2019: Immediate Change

Immediate Means Now.

A Pre-Geriatric Saga, Pt. 5: The Biopsy Blues-Apprehension Unnecessary

On the Pier-21_081813

Summer in the City #3 – JSB*Art, (c) 2013. All Rights Reserved.


The word RADIATION connotes all kinds of things in an imaginative mind. As the last step in a treatment regimen, it’s an unknown entity which you’ve heard about but haven’t experienced first-hand. You expect all kinds of side effects – lost hair, skin discoloration, exhaustion, and hallucinations, as if you’ve had some hardcore stuff that you didn’t want. Even talking to relatives or others whom you know who have already been through it, you’re still not prepared for the unknown — what will happen, how you’ll feel, can you take it, ad infinitum.

HOWEVER – that’s not how it is. I understand that each person’s reaction is different, depending on what part of the body is being zapped, the extent of their condition, etc. In my case, I thank God that it wasn’t half as bad as I’d imagined. Besides being tired to the point of not being able to walk Pooch around the block on a couple of occasions [that was scary], there were no other tangible side effects, PRAISE GOD.

And in retrospect, even that was solvable. Once a week, the radiation oncologist would check you out, to make sure you’re still breathing. And this particular day, the regular doctor wasn’t available, and her substitute was a guy. I went through my spiel about being too tired to walk the dog around the block, and what did he say? ‘Walk him anyway.’ I said, no, I’ll take him down the back steps and sit down for an hour, but he said, ‘And when you get through sitting down, walk him. When you get around the block, keep going.’ Of course at the time, I was appalled. However, this has proven the be some of the best advice that I received during the radiation segment. Thanks, Dr. Liauw.

Summer in the City #4 - JSB*Art, (c) 2013. All Rights Reserved.

Summer in the City #4 – JSB*Art, (c) 2013. All Rights Reserved.


In the midst of arriving, stripping and sitting there every day until called, you begin to realize there are other people going through this same thing. The men were down the hall. The diagnoses are different, and the demographics covered the entire spectrum of citizenry as in any great metropolis, but one thing we have in common. We all received a diagnosis, and are doing what we can to eradicate it from our lives and move on. I have never felt so blessed, as I found out through conversations the extent of life disruptions that these women have been and are going through.  My ailments are benign by comparison. Yet, they can grace the covers of Vogue, some showed up so clean; they are valiant, they are consistently bringing their mothers, husbands, sisters, daughters or themselves to treatment every day without fail and without complaint. Who am I to talk about a dog making me tired? Please! I decided to spend my conversational time encouraging and informing, to the extent I could. Much more productive…


And while I’m at it, I want to also thank the people who helped make the radiation treatments go smoothly by removing my fear. If you’ve been reading my series, then you already know that I refer the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center:

  • The Radiation Technicians who beat me up for removing the tape on my cleavage area, Mrs. Collins and Meagan. And the other tech to whom I apologized profusely for the unintended expletive, sorry that I can’t remember your name, but you definitely know to whom this is directed! And, to the young man with whom I’ll have a patent some day when we reinvent the processes.
  • The Radiation Oncology doctors; Doctors Hasan [who it takes a lot to make her laugh], Malotek [who always has a solution] and Dr. Liauw, mentioned above.
  • The R.O. support staff; the ladies on the desk at 1D, and the nursing staff on the desk downstairs. God Bless, and thanks for all your help.



2019 – Welcome the New!

August 2013
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