Cancer Is Just Slightly Annoying

So as some of you may know, I’ve gotten sick again, and only now finally after almost 2 months is it being taken care of in full. I’m having 3 surgeries done at once (possibly 4 in the worst case scenario, and it’s a really bad one so I don’t even wanna think about it), and I’m hoping that will be the end of it. Sure, I’m going to have annoying side effects for some years to come, but I’ll gladly take them right now.

Despite the “greatest healthcare system” in the world, it still took the initiative of ordering my own ultrasound to find out I was in serious trouble even though I’m not even 4 years out of having cancer the last time. I’ve had 3 doctors more scared I would sue them than the fact I can’t stand up straight + am carrying a growing mass the size of a baseball in my gut; 2 oncologists; tests that were never ordered; scans that got delayed; scans that were read wrong; consent forms that went missing; orders not put in because someone went on vacation; surprise tubes shoved up my butt at 9am; giving my entire family medical history for the 6th time to a guy who was texting and getting snarky with me about the proper name of my syndrome; and having to fight to even get a prescription for the baby sissy Xanax when I freaked out crying in my car — and I’m not a crier.

Oh, did I mention I have more tests next week I have to do, and my surgery isn’t until the 28th now because someone forgot to book it? And, I was told not to pay attention to the online MyChart as for directions and schedules because it is “not accurate” and “kind of messed up” as opposed to what I’ll be getting via UPS from the actual surgical team. Man, when Cleveland Clinic can’t even have a reliable website, that’s kind of screwy!

ANYWAY, thank you all for the encouragement and mutual outrage you’ve been feeling along with me as I’ve been dealing with this bureaucratic nightmare. I don’t understand it; this has been an experience that is almost the opposite of when I had the liposarcoma. Mercury retrograde? Shitty start to the year? ¬†Who knows? It’s actually been a really crappy 2 months for just about all of my friends. The running joke — although I’m serious about it — is for us all to take a Xanax, have a Botox party, and then go to a crappy dive in Cleveland for karaoke. That’s my idea of fun right now.

In the meantime, I’m just going to do what I need to do for my art shows and my husband’s book tour, and read some of these books. I’m so paralyzed by anxiety, anger, and a general “I Don’t Care About Anything Anymore!!!” feeling that the best I can do is just be like a catatonic 19th Century British aristocrat, and get on with it. I knew this disease wasn’t done with me the second I awoke after the surgery on my leg — I just knew it! I didn’t think I’d be back into the mix so soon, though.

7 Responses to “Cancer Is Just Slightly Annoying”


  1. 1 Sheri Smith 02/17/2014 at 4:27 pm

    Best wishes for you, Arabella! Having just gone thru the rigamaROAR of Stage 4B colorectal metastic cancer myself, I fully understand your pain. 4 operations later, permanently ‘disabled’ now, chemo port still in, and scans every 3 months for me for who knows how long, I feel your pain. I am determined to be a Warrior tho…. I shall be waving my dons and send healing thoughts your way as I knit thru my fight, as well!

  2. 2 carol 02/17/2014 at 7:25 pm

    As if the cancer isn’t bad enough, the fact that you have to fight so hard JUST to get seen and get shit done is outrageous. Luckily you’re tougher than cancer and more powerful than the Almighty CCF !

  3. 3 nouvellegamine 02/18/2014 at 5:42 pm

    That’s insane. Isn’t the Cleveland Clinic supposed to be an amazing hospital? I hope you heal up quickly and are free from any future problems.

    Focusing on your art and books sounds perfect. I’d also suggest finding a fancy robe to complete your decadent aristocrat look. I have one I wore after my C-Section and it definitely made me feel microscopically better about the worst days of my entire life thus far.

    • 4 vendettabella 02/19/2014 at 1:30 am

      They are great when you are in dire need and may die any given week, or, if you are Oprah or a celebrity (cough cough cough Versace clan cough cough), but the administration and systematic part is just screwey. I was on the phone getting put on hold and disconnected 3x today alone!

      I have a nice Natori robe a friend gave me during my leg recovery 3 years ago. The cats have since chewed parts of it (thanks cats!), but I may need to step it up and get nicer slips to wear in bed. I plan to go all out Stephen Tennant on this. Won’t be as bad as the leg that had an almost 3 month recovery and was a whole production just getting me into the bathroom. This is supposedly going to be 2 weeks. Damn, I guess I should have kept my walker.

  4. 5 treena 02/19/2014 at 1:25 am

    Ya know, WTF’s with ‘THE CLINIC’ (said in a loud, sonorous God Voice) ?!?!?!?
    Have they just gotten too big? Become victims of their own platinum-plated PR?
    I’ve gotten less and less impressed as time goes by.
    (What about Metro???? Not to suggest ‘changing horses’ but for a second opinion or just a different ‘culture’?)
    Sorry-NMB.

    Anyway…as always, prayers n ‘bestest wishes’ n hope to find the cause of all this. You’re so tuff but I still don’t know how you just keep powering through all this sh*t. Like a pit bull (but way prettier!!! :-D)

    Very cool that you’re having a show around here again!!! Gonna pencil it in on my calendar. Can’t WAIT to see your ‘med’ paintings.

    Best of luck with the surgeries!

  5. 6 alisonclairephotography 02/24/2014 at 11:57 am

    Thinking about you, sending healing vibes, and hoping that all of the idiots at the Cleveland Clinic who have made this more difficult for you get flat tires in a blizzard. Hang in there, Bella.

  6. 7 My "Sophisticated" Life 02/26/2014 at 8:08 pm

    So very sorry to hear you’re sick again. I really hope that after this nightmare and these surgeries you can rest easy and start to feel good again. Our culture is so messed up. We pour billions into football & the gun lobby – which serves only a portion of the population…but our healthcare system SUCKS – even though we’re ALL going to need it at some point. I don’t even know if that made any sense, but I’m angry that you have to go through such nonsense when you’re dealing with real pain and fear. Be well very soon.


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