What’s that noise? He’s talking to me, and I can see that he’s talking to me, but all I hear is this buzzing noise. Where’s it coming from? What’s going on here?
I need to concentrate, try staring at his lips as they form words, try to anticipate the right non verbal cues.
Nod your head, dopey. He seems to be pretty serious right now, so, c’mon Dan, look interested, look smart, look like you can follow a totally incoherent conversation about this ridiculously complicated big thing that’s going on in your life.
Crap, he’s stopped talking. Respond, respond RESPOND!
YES, THAT MAKES SENSE, DOC. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Holy shit, that was a little too loud, a little too enthusiastic, he probably thinks I’m some sort of unfeeling psychopath. Hang in there, dude, stay calm. Is my back sweating? Jesus, help me here.
He’s right in front of me, but I’m having a hard time seeing him. It’s kind of like standing in a backyard looking into a house thru a screen door. A little blurry, a little hard to hear.
Concentrate, man! This shit is important. There’s gonna be a quiz on this material. Your family and friends are gonna want to know what’s going on, and it’s your job to make this make sense to them. There will be lots of questions.
Uh oh, he stopped talking again. He’s handing me stuff. A thick folder of papers. Am I supposed to read this now? Good god, there are a lot of words. Time to respond again.
THANKS, DOC. I’LL LOOK IT OVER. TIME TO GET STARTED ON THE NEW CLINICAL. HOPEFULLY, THIS ONE WILL WORK.
Hopefully, this one will work?? Nice, you moron, way to have confidence in your care team. Was that a little loud again? Seemed a little loud. Where is that buzzing sound coming from?
He’s standing up, reaching for the door, he’s leaving, he’s talking! Turn it up, turn it up, turn it up!
…..bzzzzzzzzzzandwe’llbegettingback to you when we’re ready to get you started on the tests and forms. You’re gonna need a biopsy, so we can see if you’re eligible for the treatment.
OKAY, SOUNDS GOOD DOC.
Shit, eligible for what treatment? A biopsy? For what? I’m sure he told me. Something about genetic markers? That sounds about right. If I say genetic markers to people they won’t know what I’m talking about and it sounds kinda smart. Fake it till ya make it, I always say.
He’s gone. I’m in the room alone. Feeling numb and heavy. Why am I crying? Oh, yeah, bad news again. Again and again and again and again. The last thing I remember is he said something about the trial no longer working and my tumors had tripledinsizeandafterthatbzzzzzzzzzzzz
In the car. Sitting in the parking lot. Texting friends. Calling family. Yep, treatment stoped working. Yep, gonna start a new one. Uh, not sure, genetic something or other.
Start the car. Be careful, dumbass. The last time you got bad news you were driving on the highway and 95 felt slow. The last time you got bad news you got angry at work and got hurt. The last time you got bad news you felt like it was time to end this shit.
I’ll stop and get a coffee. I’ll take a drive in the country.
And then maybe the buzzing will stop.
Thanks for reading