Support (pt 1)

While I’m preparing a longer post, let me just tell you a little bit about what trying to Google your symptoms is like when you have cancer.

I’m a librarian – if nothing else I know how to construct a good search. (As a human being I should know not to use Dr Google, but never mind… ) So I look for the drug (by its clinical name) and then maybe the particular symptom I am experiencing (I think the technical term is HellBelly). And I find site after site that reproduces the consumer leaflet from the drug maker: “In 66% of patients, ipilimulamadamadingdong was found to induce HellBelly.”

And I see that about 500 times. But then maybe, if I’m lucky, I find a trail of bread crumbs leading to a discussion between actual patients, not percentages, who are experiencing these actual symptoms now or were at whatever point in the past (say two years ago) that they were afflicted. And there’s usually a lot of back and forth and needless comparison of how bad their HellBelly got.

Yeah, so I did a little Dr Googling tonight. Found a patient on a forum who lives in my area, and who was getting treated with the drug I am getting, and having a bad case of HellBelly too! Maybe even worse than mine, it remains to be seen. But I can’t leave well enough alone, can I?  These posts are from two years ago! WHERE IS SHE NOW???

So I fumble around until I find the password I set up for that forum (ill-advisedly, because it’s like hanging out in the worst bar in town, where they don’t even pretend the glasses are clean and that the premises aren’t infested). And I look up this person. And her last post was five months ago. And she sounded very perky. But she had been through some serious shit. And was about to go through more serious shit. And everyone wished her well.

And she’s never reported back.

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