oncology examination room, university of california, san diego, moores cancer center

Archive of a Breast Cancer Survivor

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11.05.05
An Examination with the Oncologist

I visited my oncologist today for a brief examination. She asked how I was doing, how were the hot flashes? I explained I was seeing an acupuncturist to help curb the night-sweats which have been very difficult over the last six months. She asked, “…what does the treatment entail? Where do the needles go? Do you feel a difference?” I explaining the multiple needles used and how I can actually sleep at night without having to get up at 3 A.M. to change my sheets and that this alternative treatment has been a reprieve from the instant aging brought on by the chemotherapy. She did not seem impressed with the results and was more concerned with the sterility of the needles. I was hoping for a different dialogue, one that would bring us closer. With that said I could have asked her to explain what it means to age. Explain why, within months, my body does not function in the same way it always has. Explain to me how to be at peace with this process. Explain to me how to embrace the coming of a new dawn. Explain all the things you cannot explain because they are so intangible, this newness, this aging, the instant process brought on by a single tumor, now eradicated. It’s the little things, that make a difference. Little needles. Between the eyes. Hold me sharp by my wrists. I’m all yours.

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