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Hodgkin’s Files: Informing the Psycho

It was amazing that after everything I had gone through to this point I was more apprehensive about something more.  I had been through several procedures and several scares.  Even the diagnosis was easier to take than this.  I had to tell the Psycho that I had cancer.  I had looked up on the web how to do it.  Actually there is some real good advice online and I am glad those resources seem well researched and focused on the well being of the child.  I was lucky to have gotten some ideas from my friend Abbey about it.  The only bad advice was from my doctors who suggested I hide the facts from her.  That was not an option and I can only assume that of all the amazing training that my docs have gotten that was not part of it.  Therefore, I shall forgive them.

In any case, it was the Psycho’s birthday and she had demanded that I tell her but not to tell her I had cancer.  I put her off because under no circumstances would I mess up her birthday with that so the next day it was.  Just before that, the aforementioned Abbey had suggested support groups for families of future survivors.  So on my way home I stopped by the Lebanon hospital (UMC) to get some information regarding support groups and I had also asked my mother to look up stuff at Vanderbilt.  This was all just in case.  We got some good stuff and we will not ignore any of it.

When I picked her up from day camp I told the camp head that I was going to be telling her that night so she could be on the look out for any out the normal behavior.  They wished me luck and thanked me for giving the heads up.  After dinner we cleared off the table and I asked the Psycho to sit down so we could talk.  She knew I was sick and that the doctors have been working real hard to find out what was wrong with me.  I told her that they have figured it out and that I just met with the doctor the previous day that is going to help me get better.  I started off by telling her that I had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  She asked what that was and I told her it was a type of cancer.  Her only real experience with cancer before this was with our dog, Booger.  A tumor had come on suddenly and squeezed his stomach causing him to starve himself.  So her thoughts on cancer were not good.  Actually, I think most peoples thoughts on cancer are not good.  Well, I told her that this type is very curable and we are going to start the treatment real soon that will kick the shit out of it.  It was all going well, she really did not have any questions yet.  I told her that if she had any questions she could ask anyone.  If she wanted to talk to her doctor, the most awesome Dr. Bill, or my doctor she could.

Next came the hardest part.  Years and years ago I was bald.  I had shaved my head because I wanted to.  I loved it and others did to.  Yes you did, just admit it.  Over the years I have considered doing it again.  I happen to be my grandfather’s grandson and I have his hair line.  At many instances over the years I have tried to get the boss’s approval and every time the Psycho has said negative.  I had to tell her that the treatment was going to kill the cancer but it was going to have side effects.  I told her that I may feel sick for a while and lose some weight.  Like a trooper she was cool and told me she would help take care of me.  Then I told her that I more than likely will lose my hair.  I might as well have told her that there was a recall on all American Girl Dolls or that there no more duckies.  It was the end of the world.  Forget cancer.  Under no circumstances am I to loose my hair.

It was several moments of silence then I suggested nutty bars and my Psycho’s smile returned.  I got a few more questions over the next couple of days but for the most part she has been understanding about the whole thing.  I think she wants to be the one to help me shave my head.  We went to the Hospital on Friday so I could get some more testing done and she joined us.  We stopped by the Cancer Family Resource Center and she picked up some pamphlets about parents having cancer.  She seems genuinely interested in what is going on and has complete faith that I am a future survivor.  Everyday, she reminds me of who I want to be.  If only everyone else had such a role model as her.


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