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July 3, 2017

I’ve been gaining weight the past month. I was getting my IV unhooked on Friday, and I asked them about it. They said they were going to print up a chart and get back to me. 

 

Some things become really hard when you have cancer. Like working a job. Having a boss is annoying enough on normal days, but try it when you’re facing your own mortality. “Did I finish my side work? No, but did I mention I have colon cancer? Yeah, you and the trash can blow me.” 

 

(Full disclosure- I’m a freelance writer, and I work for myself.)  

 

The one thing cancer has made A LOT easier is quitting smoking. Seriously, a cigarette sounds like the grossest thing in the world right now. Like I might vomit if I had one in my mouth. Granted, I haven’t smoked in almost two years and might feel like that anyway, but the combination of time and chemo really makes them seem repulsive. 

 

Not that I was ever a really serious smoker. I would have a couple at night, after work, or after a show.  

Just enough for real smokers to look down on me and for non-smokers to think I smelled bad. 

 

When I moved to Atlanta, I started to miss it. I was doing stand up again. I wanted to make friends, and I figured smoking was a great way to do that. And you could smoke inside! It felt like I was in Belarus! 

But then I was like, “Am I really going to be 38 and start smoking again so people will like me?”

 

The answer was almost yes. 

 

When I got diagnosed and they said it wasn’t hereditary, I thought it had to have been the smoking. They didn’t seem to think so, but I still need to know what caused it. That’s how it works, right? For every effect there is a cause? For every cause an effect? It had to have been something. Too many muffins? Too many processed foods? What is a bad nap I took or a drug I ate? What was it? When did it happen? I try not to think about these things too often but they pop up from time to time. When I need to assign blame for something that doesn’t seem to be anyone’s fault. 

 

After about 20 minutes the nurse came back with the chart. She said, “Yep, you’re right, you seem to be gaining weight.”

 

“Is that ok? Is it a problem? Is there some reason?” 

 

“It doesn’t seem to be a problem,” the nurse replied. “Your labs are great, your scans look good. It’s probably the steroids doing it to you. They’re probably making you retain water.” 

 

And just like that, I had a reason.  

 

It was the water’s fault. 

 

Let’s not tell her about the cookies. 

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