Thursday, February 15, 2007

A real benefit of anonymity -- and -- Why I wasn't allowed to watch the Movies of the Week

Yesterday's announcement (and, no, thank you, not the announcement of my daughter's 23rd birthday, although that's difficult enough in its own way) shows one of the unquestioned benefits of anonymous blogging: It was cathartic for me to say what I said and I was grateful for the nice, supportive messages in the Comments. Thank you.

I certainly can't go around broadcasting that I'm experiencing any technical difficulties to people in the real world: I'm self-employed. Why would you trust your business to someone who is facing a serious health issue -- someone who may become incapacitated and will almost certainly be distracted? No, excessive candor in real life could be very problematic for a guy like me.

Long Suffering Spouse knows. My children still at home know. I've told one friend. And Tuesday afternoon, as it happened, my pastor finally came by the Undisclosed Location to look at the boxes of books that were found among my late colleague's stored files. I'd only just gotten the news from my internist and Long Suffering Spouse wasn't done with school yet and I just had to tell someone -- so my poor pastor knows too.

(Don't let anyone tell you it's easy being a priest; I've come to realize they get saddled with these things -- from out of nowhere -- all too often.)

But there is one funny aspect of this that I've noticed already, and it goes back to my TV-watching childhood.

Back in the day, when there were only three networks, there were a flurry of "Movies of the Week" -- made for TV efforts, never intended for theatrical release. Many of these focused on some loathsome disease.

I couldn't watch these movies.

If the protagonist broke out in green spots, I would feel the green spots in my own skin, ready to erupt to the surface at any moment... probably by the second commercial break. If it was a purple rash, I could feel that too. Shooting pains where? I had those as well, and in the same places. For my own good, I had to stop watching this stuff.

I was reminded of this Tuesday night when, for the first time, I began to feel a dull ache in my stomach. Sort of like the stomachaches Charlie Brown always complained of on the playground. It has nothing to do with my medical condition; I'm quite sure of that, although I'll mention it to the doctor when I see him.

I'm pretty sure this new sensation has much more to do with the old TV Movies of the Week: I know there's a problem, and now I feel it too.

Well, I never said I wasn't a practicing coward....

16 comments:

Ben & Bennie said...

TC, forgive me for being distracted with our own current distraction. I can't offer any more advice and encouragement than what has already been offered. You obviously have a great support system in place so I can only say use USE IT.

You know that prayers will be headed your way from the sunny South.

East of Oregon said...

I'm very sorry about the cancer. !@#$43io@#$ ...excuse me as I spit, I hate that word. And I know you do too - this is about you of all people. Ok, WHAT is the plan? Next appointment to do what when? Please let us know.

Linda said...

It doesn't surprise me in the least that you have a Charlie Brown kind of stomachache, given the circumstances I'm sure that I would, too! I'm sure that your nerves are having a field day and they tend to manifest themselves in the pit of one's stomach.

As for being a practicing coward - I believe that I am a card-carrying member of that particular club!

centralscrutinizer said...

A bit of unsolicited advice regarding the TV-movie thing...
It's okay to let your rational side make some of the decisions on all this; I knew not to take any of those movies seriously back then, and I was in grade school. If I were a betting man I'd say you're a rational guy; with all you've accomplished thus far in your life, my guess is neither polyps nor TV movies should have much chance of getting the best of you. Rock on, and don't be afraid of the left hemisphere of your brain; after all, look how much it's contributed to getting you this far-

Shel Franz said...

What CS said...

Shel

SQT said...

You're just sympathetic. When you say you feel someone's pain, you really feel their pain. Bill Clinton's got nothing on you. ;)

The Beach Bum said...

See my post for today!
I know several colon cancer survivors!
That is, if it is caught early, which I believe that yours has.
The Beach Bum

Skittles said...

Apparently I need to read the post below...

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

hi curmy... still thinking this is going to be fine... waiting is so hard, i do know that. but i think that is really all you can do, well that and educate yourself on all your options, i did that and researched doctors and did a lot of homework and knew what questions to ask, that helped a lot. we'll all be there in spirit with you... please keep posting if you can though, cause we really do care...

smiles, bee

sari said...

I'm sorry I missed your earlier post on what is going on! It's hard not to have an complete nervous attack when a doctor suddenly tells you something's "not normal".

While I've not been dealing with cancer itself, I've had some abnormal (love that word) stuff going on for over a year that wasn't getting any better. Pre-cancerous, if you would. I haven't really told anyone about it but I know the stress and the uncertainty that sort of thing brings. I will say that finally, it's ok and I got a clean bill of health, but it really was a long road for me mentally.

I'm going to pray for you and your family too.

may said...

i'm sorry to hear the news too. even if i see it at work regularly, i still will never get used to the word cancer. you are blessed to be in this place with all the necessary resources, and the support.

you will be in my thoughts and prayer.

may
www.aboutanurse.com

Anonymous said...

Hey there...I read your earlier post...you've got all the right attitude and spirit and support from your friends all over the world...

katherine. said...

damn.

not only does the blog world give you an outlet to express yourself you may not have in "real life" it also gives you an awful lot of extra people to pray for you.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

TC,
This is actually my first visit, coming here via east of oregon.

Firstly, as Beach Bum says, if it has been discovered at an early stage, there is every reason to be optimistic.

Secondly, we are all cowards when facing something beyond our control. But maybe we can also draw from our collective strenghts.

I'll be remembersing you in prayer. God bless.

AMAZING GRACIE said...

This blogging thing is wonderful. I can tell by all of the posts I've read that you have a huge fan club of people who really care about you! I believe the people who say they will say a prayer for you actually will. In spite of this crisis you face, you are blessed in that you have reached out and in return, have allowed people to reach out to bless you. From now on, you're a "Curmudgeon" in name only. 'Course, we already knew that...
My prayers too...

Where fibers meet mud said...

Dear Crumudgeon,

I have added you to the prayer list as just that "The Crumudgeon" and I took no questions about the name. Heck I know a woman named Sympathy.

You have done all the right things and modern medicine is terrific and can work miracles in conjunction with prayer and a positive attitude.

I too suffer from the movie of the week syndrome and if I were you I would be more than feeling pain in my gut - I would have no gut left. When I get nervous I have one reaction - evacuation of all the colon in one moment of sheer pain... has been that way all my years and nothing will change.

Hang in there Crumudgeon - we are pulling for you on our knees.