February 19, 2012

silence

     Lymphoma and leukemia can sap your energy or give you night sweats.  Lung cancer can make you cough up blood.  And of course, cancer mets can hurt, especially when they're in the bone.  But breast cancer?  It's just seems so innocuous and mild.  Of course, it's anything but.  But to inspect a woman's breast and feel the lump seems so routine.  (And then to pull out a ruler and measure the size of the lump seems just plain insensitive.)  Usually no systemic symptoms.  It's usually not visible.  It's usually not detectable unless you're searching for it.  And it doesn't hurt.  Incongruously painless.  That seems so metaphysically bizarre to me.  It seems like something so life altering should be accompanied by something more ominous and tangible.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isaac, choir director here. My sister-in-law was just diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. She is 50 and in good health. She has already had one round of chemo and awaits a "concluding round", whatever that means. She is in the middle range of the survival percentages. Her "cure" of choice, will be a stem cell transplant, I'm assuming like your dad's. I went to the registry through your link and found that after answering all of the questions, I cannot be a donor I'm assuming because I am a cancer survivor. Is that really the case? There are other family who can donate if they are a match thank goodness but I'm a little bummed that because of my past history I cannot even register to be a donor. Anyhow, you seemed like the obvious person to ask about this. Also, I wanted you to know that our church is praying for your dad for his procedure to be a success and for God to watch over you all during this time of waiting!! Take care.

Jill

Isaac van Sligtenhorst said...

Sorry to hear about your sister in law. To answer your question, having a past history of cancer usually precludes someone from being a donor. The last thing you'd want to do is the seed the recipient with a different cancer cell line, especially when they are immunocompromised.