Walked Buena Vista this morning solo, while
On the way home (ie, mostly downhill) I passed another street-level informal recycling point, and scored several Brita water pitcher filters still in their sealed paks. Those suckers are spendy. Does this make me a true San Franciscan, or an aspiring homeless guy? I’m not sure.
During the course of the walk I noticed that my somatic sense of the surgery sites has changed yet again. The hallucinations of swelling in my left flank are almost gone, but I still have phantom swelling. Or phantom phantom swelling, I suppose, as earlier on they felt real, and while I still feel them now, they don’t feel real anymore. Less intense. On the right chest, my festive holiday bruising is almost gone, and the feeling that someone left a Bic pen inside my chest has shrunk to something like a Cross refill cartridge. I can sleep on either side now, albeit somewhat uncomfortably, and though it’s not back to normal, I can see normal from here.
I’ve been reflecting lately on smaller concerns as well as the big ones — those latter of course being cancer itself, my sexuality, my mental acuity during chemo, etc. The smaller ones border on the silly, but they still carry their own reality. One is, what if I get mugged, or arrested, or something? Both sides of my chest compromised and problems with my left shoulder. I’d be in agony, or worse. (Yeah, yeah, I know, but I think of these things.)
Second, what if I had a heart attack? The relative of a friend recently died of a heart attack in part because his symptoms were masked by severe flu plus a fall injuring his left side. Guess what? I have chest pain all the time, due to the neural damage from the partial thoracectomy. When walking or engaging in other vigorous activites (yes, including sex), my sternum is under pressure from my lungs not being quite right yet. My core temp swings, so sometimes I get chills and sweats. In other words, except for the left side numbness, I have the basic heart attack symptoms almost all the time.
They’re not a heart attack, but still, it makes me wonder. And the standard “are you experiencing chest pains” medical screening question now requires a somewhat detailed answer.
Likewise, I now never go anywhere without a packed containing instructions about my current medical situation, including instructions for the port implant, and a sterile Huber needle, which is required to access the port, and not normally stocked in ambulances or Emergency Departments. I am currently wearing a wristband identifying me as a port implantee, and once chemo starts I’ll switch to a Med Alert bracelet that documents the side effects, such as risk of severe bleeding, as well as my status as a chemotherapy patient.
Oi. Life changes, and it changes again.
In other news,
At any rate,