This post is a deviation from my normal demeanor in both subject and language. It may upset some readers. If the language offends you, then I hope you never find your self in a similar situation. I've intentionally been ambiguous about identity and relationship. It's not my information to give away. Please respect that and do not ask. I just ask that you send your positive thoughts, prayers and love. I've spent my whole life with a front row seat to the healthcare industry. I grew up in it. I don't talk about that much, it's important to be my own man. Here I am, apple fallen next to the tree, in my front row seat isolated and insulated like a surgeon's hand in a latex glove.
I write about patient experience, idiotically thinking two busted knees and an annual physical qualifies me as a real patient. That's bullshit. The smug sense of pride I feel when I walk a family to a patient's room, putting on my best customer service show for a family who's only thought is, "dear God make him wipe that smile off his face, he doesn't know what scared is," ... Who do I think I am?
I've watched all the medical shows, with their perverted dramatizations and absurd scripts. I know how we are supposed to react to news Some will-be-soon indie band plays us out to commercial. That's when the lump in your throat is supposed to swell up. But the truth is when you get the call, it is nothing like TV. Music doesn't play, you aren't standing in the rain in some pensive repose. The truth is you are in some shitty place running some shitty errand. Except now that shitty place and shitty errand will always be the place where you found out someone you love very much has cancer.
That's when it all changes. The prophylactic glove is punctured, the front row seat exposed.
Today is different than yesterday. It looks the same, and smells the same but it's not the same. There is less air. We're suddenly part of those TV dramas, only there's no script for this. No one tells you how to comfort your heroes. No one tells you what do to do with the anger.
The nurse, doing her best job to be best care giver she knows how to be - when she refuses to look up from her monitor to look me in the eye, I want to scream. The countless, faceless staff walking with their heads down to avoid eye contact, least they have to show me how to get somewhere, I hate them too. Where is their smug sense of customer service job well done? I hate everything about this sterile, cold, insensitive, plastic, sanitized environment. Want to hear what I think about the doctor who thinks more Latin than English is an appropriate way to update a family?
And yet, I'm tied to this place, all my faith is in it. I'm as emotionally invested as it gets. When I its logo on the wall, my brain retrieves my opinion, filled in my vault of prestige somewhere between NASA and the presidential seal. It's that kind of place. I need it to be.
I don't pick sissy heroes. This is a minor set back in an otherwise kick-ass existence. We'll win at this and that will be that. So hear the earnestly, determination and convection when I say loudly: Fuck Cancer.