like a six week dental appointment

My treatment begins today.  The last two weeks have been great.  No doctor’s appointments, no tests, only a lot of lazying about.  I’ve thought about other things; I’ve felt almost like a normal person.  Now there is no more postponing it.  I’m forced to come back to my cancer.

I’m going up to Taipei every weekday from now on. Every afternoon they’ll radiate my neck and mouth for some 10-15 minutes.  I’ll get a dose of chemotherapy every Wednesday.  I have 33 appointments lined up and it’ll go on until October 8th.

We’ll be taking the High Speed Train, the 高鐵.  This is the new 300 km/hour train that connects all major cities on the west-coast of Taiwan.  It’s only 30 minutes from Hsinchu to Taipei, and the NTU hospital is very close to the train station.  I’ll get door to door in about 90 minutes.  Diane is coming with me, at least to begin with, and later on if I feel too lousy.

This is my new job; this, literally, is what I “do for a living”: to present the medical authorities with a sick body they can cure.  It’s an easy job really.  No responsibility, no stress.  Other people do all the hard work.

Of course I’m very happy about it, and I feel incredibly grateful to everyone involved in helping me.  All the doctors, the nurses, the medical equipment, my family, friends, old students, colleagues and blog readers.  I feel like walking up to perfect strangers thanking them for supporting the Taiwanese health care system through their taxes.  It’s a great, an amazing, thing that’s happening.  I was sick and now I’m going to get well.

Only too bad getting well has to be such an ordeal.  It’ll be like a 6 week long visit to the dentist, or like that summer job I had as teenager that I hated every second of.

As always, writing about it here will help.  A shared burden is a lighter burden.


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