I’m going to leave out details on this post. I won’t be telling you the medical center or the unit where this happened. I’ve been to quite a few in the past couple days. What is important is the situation and how it made me feel.
Sometime earlier (SShhh, I won’t be telling), I was sitting in isolation, barely awake, and trying to pack in some calories before I fell asleep again.
I was eating chips. I’ve had a CRAVING for chips ever since my transplant. They rank right up there with honeybuns.
I’ve never really eaten either of these before, but if my body wants something, and I don’t think my stomach will send it back, I’m going to eat it.
While enjoying the ability to eat, a nurse came and told me that potato chips cause cancer.
For a second, I stared at her in shock. I was speechless. ME! SPEECHLESS!
I reached in to my bag of greasy heaven, took a fistful, put it in my mouth and started eating, thinking about what this woman said.
Obviously, I all ready have cancer. I have lost nine pounds. I am nauseas. I’ve barely eaten anything since Monday. I’ve been throwing up and have diarrhea.
I can handle chips since the salt seems to calm my stomach. My first transplant round, I would eat olives by the jar.
Do people not think? What did she think I was doing curled up in the isolation room at the cancer center with my barely there hair? What exactly was going through her mind with this comment?
“You think this gives me more of a risk of cancer than the chemotherapies I’ve taken?” I shot at her, my eyes glaring, screaming “Dumb B****” at her with my mind.
A scary side effect of cancer treatment is that it increases the risk of other cancers for the rest of your life. I have signed off on these side effects. I’ve also given my informed consent that my kidneys, lungs, and heart might fail. I knowingly took medications that have caused me to lose feeling in both my hands and my feet.
“Well, the feds are going to start labeling the bags in the future. It’s dangerous.”
“I don’t give a f***,” my mind screamed.
I’m so sick I want to cry as it is and now this woman is raining on my parade, knocking on the only food I can eat, and suggesting, WHAT?!
I hope she is not suggest that I a. caused my cancer b. contribute to its reoccurrences c. am knowingly putting myself at risk (beyond the risks of leukemias, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, and MDS that I have accepted as known side effects of my chemotherapy) or D. am asking to suffer more.
What the hell is that woman thinking? NEVER EVER make this error in decorum. I was too sick to fight. I could only lay in bed defeated.
I put the bag of chips away, deciding to go on starving and dropping pounds, so I didn’t have to face lectures from this woman.
She didn’t even offer to get me something to eat as an alternative!!!
I told her I was not concerned over potato chips, I’ve done the best I can to fight my disease with the knowledge I have.
It is an insult, a complete slap in the face, to have tried every treatment possible from NH to NY to MA to Germany and not improve anything. It hurts my ego. I already feel powerless and completely out of control of my own body.
To hear a comment suggesting I had some control over my disease, when I’ve only recently come to terms that I may not, from an ignorant Nurse, required to care for me, who has no idea what I’ve been through and how hard I’ve fought to be alive today, makes me so angry it brings tears to my eyes.
I wasn’t going to give her the satisfaction of my reaction. I told her I had a website chronicling my fight. I handed her my card. I asked that she read “I live next to Clarenoble.”
People, please don’t give advice without all the information. I don’t need “holier-than-thou” lectures. Do not suggest I am not fighting hard enough. ABSOLUTELY never suggest that maybe I’m down right harming myself (unless I obviously am self destructive, but that’s different, and I’m not).
I do need help. I do like constructive criticism. I am willing to try anything to be rid of my disease.
I do the best I can with the information I have and the situation I’ve been given.
Please, think before you speak, and do not make the same mistake this woman did.
Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.
He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.
Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."
I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.
I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."