When ever I hear about a cancer study which I might qualify for, I always volunteer to participate. Whatever I can do which will help us to understand what it does, shine a light on things and maybe bring it into focus, perhaps making life easier for others I think is important. Sometimes, it isn't convenient.
This week was sort of one of those times. I got an email from one of the Noble Circle coordinators that a researcher from the University of Dayton still needed some volunteers. Mary Fisher is studying how cancer treatments (chemo, surgery, axillary dissection) has impacted cancer survivors. For every cancer patient of a particular age, she has matched them against another participant who does not have cancer.
At first when I was reading the survey I thought, "Oh great...here we have another one who is looking at us as a bunch of parts rather than as a whole." I am happy to say that she isn't. This is looking at the whole gamut from what we report as a psychological problem (depression, fear, nervousness) to sexual issues, as well as the problems we have from neuralgia from the treatment and from lack of range of motion and other issues.
One of the things I had to do is place a bolt through a hole in a perforated plate above my head and thread a nut on the end, working with two bolts and flip-flopping position for five minutes straight. I learned I would never be happy in an assembly light attaching widgets.
It took 45 minutes, and a a half-hour trip one way to the University of Dayton campus. Timing couldn't have been worse...I am up to my eyeballs in deadlines, trying to get ready for my niece's wedding and my husband's cousin from Washington, D.C. was in town and since she was coming in on a red-eye from Seattle she needed to re-coup and re-group at my house prior to her going to an event at the University of Dayton as well. Despite all that, I'm really glad I did it. For one thing, I was one of only 2 left handed responders. :) She also looked at my history and commented "Boy, you really have been through the wringer." Which is sometimes kind of nice to hear.
Maybe sometime, one of these days....something I have said or information I have provided, or my cellular issues will give them the clue which will make a difference. I can only hope.
In the meantime, a little chuckle for you. I have had what I describe as a "halo," longer, strands of hair which stood up from the 1/4" overall head of hair I'm growing. These intrepid strands started go grow back quickly, and in the right light, well...I had a halo. Since I didn't think it was very attractive for a wedding, and my eyebrows were growing back rather unkempt, I went into the hair salon to get things tidied up.
On the way out, an older gentleman who was waiting for his wife looked at me and said "I hope you don't mind this...I am an old Marine, and you have what we call 'high and tight with no loose ends or stragglers.'" I laughed and had an interesting conversation with him about aircraft carriers, propellers and torque. :) Loved it.