It’s been about a week-and-a-half since I’ve written an entry, but it feels like a year. I’m telling you, this whole notion of time being a steady, perfectly consistent quantity is nonsense. When a couple of minutes feels like an hour, that’s not you – it actually was an hour. Same for those weekends that seem to last only seconds. The clock lies all the fricking time. You just don’t catch it, because Father Time is one sneaky motherfucker.
Thursday (Not this past Thursday. The one before that)
That surgery was a wonderful thing. Because the following day, my baby sister was peppy. You never would’ve known she was sick, except for the row of surgical staples that neatly lined up and down the middle of her belly. Her belly, which still looked bloated. Only this time it was full of gas instead of fluid.
At this point, farting becomes part of the healing process. The nurses encouraged her to walk around as much as possible, because this apparently is conducive to cracking ass. There was also some medicine to help out. And prayer. Both my cousin’s wife – who’s a nurse – and my mom would end up asking the Divine Powers That Be to help my sister pass gas.
And that’s how it goes. Just a few days earlier we were praying for her life. A few days before that we were all assuming this thing was just a benign cyst. Sometimes it all seems so predictably unpredictable. Like a pendulum swinging back and forth in a rhythm known only to one, or perhaps no one at all.
My middle sister and her husband flew down from Seattle. So she was there when the doctor confirmed it was cancer. But as I’d mentioned before, the surgery had removed the tumor and so far there were no signs it had spread anywhere else. Now our baby sister would have to go through chemotherapy to wipe out whatever malignant cells that may have remained.
In this case, the wiping out would take four months, with a chemo treatment every three weeks. "Chemo" sounded like an awful word to me back then, when cancer was something that happened to "other" people and fictional characters. But not anymore. Not when you know it’s her ticket back to a full recovery. Back to living instead of fighting.
Granted the side effects are less than pleasant. But they have drugs to counteract the nausea and pain. They even have a remedy for the loss of appetite: the munchies. That’s right, marijuana pills, compliments of Dr. Green Thumb. I nudged my baby sister and suggested she get started on that one right away.
Unfortunately there’s nothing that can stop chemo’s most obvious side effect. The part where all your hair falls out, and strangers in public places look at you and quietly wonder if you have cancer.
I discussed this with her, and she didn’t seem as bothered about it as I thought. Thank God she’s not a vain bastard like her big brother. I told her that there was one good thing in terms of timing. It’s that there’s never been a better selection of girly hats in recent history. Seriously, I've seen hats on females lately that are as cute as dimples.
Maybe every once in a while she could throw on a pink wig to see if our mom craps her pants. As for the loss of eyebrows, I told her it’d just make her like any other Asian chick – except she wouldn’t have to through the trouble of tweezing hers out.
But the hair loss doesn’t occur until around the second or third session of chemo. She got to go home Saturday. Her first session would be the following Tuesday.