My Cancer Story Ch. 10 “Self-Imposed Isolation”

Chapter 10: Self-Imposed Isolation

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Normal sucks. This TV was getting boring. I had already grown bored of the PS2, and now, I wanted out. It’s about half past September and I still needed to get out and hug that damn tree before our winter began in a few weeks. Hey, it’s Maine.

 

As soon as my counts are up, I’m going to run outside whether they like it or not. I’d made it known (several times) that I wanted out and it was making some headway. The doctor was well aware, and it looked like they may actually let me go outside (!!).

 

Yes, please, this room is depressing. It’s way smaller than 851 and it’s boring. All I can see out this window is the top of the next building over. Whoop de doo. I can almost make out the river. Almost isn’t good enough, dammit.

 

A nurse was taking my blood pressure, one of the few per day, and I was getting antsy. “Do you think that, when my room opens up, I’ll be moved back?”

 

She chuckled to herself, “I’m sure we can work something out. Missing the view?”

 

She knows. “Yeah that, plus, it’s a bigger room.” I looked off into the distance and realized the day, and checked my menu from breakfast to confirm it. “Wow, it’s been a month already.” The nurse let go of the cuff and checked her watch. “Wow, no kidding! It felt like yesterday when you were admitted up here!” Pam was the first nurse who took care of me on Grant 8.

 

That made me sad. I would have been in college by now– undoubtedly over my head, but in college, working toward my career in film. I had wondered what would have occurred if I didn’t develop Leukemia. Where would I be right now?

 

In Fort Kent. I guess that’s not a big surprise. Man, I was getting grumpy. With the litany of things on my shit list lately, I don’t think I was in any shape to be around people. So I crafted a diversion. “Could you get me the list of movies please?”

 

Grant 8 had a few TV and VCR rolling cart combos. In addition to the equipment, they also housed a collection of over three hundred movies (mostly family-friendly fare), but some were PG-13 or higher. Needless to say, I was in heaven with this compendium of recent film history.

 

The nurse obliged. Screw it; if I can’t enjoy anything, I’ll play a movie that I know by heart. I’ll just conduct a one-man movie marathon and call it already. No calls, no visits, just me and the Back to the Future trilogy. Little did I know, my patience would be tested.

 

Every morning, a dietary worker would pass out my menus for the day, and then return a few hours later, looking for its completion. And most mornings there would be a certain woman making the rounds. She had such a rich “Mainah” accent that in these “downer” days it was grating to say the least. Hailing from Northern Maine, I had never heard of such an accent in person (one that sadly, our state is known for), and the accent would eviscerate my ears and make me want to punch a wall.

 

[[An aside: The best way I could give you an example of what our accents sounded like up North is by saying we had the “Mainerr” accent. I used two r’s because the accent had a harder ending, almost an overemphasis of the end of the word; the polar opposite of the traditional way Mainah’s would drop the end of the word (‘Bah Harbah’ vs. ‘Barr Harberr’). This accent was a mash-up of the “Mainah” accent and the Canadian-French accent. ]]

 

Well, this woman would knock on my door and ask, “All set with ya menus, Deah?” That was all it took that day. I nevertheless calmly responded with, “No, not yet.” She reluctantly backed away and as the day progressed, she would return. “All done with ya menus, Deah?”

 

Holy Shit. “Nope, I’m not hungry.” (That was an outright lie; I’m like the Hulk, unless on Chemo, I’m always hungry). She seemed more frustrated now, and nothing pleased me more. I didn’t want to speak to anyone that day, and she was definitely included in that broad group of “anyone.”

 

I soon realized the error of my ways, as I saw that the tray I received in lieu of my choice was another simple pad menu, and I wasn’t having beef tips and broccoli. Gross, broccoli sucks! So I tapped the all-powerful summoner: the nurse button. “Can I get something from the room service menu please?”

 

Fuck yes.

 

The next day I removed the sand from my vagina: I was more receptive to company and in fact, I was craving it. “What the hell is going on with me?”

 

I promptly filled out my menus, as I wanted to get the right meal this time (and to apologize to that nice lady), but alas, she didn’t come; it was some other lady who didn’t understand the feud that had been pre-established.

 

I happily handed over the menu, hoping to start conversation with her, but she wasn’t having it. Bitch, how dare you be mean– Oh. Right. I sat there in confusion. I’m losing my mind.

 

A quick rap hit the door. It was Pam. I was beginning to pinpoint which person would come through the door based on the knock.

“Hi Jamie. Good news!” I smiled in anticipation. Outside!

 

It wasn’t the outdoors, not yet anyway, but they let me walk back to my old room, 851. It felt so good to be able to walk around, and not be wheeled or drove to a stupidly short distance.

 

I instead wheeled my IV pole in the room and sat on the bed. What did that other kid do to my bed? It feels frumpy. I bounced a bit and let it conform to my thinning ass cheeks. Good enough.

 

I rang my Mom and Stepdad at the Ronald McDonald House. They said they’d be over soon. As I patiently waited for more human interaction, I sat there in silence. Man this sucks. I quickly turned on the TV to WABI TV 5 and instead awaited the dulcet tones of Rod Roddy, and my preselected meal, of course.

-Jamie (@GuyOnAWire)


This will be my on-going story of my personal battle with Cancer. I’ve been wanting to write this for years, and my hope is that it helps others who are currently experiencing their own battles (whether it be for themselves or a loved one) or to help with early detection.

The way I’m doing it is terrifying for a writer. I’m writing a first-draft outline for an eventual book, chapter by chapter in weekly form.

Stay tuned as I will be posting a new chapter every Monday until the story is complete.

And remember if you experience any Anemic symptoms– get checked for Leukemia as well.


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Stormy Outlook

49 thoughts on “My Cancer Story Ch. 10 “Self-Imposed Isolation”

  1. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 9 “Swelling With Pain” | guyonawire

  2. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 8- “Extraction” | guyonawire

  3. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 7 “Growing Pains” | guyonawire

  4. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 6 “The Chemo Fallout” | guyonawire

  5. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 5 “Stephen King” | guyonawire

  6. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 11 “Pins and Needles” | guyonawire

  7. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 4 “Media Madness” | guyonawire

  8. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch.3- “The First Day of Chemo” | guyonawire

  9. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch.2- “Loved Ones” | guyonawire

  10. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch.1- “Pre-Diagnosis” | guyonawire

  11. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 12 “Sibling Rivalry” | guyonawire

  12. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 13 “Homecoming” | guyonawire

  13. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 14 “Take the Money and Run” | guyonawire

  14. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 15 “The McDonald’s Loving Thief” | guyonawire

  15. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 16 “My Childhood in a Nutshell” | guyonawire

  16. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 17 “My Fellow Cancer Combatants” | guyonawire

  17. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 18 “Send the Pain Below” | guyonawire

  18. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 19 “The Starlight Friends” | guyonawire

  19. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 20 “House Guest” | guyonawire

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  21. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 22 “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost” | guyonawire

  22. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 23 “Picky Eater” | guyonawire

  23. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 24- “Drugs or Me?” | guyonawire

  24. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 25 “Film Fantatic Vol. 1” | GuyOnAWire

  25. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 26 “My Guardian Angels” | GuyOnAWire

  26. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 27 “Town I Call Home” | GuyOnAWire

  27. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 28 “Super Smash Bros. Mesmerize” | GuyOnAWire

  28. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 29 “Home Away From Home for the Holidays” | GuyOnAWire

  29. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 30 “Amphoterrible” | GuyOnAWire

  30. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 31 “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” | GuyOnAWire

  31. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 32 “Death and All His Friends” | GuyOnAWire

  32. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 33 “Home for the Holidays” | GuyOnAWire

  33. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 34 “A Perfect Circle” | GuyOnAWire

  34. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 35 “Trivial Preoccupations” | GuyOnAWire

  35. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 36 “The Destructive Shell” | GuyOnAWire

  36. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 37 “Pure Boredom” | GuyOnAWire

  37. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 38 “Role Reversal” | GuyOnAWire

  38. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 39 “Preparing for the Best” | GuyOnAWire

  39. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 40 “The End of the Tour” | GuyOnAWire

  40. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 41 “Sibling Rivalry: Round Two” | GuyOnAWire

  41. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 42- Our First House | GuyOnAWire

  42. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 43- A Sense of Dread | GuyOnAWire

  43. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 44 “A Crick in the Neck” | GuyOnAWire

  44. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 45 “Summer Soliloquy” | GuyOnAWire

  45. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 46 “My First Camera” | GuyOnAWire

  46. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 47 “The Ronald McDonald Bar Harbor Retreat” | GuyOnAWire

  47. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 48 “License Lost” | GuyOnAWire

  48. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 49 “Halloween High” | GuyOnAWire

  49. Pingback: My Cancer Story Ch. 50 “Extended Family” | GuyOnAWire

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