Monday, November 21, 2011


A girl named Claire came to my house today. She was Walter's sister apparently and wanted to know more about her brother's death. I don't see why she would. What little I know of it is enough to keep giving me nightmares. I shut the door in her face.

Life isn't perfect but I get by. I make do with what I have, which is actually plenty. I don't want to go back to such a dark place as that night. Perhaps I'm being selfish but it's a bit selfish of her to ask me. Even if I had answers, which I don't. I had only met Walter a few times. I was just a bystander to his death. There was nothing I could tell her that the cops couldn't.

Yet I'm staring at the number she left on my porch. For the first hour I was looking at it I pretended that I didn't know why I was so interested. But I do. Even though I didn't even meet him except in passing I knew what he was like. I sort of understood his hypochondria. Something was wrong on Halloween. Maybe it was just him snapping. but maybe it was more.

This is a terrible thing to be curious about. And it's certainly not going to be healthy for me to relive that night. But as much as I am saying this I already know that I'm going to call her.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I thought that the worst part was not knowing. That once the doctors figured out what was wrong with me things would somehow go back to normal. But they haven't. Actually I'm beginning to realize that things never will be normal again. The lump on my breast still sits there, an alien on my own body. I do what I can to ignore it. What disturbs me most is that sometimes I can. As if this thing has become a part of me now.

I try to stick to my IBS diet, but it's even harder than I thought it would be. And I when I do break it the symptoms are even worse. I went out with my family for pizza one night and came down with a serious case of diarrhea halfway through the ride home. I shit my pants before I could get to a bathroom.

And there are the dreams. I can't get that Halloween out of my head. I still hear Walter's screaming and can see his chemical burned body every time I close my eyes. The itching comes and goes. It feels like there is something under my skin. I scratch as hard as I can but the only thing that does is make my skin irritated. Sometimes I wonder if I'm going to give myself wounds like he did.

This is my life now. A girl with chronic illness and minor trauma. Broken, ill. And people keep on saying that it's going to be ok.

It's not going to be ok.

It never will be.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I just finished talking to the police. But I need to get it down here because once again people are trying to comfort me. They say that there's nothing I could have done, which is probably true. But I have been shaking for two days and I can't get the images out of my head. So I need to talk about it.

I went to the hospital on Halloween about my biopsy. I didn't get lost this time. After a while I've learned to memorize the various corridors even though they all look the same. I still had to pass a lot of hallways though. Met the hypochondriac again. He was talking to a nurse dressed as a pirate.

Walter. He said his name was Walter.

Not everyone was in costume but there was enough to make a surreal experience. Clowns and pop icons and cloaked figures milling around a hospital is just wrong somehow. But I weaved through it until I got to my appointment.  Then I waited until the doctor could see me.

I was told that one of the lumps is completely benign. But the other one is some kind of tissue that while not cancerous could maybe develop into cancer in the future. So they want to continue monitoring it and see if it grows. A mammogram every year or so. They took one that night.

They did say that I could get it removed if I wanted. But since there is no health concern right now it would be considered an elective surgery. Insurance wouldn't pay for it and as much as I want this foreign mass out of my chest I just can't afford the procedure.

I was walking back through the corridors when I saw the hypochondriac again. Walter. Usually he's erratic but it makes a sort of sense. He thinks he has appendicitis, his vision is going blurry. Simple things like that. But this night he was just out of control. He was yelling and screaming throwing things around. He was rubbing his skin so hard that it was getting raw and bloody. He turned to me and grabbed my arm.

"It's everywhere." he said. And he kept on saying it over and over. I tried to get free of him but he started shaking me. Kept yelling. One of the nurses had called for help and several doctors pulled him off me. He escaped them and locked himself inside a supply closet.

I don't know why I stayed. I was terrified but I was also concerned about him for some reason. I stood there as the doctors unlocked the door and opened it. But by the time they had he was already dead.

He had doused himself in bleach. I could hear him screaming through the door. And when that wasn't enough he had swallowed the rest of it.

The police only talked to me out of procedure I think. It was rather obviously a suicide.

Just thinking about it makes my stomach turn. and my skin itch.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


The stomach specialist wasn't helpful. He looked at my ultrasounds very briefly, told me that I needed to lose twenty pounds, and to stop drinking. I don't drink. At all.

He also claimed that I have IBS and that my problems with my stomach stem from that. I can get flare ups from eating certain foods. He gave me a list of things that wouldn't hurt my stomach. They mostly consisted of things such as skinless chicken and rice. No garlic. No tomatoes. No caffeine. It's going to be a hard diet to stick to.

It's hard to imagine that I'm going to have to eat only plain foods from now on until the rest of my life. That everything I try something even remotely flavorful I run the risk of extreme pain. Part of me feels like it's worth the risk. But the practical part of me thinks that maybe being layed up in bed because of the overwhelming pain is not worth forgoing burgers and dairy and soda and the like.

I got a call from the hospital. They have results from the biopsy and would like to talk to me about it. And run more tests. I have an apointment. Halloween of all days.

God I hope it's not cancer.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I didn't get as lost this time, though I did get turned around a bit. And I ran into the hypochondriac again. He screamed at me about disease. I did eventually make it back to the proper room, though. There they made me wait for twenty minutes, then go back to the room, change, then wait some more. For a while it was a lot like the last visit. The doctor called me in, and after some feeling around, did an ultrasound of my breast.

That's where things began to differ. First he stuck some anesthetic into my breast. I have had the sort of localized numbing stuff before, but it is usually at the dentist. I've never had something inside my body numbed before. It was weird, and it didn't get rid of the pain entirely. I was still rather uncomfortable and I could feel the pressure from the needle.

The doctor got out a bigger needle, which he placed into the same hole and told me to stay still. I tried to, but the needle made a big clacking noise and caused a great deal of pressure. It felt like a mix between a gun and those machines people use to pierce your ears.

He did this three more times, each in the same opening that the first needle went through. After that I had to wait some more, than they had me do another mammogram. Apparently two of those needles had been trackers, and the mammogram was to make sure that they were in place and functioning. Which means I have tiny microchips in my boob now.

I have an ice pack tucked into my bra right now. There's also a waterproof bandage I'm supposed to take off in two days protecting another layer of bandages that I'm supposed to wait until they fall off. They are going to call me when they have the results.

Aside from that, I have an appointment with a doctor in three days about my stomach.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


The doctor I went to see for my mammogram actually had all of his machines and stuff at a hospital. It was big and I got lost, which made me about five minutes late. They were pretty nice about it. I think it happens a lot. All the walls are clean and white and all the rooms look the same. I ended up crossing paths with a crazy guy who was yelling really loudly and demanding to get a surgery of some sort. A passing nurse told me that he did this every once in a while, although nothing was ever wrong with him. They didn't know if he was a drug addict or a hypochondriac, but whenever he came in there they politely try to send him off.

The whole thing was kind of disturbing, actually.

It did not get better once I got to the right place. I waited for fifteen minutes in a lobby full of people at least twenty years older than me watching the cosby show. Then I got called back, and asked to take off everything above the waist and put on an itchy, not particularly protective hospital gown. Then I waited some more until a nurse came and got me, then waited for the doctor.

He felt around my breast for a little bit. He was impassive and clinical and I didn't feel like a person at all when he did it. Which in some ways is good. I don't really want a seventy year old man leering at me. But then he did another ultrasound, this time on my boob. It turns out I don't have one lump there.

I have two.

In order to get a clearer look at it, they sent me off to a mammogram. Which involved more waiting until a nurse got me again. She put a sort of sticker marker where my masses were, then guided my breast onto the tray of the mammogram. She pressed me into several fairly painful positions in order to get the best picture. Then she squished my boob as tight as she could against the machine. I had to stay this way for maybe ten seconds. Then she would pose me again and do another picture. We did this three times.

They then sent me to a room where I could at least change back into my shirt, and I waited more. The doctor came in and told me that while he wasn't worried, the mammogram and ultrasound picked up the two lumps, and he wasn't quite sure what they were yet. So I have to do a biopsy. I scheduled that for next Friday.

I also have to see the specialist for my stomach. I have yet to get that appointment.

I don't know if this is ever going to end.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I got my ultrasounds back a few days ago. I've been puzzling through it over the weekend. It is a whole lot of things I don't understand, but from the way the doctor was talking I don't think it was good.

The ultrasound itself wasn't fun. I had to drink like a gallon of water and wait for an hour so that my bladder got really full, in which case they told me I wasn't allowed to pee.  Then they poked around with really cold gel and an uncomfortable wand thing in silence, taking pictures of weird lumps I didn't recognize at various intervals.

And then they stuck an ultrasound up my vagina. They never show that on television.

Anyway, it was an embarrasing, uncomfortable experience, and I wasn't really going to talk about it but now I'm sort of freaking out. The ultrasound, according to the nifty little papers they gave me, says that my liver does not look healthy. Despite the fact that I never drink. My gall bladder is also bigger than it should be, and there may or may not be cysts in my lower abdomen. I hear cysts and I sort of have a panic attack. I  already have to deal with my breasts, I do not need more possible cancers.

So I've got an appointment with a stomach specialist scheduled. And Thursday is when I get my mammogram. So, here's hoping that they don't find something really bad.