Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stick It To Me

This is my anniversary of the start of chemo. And was the continuation of a fear I've had forever.

Not the fear you might be thinking about––cancer is a big fear, undoubtedly––but I have a huge fear of needles. Hate 'em. Would rather be chased with a meat clever held by Usain Bolt. In fact, sometimes I thought the nurses who couldn't "find a good vein" would break out another instrument of pain in trying to find the perfect spot to inject the poison they were putting into my body to kill the disease that was REALLY trying to kill me. During my treatments––radiation, chemo, oral surgery, exploratory surgery, follow-ups, check-ups––I've been stuck with needle more times than I'd like to remember. Most of them were successful. And there were quite a few times I was poked 3 times in each arm just to "find a good vein". (Go to Being Cancer, and read the post about Evan Handler's book).

This Friday, I have signed up to get a flu shot at work. (Don't worry, a hospital and real Doctors and Nurses will be administering the shots). And the first thing I thought about is "getting stuck with a needle". Really. I've had a tube in my stomach for 10 months, had 35 radiation treatments, had three tubes shove down my throat all the way to my liver, emergency gall bladder surgery, three skin cancer surgeries and four teeth yanked out of my head WITH PLIERS and I'm worried about a stick in the arm––hey, I'd rather get the shot in my ass, but I'm pretty sure these will be done out in the open and baring my ass at work might not be "PC"––because did I mention I hate needles?

So I'm going to try to be a big boy on Friday. Not look at the needle being stuck in my arm. Not look at the nurse or doctor. Not yell out "son of a bitch"––which I've done before. I'm going to take the attitude of, "c'mon, bring it!"

I think.