They booked my ass into surgery so quick my head spun. Had to get a biopsy. We didn’t tell granddad. Would have just worried him. His mind was already broken.
The stupid fire never did get close to our houses but it did burn up a few on the outskirts of town. The ones that were surrounded by forest. It burned up hectares of trees too. Eventually, it burnt out as fires in BC tend to do. I got to go home after surgery.
I still had this gnarly wound on my neck. Scarred up now. Can hardly see it. At the time I was waiting for the results and had to attend my half-assed for bad kids school. Was out in the smoke pit and heard that the rumour getting around was that I got stabbed. Not all that silly as a kid had just been stabbed the previous month. He said he had done it himself but we all knew that was a lie. No one stabs themselves twice in the gut, I mean once maybe. Smart to say he had done it himself really. Don’t tattle on guys that’ll stab you outside of school.
I set them straight even though the rumour was way more badass than the truth.
Around that time crazy eyes showed up. We called him that because he had one eye that looked left and one that looked right. Guy flitted in and out of my life as most people did. He had already been kicked out of school and was deeply entrenched in several systems.
He had been so ripped on mushies he puked in every garbage can on the first floor of the school. He got removed by the cops. Wasn’t allowed back on school grounds. Too bad because I really liked him. Could have used a friend just then. My best friend had moved yet again. She also came and went.
We got a call that the results of the biopsy came in. We went to this building off the hospital. I remember the place with its soothing colours and overstuffed chairs. The kind of art you see in dentists offices, inoffensive and bland. Lots of pastels. Even had a damn grand piano at the top of this massive staircase. Real soothing guys, nailed it. Impossible to smell the antiseptic while staring at so much pastel and hearing soft Debussy or whatever.
They broke the news. Cancer. Hodgkins Lymphoma, possibly stage four definitely stage three. Needed to do a bone marrow biopsy to know for sure. The best part was how they said the word cancer. As if I had no idea and the word would send me into a fit. You people did ask me to meet you at the cancer centre yes? Think I know the possibility of cancer is pretty high.
So I asked my steely oncologist what would happen if I did nothing. Like how long till I kicked the bucket? She really didn’t like that. Threatened me with court-ordered treatment. I told her no need, I’ll take the damn chemo.
That was around the time I started to hate doctors with a burning passion. They always say shit like; ‘this may sting, might feel a pinch, this could cause some discomfort.’ Oh-ho I’ll show you some discomfort asshole. Of course, because I was a badass I didn’t let on how much stuff hurt. That was a huge mistake. You know how they say the squeaky wheel gets the grease? I should have squeaked.
Guess I liked the praise. Sick. I liked it when they’d tell me I handled it well. Like when I got my nipples or tongue or belly button pierced and they were shocked I didn't flinch. Did my own tongue the second time. Think I did it because everyone had one tongue ring, I wanted two.