Okay, that’s more news than I can handle right now.

I’m having one of those weeks where I wished I believed in a god again so I’d have someone to blame.

First: What my employer laughingly refers to as a ‘wage’ is even worse taking into account the amount of taxes they’re removing (about $150, or 20%) but the benefits will cost me another $60 a month, which I just can’t afford. Fuck. I need a real job–they say they want to move me up quickly, but they’re gonna have to move fast and give me a better reason to want to stay. I mean, they already aren’t paying competitively for the work being done.

Second: looks like my landlord is selling the house I’m in, so I’ll have to move in less than a month. On the plus side, I’ll be going back to the building I used to be in, three doors away, in the apartment directly above the one I used to live in. But I hate moving!

However, to put that in perspective, I just got off the phone with my dad. He’s been diagnosed with a form of leukemia. On the plus side, the form he has is one of the most “harmless” cancers: it’s called ‘chronic lymphocytic leukemia’ and I haven’t been able to do a whole lot of research on it yet. The doctors told him that it’s such a benign cancer that generally they don’t treat it until there’s another infection (it depresses the immune system), and rarely treat the leukemia itself until the white blood count is over 100x normal–Dad’s is three to six right now. They only caught it accidentally, and of the stages of the disease, he’s at Stage Zero: Mostly Harmless. However, it’s not curable, only treatable. But as the doctor told dad, it’s not something that’ll kill him, or even really slow him down, and probably won’t appreciably shorten his lifespan (he’s 66, but in my family, age is pretty meaningless–he looks and thinks a lot younger). Basically, if you gotta get a cancer, this is the one to get.

Still, it’s cancer, and it multiplies my chances of getting it threefold (to put that in perspective, that means my chances are now 3 in 10000 instead of 1 in 10000, so it’s not imminent or anything). My uncle Mike, Dad’s younger brother, died of lung cancer and emphysema (but he never quit smoking and worked with furniture stripping chemicals). My grandmother, his mother, had a benign cancer–they excised the tumor a couple years ago and there has been absolutely zero recurrence: she’s 92 now and still going strong. Is that a family history? I don’t know. They’re all unrelated types, but they’re all essentially immediate family.

On a side note, CLL is a form of cancer that appears to respond to stem cell transplant treatment. Like I need one more reason to hate that asshole in our White House.

Cancer is one of those words that just kicks you in the stomach, even when it’s not your diagnosis. I’m relieved that it’s a fairly benign one, and I know cancer is survivable (as Grandma has, even at her age), but still. I need a little less drama this week.

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6 comments so far

  1. bass_o_matic on

    Agreed – a cancer diagnosis of any kind is never welcome. My thoughts are with you and your dad.

    And yes, moving blows. I haven’t done it in 7 or so years, and I don’t plan to really ever do it again, especially with the amount of shit that I have accumulated in that time.. :-)

    • Thanks… Dad’s loose translation of how his doctor described CLL: “You’ll die of something else long before this kills you.” Interesting bedside manner they’re teaching these days. :)

      It’s going to be weird going back to the old building, because the new place has the exact same layout as the old place (moved here five years ago), it’s just on the second floor. My cats will be bamboozled.

  2. nsingman on

    The “C” word is always, and very understandably, scary. I hope that it is and remains utterly benign.

    • That, and it’s father, paternal grandmother, paternal uncle, and some of Grandma’s siblings have had it, but only the smokers–until Grandma got hers, anyway. So maybe there’s a family weakness toward it, which I sure don’t like the sound of. Thing is, other than the smokers, the cancers appear unrelated. So it might just be an odd coincidence. Makes me glad I quit the ol’ coffin nails last year–one year smoke free on August 13!

  3. dragonscholar on

    You remind me of Pratchett quote. Roughly “They were a race of atheists as they didn’t have the imagination to come up with someone to blame.”

    Sorry on the job. Keep working on moving up – and keep looking. You’re working, that’ll make it easier.

    On your dad, tough news, but as you said, the best kind of cancer to get as it were. It’s scary as hell. But they caught it way early, and they can monitor it. Considering your family lineage, I think he’ll be fine.

    • This is the sort of week that tries one’s limits. Makes me glad I’m not a substance user or I’d be in a coma right now.


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