Thursday, November 5, 2009

a treatment plan

hey--i have a joke--i mean--a treatment plan for you. we are going to poison you. don't worry, just a little. this will kill cells that multiply quickly, and by golly your cancer cells multiply like rabbits. unfortunately there are other cells that multiply almost as quickly, like the cells lining your entire digestive tract, your white blood cells, your red blood cells, possibly your platelets, and the cells in your hair follicles. so, there may be some side effects. but we can treat those: the diarhea or constipation, the nausea and vomiting, the infections, the lack of hemoglobin, and the bleeding. sorry about the hair though.

i read the packet of information that they gave me at my last office visit at midnight last night. consequently, i didn't sleep much and already feel like shit--sort of a pre-emptive strike by me as today is chemo day.

i did, however, find some bemusing and--to me--amusing bits of technical writing, worth the loss of sleep, a sample of which i have included below.

What are the benefits of receiving a blood transfusion? (we'll skip to number three, my favorite.):

3. Conditions that may be prevented with appropriate use of blood include strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure and other serious problems including death.

now i am not a medical expert, but it seems to me that death really should be in its own category, somewhere beyond "serious problem," given the whole no longer living thing.

but as a former tech writer in a long-ago life, i should give this poor guy a break. i can almost see him hunched over in his cube, struggling with just how to phrase this without alarming his readers (because all tech writers secretly dream of having readers). maybe he was hoping that if he lumped it in there with the other "serious problems" we wouldn't notice it, all the while wishing he was writing about how to install Windows 7 instead.


  1. Good luck on chemo day. I feel for you.
    From Beth-a stranger lurking on your blog, going through a mastectomy next week.

  2. Beth, thanks, and good luck to you! I've discovered there is a sisterhood about this that automatically makes us not strangers--another of those damn growing through cancer things. Take care of yourself, get lots of rest, and keep in touch.