Day 9 ‘what kind did you get?’

Easy day. 6 mins in the machine, in and out. I leave the rad waiting area, get changed, and head to the gowned waiting area (women’s side). I hear voices in there. This is new. I rarely see people and if I do they are in and out quickly. So I was intrigued and over joyed to hear voices. Multiple voices actually. I shoved my stuff in the locker and enter just as a younger women is leaving with a tech. The other women are discussing- HPV- ‘Did you know that? I didn’t know that!’ I hear. This is it folks, what I’ve- we’ve- been training for. An audience! Information stewing about into formation in my mind ready to leave my mouth and educate the masses. Ok slow your role Meggs, perhaps not your target audience after all but nonetheless I enter proudly and announce ‘I have an HPV related cancer!’ They tell me the young woman who just left had one too. Vulva cancer. (Vulva and anal cancer #s yearly are similar) They tell me she is on her last day of radiation today. I immediately hope to run into her later. She likely understands my world. Does she know all the facts that are lining up in my head? Is she spreading these facts too? Are we meant to be friends? The lady asks me ‘Which kind did you get?’ Sounds like we are kids opening a pack of Pokémon cards… ‘which kind did you get?’ 🤣. I explain my cancer and tell them both it’s preventable with a vaccine. One lady leaves with a tech. The other tells me her daughter got the vaccine but her son was ‘too old’ when it came out. Facts stand at attention like soldiers, ready for rapid fire when the warrior -that’s me- pulls the trigger (I usually have a sword but for the purpose of today’s story, it’s a gun. It’s important for a warrior to have options) I ask her if she knew it’s FDA approved to age 45. ‘You are kidding! I will call my son today. I’ve seen you here before and thought you looked very young.’ I tell her I’m 43 but I have 2 teenagers. Raising teens gives you tons of street cred people! I ask her what kind she has and she says early stage breast cancer with a great prognosis. We exchange our chemo/rad facts and part ways. I’m energized by this encounter with other people like me 😍 I enter to meet the machine with my gals katelyn & Brooke. They ask if I have questions when we are in the room. Apparently I do a lot of this. I have no questions but when I’m on my way out I stop at their station and ask if there’s anything on their monitors that I would want to see or find interesting. They pull ‘me’ up and show me the lines on my images that they ‘line up’ to target. It looks a lot like my pet scan but with rings around the tumor and lymph nodes. Rad stuff guys (pun). Wonder if they’ll ask me tomorrow if I have questions. 🤣

Bottom lip is better and 1 sore on my tongue. I’ve got a rinse and a prescription. I got a new cream too! Super exciting stuff my tribe. I intend to sleep. Well.

Published by mhaensgen

Welcome to my tribe. I was diagnosed with anal cancer 2/23/21, then found out it was caused by HPV. This is the journey.

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