The Enemy Within
When I was diagnosed I had a cluster of lumps nestled in the base of my neck, just above my collar bone. Like a cluster of grapes. I would feel it and think, 'This is cancer.' It was me/not me. It was the enemy within. The alien. It was lethal. The anti-pregnancy.
I wanted Bob to feel it, but I was also afraid that if he did, I would become contaminated in his eyes and that he wouldn't want to touch me. But irrationally, I made him do so. (And he has never, ever made me feel contaminated. For awhile he treated me as if I was a little fragile, but he has hugged and smooched like always. Bob clearly believes you should hug early and often.) I don't know why it was so important to me that someone other than the doctors, that Bob know what it felt like, but it was.
I check on them sometimes. I'll go a few days, maybe a week, and then I'll check so often that I get sore. Some people's lumps are gone after treatment 2, but mine are still there after treatment 3. The doctor asked me, 'Are they smaller?' and I answered him honestly that I didn't know. I think so. But I'm not sure how much is wishful thinking. And then there's scarring from both the chemo and the biopsy.
Sometimes, a couple of days after chemo, they hurt. This is a good sign, the doctor tells me. They are dying, I think, fused and melted like the skin of a burn victim. The 94% cure rate for Hodgkins helps. I can go days without thinking about them. But it is very strange.