Third time

My dad wanted me to take him to the supermarket. It didn’t rain in the afternoon and we finally got going. Last time I went to the supermarket with him was in the last days of June, when I still had the evil and treacherous misbehaving colon. My dad was going very slow, looking at things. I wanted to rush and leave. The freaking diarrhea kept me worried all the time. My dad walked looking in every direction. I was impatient: “dad, you don’t need/want that, come on!” I thought. But we walked at his pace. I sat every now and then, when I didn’t feel so good. I wasn’t suffering, but I wasn’t certainly doing great. The freaking iron pills made me a mess. We eventually finished, the city was empty because every idiot was watching a soccer game where their team would loose as always, and we drove fast. I was happy to be in my bathroom soon.
Today I wasn’t worried. The colon was gone. I had already healed enough. My dad walked slow, thinking, looking and getting what we needed. I was a bit desperate. In the supermarket I work fast and spend as little time as possible. Sometimes I forget stuff and I have to go back soon, but it’s still a rush. This time I felt a little bit tired, but other than that I wasn’t worried. My plastic bag was pretty much empty and it would remain like that long enough. I had no leaks or anything, but I was still bothered by the last two bags. The first one developed a leak I found at midnight and I had to change it then. The small intestine was busy spewing stuff out and I had a hard time. It didn’t last more than twelve hours. Around noon the next day I thought I’d go empty the bag. I checked visually only to find a green mess. The thing had made a bad leak and I was getting dirty. I was able to do a nice job changing the bag and it worked well. We finished shopping and I asked dad if we could drive quick to the hospital to leave a disc. He said it was ok, so I drove there, found a nice parking spot, and it was so close to the building that I had my dad stay while I went in quick. I knew exactly where I was going. I found the waiting room full. I was the one with the brightest smile in this oncology area of the hospital. Everybody must’ve thought I was completely healthy, but I was doing my own business, caring for myself, and not running errands for anybody. The receptionist now knows who I am, maybe because I am young and smiling. Smiling naïvely or stupidly in likely ignorance of the storm I may be facing. I know the risk. My 37th birthday will be in a few days. I know that if I live to see my 42nd birthday I will really have to party, because I will then be considered cured and the odds will be almost fully completely on my side. If something is not right the story will be different. I will have to come back to the hospital for treatment, and the result will probably not be a happy ending for this tale. You never know when all the bad cells are dead and when a few remain that may end your dreams in a sudden surprising outcome, long enough for you to know, understand, feel and grieve, and short enough to have a final, unjust and bitter taste. I am realistic, but for some reason I refuse to take a sad attitude of despair. I gave the DVD disc with the colonoscopy video to the receptionist, she told me she’d given another disc I gave her to the doctor, I thanked her and headed out. My dad and I went back to his house, my recovery house. I thought I would be going home somewhere around these days, and I feel good enough to do it, but the upcoming treatments make me think it’s wiser to stay. I don’t know in how much of a bad shape the treatment will bring me, and if it’s bad, I will be better here.
I feel good. I feel proud. I am already a survivor. I am aware that if I hadn’t seen a doctor this year, I wouldn’t be alive beyond December. I am impressed by many things. One is that the colon is gone. A thick and heavy organ that measures one meter and a half, and is attached all over the abdominal cavity, along with the rectum, is gone. I don’t have a colon and I don’t have a rectum. It’s impressive. Not only did I survive such a big surgery, I have recovered well and I don’t miss the organs. I have a hole next to my belly button where the small intestine shows, and I have a bag attached to my belly to catch the waste. I thought I’d be brought to tears when I saw that, waking from the anesthesia. I was never sad. I smile. I am proud. I changed my fate. I feel good and much healthier than month and a half ago. I am always happy to show the bag to anybody close to me or anybody who may become involved in a conversation with me. It may be a brutal sight to people, but it’s what drives my well being, my being alive. How happy I feel to say it and write it: I am alive! I feel good! These days I prepare to go to the hospital for the third time. It will be a long and difficult battle. I feel better now than I will feel while under treatment, but this is what I have to do to increase my chances of survival. I expect to begin within a week, it will last six months and I hope this will allow me to live longer and better. I think about my present, I think about my future and I smile: I am doing the right things.

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