Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why do I have cancer?

Is this an obvious question, or not?

I really could not decide, when Dr. __, the Chinese acupuncturist, asked me this question yesterday. My head was just swimming because I had had my first Neulasta shot the day after my chemotherapy. Neulasta, a powerful and expensive drug, ups your white count when you're on chemo. I got dizzy about 30 minutes afterwards. Then, I was trying to answer the question why I thought I had cancer. Diet? Hormones? or Genes?

I felt like saying, "DOOD! I'm a woman, first of all. Second, I live in an industrialized nation where factories have contaminated my water and food supply, and they don't have to even tell me what the hell they've done. A better question would be, Why doesn't everyone have cancer right now?!"

I ended up saying that my mother had breast cancer and maybe that's why I have it, too.

Then he gave me the rap about fats, meats, and dairy — all the things Asians can't process very well and which gross them out terribly. I wondered if I could mention all the MSG I have consumed with Chinese food. Maybe that gave me cancer.

I just got acupuncture instead of being cheeky. I was a newbie, but it was exactly like everyone has told me it is. Small needles in your body. Pretty nice. I dropped off to sleep and woke myself up snoring. When it was done, I felt like a million bucks, and very hungry.

Then they spooned some unidentified herbs into a plastic pot and told me to make a tea of them three times a day and drink it. Here's what it looks like:

Oh wait, it says, "Shi Chang Pu, acorus tatarinowi (rhizome)" on it. Sure, I'll get right on that. I'm sure the emergency room will know just what to do if I'm spewing and in convulsions. My oncologist will be beaming.

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