CN: icky medical stuff. If you’re sensitive, don’t read.
Sore. Punctured. Bruised. Discoloured. I’m 7 days out from diagnosis, 6 days out from surgery. My protruding gut is still very swollen, and it feels so damn heavy. It’s difficult to walk with a straight back. My stomach muscles screech in protest over normal movements. Not so normal now. I feel…limited.
Today, I showered, and soaked off all the steri-strips and caked blood. Then it was time for a bag change. The instructions all say to rinse the old bag, then put it in a plastic baggie, seal it, then put that in a second baggie. They come with the stigma and shame included. I rinsed mine out and tossed it in the trash. There is a sense of revulsion; of a loss of control. I expect that will lessen with practice and experience. I don’t even know how to describe what it’s like, gently cleaning off an internal organ.
It hit early this morning – for the first time in my life, I feel old. Frail. I despise feeling this way. Somewhere, under the weight of this, is my usual self, but I don’t feel as though I can shift this density off. I know I need to eat, but I can’t find my appetite. I do have the perfect excuse to over indulge in ice cream though.
Patience is not a virtue I possess; I hate all the waiting. I won’t even see the radiation therapy Doc until 1/15. I just want this done. I want to rip out this part of me gone rogue, stomp it to death and get back to my life. I want my gut back on the inside where it belongs. This is all going to take so damn long.
My hair keeps trailing through my thoughts. How long do I try to keep it? Do I hope it doesn’t start falling out during radiation therapy? Can I manage to keep it until chemo starts? I don’t know, but the thought of losing my hair is bugging me more and more. I know it’s a minor thing; hair grows back. Still, this is what I get stuck on – having to surrender those 39 inches of hair.
I need to get my studio cleaned up, because I’ll have to start painting soon, it’s the only emotional outlet I have. Ideas flit in and out, nothing has settled yet. Feeling like broken pieces of coloured glass; there’s no coherence yet, the brighter colours subsumed by a muddied swirl of black, maroon, and purple, with threads of brightly spilled blood throughout.
I won’t be inflicting these chronicles on you all too often, just as the mood and need strike.
ETA: I put my rings back on. I was instructed to remove all jewelry for the colonoscopy, so I did, and then I ended up in hospital for four days. I thought about putting them back on when I got home, but just let them lie. I shouldn’t have done that, because nekkid fingers aren’t me. I think I need some new rings. Yep, I do. The little things, they aren’t so little.