give serious thought to what I could actually manage.
My housemate’s question about what I needed to get through this experience was something I was giving a lot of thought.
It was a big topic of discussion with my younger sibling and my housemate over the week.
My younger sibling arranged to come down from Monday 23rd to Friday 28th of May. I managed to arrange basically a rolling working bee with friends from Wednesday 26th May – Wednesday 02nd June to help us move.
Believe it or not, as part of my coping strategies, I ended up going to Reddit. This was the suggestion of a friend, and it was a *great* suggestion! People were so helpful, so supportive, and the humour was just what I needed whilst I integrated the diagnosis
There is a sub called Name Nerds, and it helped *a lot*.
Language, frameworks, and terminology
With previous experience of a number of Beloveds dying from cancer, I already had some very firm ideas about linguistic frameworks.
Now that I had cancer, it was very in my face how cancer was regularly talked about in terms of warfare, battles, fights. With any oppositional framework, you automatically have a winner and a loser. That doesn’t align with how I try to live my life. It is my honest belief that collaboration and cooperation need to be fundamentals in how you interact with the world.
As friend-of-bees highlighted, tumours are vilified, and denounced as evil. I’m theologically and philosophically opposed to black and white thinking, to absolutes like good and evil. I couldn’t see how vilifying my tumours was going to support my mental health.
The other thing I noticed was how people would talk about chemotherapy and radiotherapy in terms of death, killing, and poison. How does one face such intense treatment if you consider it poison?
Choosing my language became part of choosing my outlook, and ultimately, supported my mental health.
And don’t even start me on all the ridiculous nicknames and slang for breasts! People started to address my breasts as separate entities which I have never done, and it was quite confronting. When I was particularly vulnerable, it made me upset and angry. There was so much focus on my breasts instead of on my cancer or on me.
- The trouble with medicine’s metaphors
- Battle metaphors for breast cancer
- How Calling Cancer a ‘Fight’ or ‘Battle’ Can Harm Patients
- Let’s stop fighting cancer.
- Cancer lingo: How one person’s thoughtful metaphor can be another’s cliché
- Why you shouldn’t say someone lost their battle with cancer
- How not to say the wrong thing
May 17th is also International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
Over 30 years ago – on May 17, 1990 – the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.
International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) celebrates LGBTQIA+ people globally, and raises awareness for the work still needed to combat discrimination.
Honour to all our Ancestors in Pride – may They Rest in Power.
Huge shoutout to all the activists in this space.
Huge hugs to all my Gentle Creatures who identify as LGBTQIA+ or anyone who loves someone who identifies as such.
As a person born and largely raised in remote and rural environments in the 1970s, it’s taken a long time to get to the point where I realised that I was neurodivergent and Queer.
Peace and power to all those on these journeys of discovery.
Ensure that you are vigilant around your self-examination. Train yourself to check your breasts/testicles routinely, and monitor your bowel habits and your urine output. These are our body’s early warning signs, and we don’t have a lot of awareness of them.
Related blog posts
- Saturday 15th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 5)
- Wednesday 12th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 4)
- Friday 07th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 3)
- Cancer surgeon
- Sunday, 02nd May 2021 (Cancer Journal 2)
- Saturday May 01st 2021 ( Cancer Journal 1)
- Facebook post
- How to tell people you have cancer.
- Deciding strategies
- The Camus Question of Choice
- The Follow-up Tests
- The phone call.
- Check your breasts