First Musings & Poem Written after Finding out I had Cancer at U of Iowa Hospital in August 2019

September 25, 2019

 

I'd been sick far too long.  Had a TIA. Three heart ablations (Two at Mayo Clinic in Rochester). During the last ablation the doc noticed odd scarring that had not been present before. He was concerned but Tom and I headed back where the sun was shining and icicles were not frozen from rooftops to our southern docs.

 

I went from 122 to 105.  Fatigue was so overwhelming I spent most of my time either in bed or on the sofa. This behavior by a woman who was previously known as the Energizer Bunny. Tom tried to get me to eat. He tried to get me to walk.  "Don't you want to get better?" he asked one day. Good friends and neighbors invited me to swim in their pool.  It worked until I climbed out. I stopped reading, writing.  Stared up at the ceiling for hours.

 

Tests upon tests were given.  No diagnosis.  No relief.  What was this thing that had taken over my life?

 

Back in Iowa City I had a colonoscopy.  I hadn't had one since I was fifty.  A yearly poop test sufficed.

The diagnosis was immediate.  A rare disease called Amyloidosis where small protein chains eat away at your bones and organs.  But no cancer.  That changed two days later.

 

THE POEM

 

One foot away

hangs a theater-like tan curtain

lit from behind by a blue light

that casts no shadow

 

Anti-nausea pills taken one at a time

needle punctures belly flesh as a

chemo cocktail enters the body

 

Is it me lying in this bed?

Is it me?

 

 

 

 

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