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The More you know the more you fear from the Big C?

June 14, 2012

After spending three weeks recovering from my radical orchiectomy, a medical name for removing my testicle, I decided to paddle out in the ocean again. Because of neuropathy, another medical terms for numbness in my feet and legs done to the nerves, I have difficulty standing up. I figured the paddling and the effort would send a zero-tolerance message to the body and reverse the side effect. The doctors always tell you to read up on chemo, your particular cancer, etc., claiming its important to be informed. The problem is this, for everything you learn about the disease and chemo, it’s countered by the knowledge of what could go wrong, or worse be permanent. It’s a good thing these guys aren’t car mechanics–“Yes, we can tune-up your car, but based on the mood of whoever is working on it, the engine might shift in reverse when you’re going sixty miles and hour. Now that you’ve been informed, please sign this waiver before we do the repairs.”

I start reading about neuropathy and find upbeat phrases like “some chemo drugs cause damage to peripheral nerves” or other prose gems like “in some cases it may be irreversible and never diminish in intensity.” Color me informed with a big fuck-me-up-the-ass crayon.

“I guess they didn’t tell you all the things that could happen to you so you wouldn’t be frightened,” said someone to me. And I can’t argue with that, but I wish there was something in this system where I get the doctors to sign a waiver that says: “Since you know everything and fear nothing as long as you’re not the patient, please allow them to pay you based on your success rate.”


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