I received a UPS package from an ex-girlfriend today. In it was several pictures of us, some items that I had accidentally left with her, and a new Walt Whitman poetry book. I tried getting in touch with her directly but the return address and phone number on the package were incorrect (it was her cousin Maryann’s address and phone number. The phone number works but they’ve never heard of Maryann or Cha) and her email address doesn’t work. I’m guessing that she reads my journal so I’ll respond here:
Thank you for returning the manuscript and walkie-talkie. Of the other items, what I cannot sell on eBay, I am discarding.
This passion you have for me is completely negated (and then some) by your continued deception of your cancer status.
The super-duper short version:
I dated a girl who told me she had terminal brain cancer. For 2 years I remained the skeptic while she went to great lengths to convince me of her illness. She was never really sick. I left her because of the lies.
The short version:
We were introduced to one another by the door-woman in the high-rise building we were both living in. Our first date was in October, 2000. At that date, she told me that she had terminal inoperable brain cancer and had 3 months to live. I decided to continue with the relationship in spite of the obvious emotional hurdles. It turned out that we got along fantastically well. For the next two years we carried on a terrific relationship. But I was bothered all along that I had been with her to see many doctors for various ailments and had never seen a doctor talk about her cancer. I asked Cha about this directly on several occasions and I always got unconvincing answers as to why this was the case. Finally in October 2002, I told her that if I didn’t receive a face-to-face confirmation of her medical condition from a reputable doctor, or an admission that she didn’t really have cancer, I would leave her. She offered up more excuses but no confirmation, so I left her. It was difficult… but the weirdness factor more than made up for the unhappiness.
I say that this is the short version because I have story after story of how I was strung along for 2 years. Each time I was given evidence that was -almost- convincing except for it’s forgability or unconfirmability. Things include:
- A terminal diagnosis on Letterhead from a friend doctor of hers. The doctor (initials M.T.) has moved to Hawaii and has angrily refused to even talk to me on the phone about anything.
- Cha told me that her medical records were confidential… private… locked up… unavailable… I’m not allowed to see the ones at hospital A because it was part of an underground experiment, I can’t see them at hospital B because a personal friend at the hospital took care of her off the books, hospital C has a very strict policy of not letting ANYONE see records. Hospital D…
- I went with her to get a CAT scan. She told me that she had scheduled this because her doctor (one of her doctors that apparently didn’t know that she had terminal brain cancer) prescribed it. She received a CAT scan and they didn’t find anything wrong. She told me later, “Of course they didn’t detect anything, they did a normal scan. If they had done a “contrast” scan, they would have found it.” Wha?
- A green pill that might have been an un-approved, experimental chemotherapy from Italy… or just a yucky smelling vitamin.
- Watching her get hooked on hydrocodone for headache pain was very real and scary but didn’t prove anything.
- Frequent blindness episodes. I found her several times standing in the middle of a sidewalk in Manhattan. Yes, I occasionally tried “testing” her during episodes. Only once did I vaguely sense any hole in this story: she put her foot into a slipper without fumbling during an episode. Luck? Lie? Who knows!
- Several visits to the Columbia University Hospital ER where I would “step outside”, sitting just within earshot of their conversations. There was never any talk of brain cancer… except….
- A poorly photocopied medical report from Columbia University Hospital where brain cancer was mentioned but the doctor’s name was obscured.
- Visits to a couple NY Chinese medicine practitioners… acupuncture and herbalists.
- A string of plausible reasons for why appropriate documentation of her condition didn’t exist. IE: When I went away for a week once, she said she spent several days at Memorial Sloan Kettering as a patient. I checked and she wasn’t listed as a patient… … she says that she was on the VIP floor… where people like the Pope and Rudy Giuliani stay. She had called me from an unlisted land-line somewhere in Manhattan.
- She went to some clinic in Indiana for some crazy experimental treatment… Maybe. The treatment supposedly poked a needle through her eye socket and into her brain, so there was no scarring from the procedure. I realize that it sounds goofy but she spent hours explaining in detail how the procedure worked. Of course, I was never allowed / able / had the opportunity / to speak with any of the doctors at this underground facility.
- Many more stories that would, all told, make a pretty good book.
I haven’t come forward with this before because I didn’t want to reopen my own old emotional wounds, didn’t want to rehash this weirdness, and didn’t want to ruin her medical reputation and the reputation of the doctor that forged her diagnosis. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that she is a head and neck cancer specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. This is getting ridiculous. She sent me a frigging care package after more than 2 years! It’s creepy!
I have saved every scrap of paper and will post “The long version” if Cha doesn’t stop.
Doctor Esther-Susan Niguidula Perez from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Stop.
Update 3-10-08: She’s not dead yet.
This blog post received the following comment on March 5th, 2008.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (presumably fake)
IP: 184.108.40.206 (ISP is based in Manila, Philippines)
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he- or she as the case may be.
The wording is very much her style. She’s laid down similar mixed/broken metaphors like this before. Apparently, Cha moved back to the Philippines. Hopefully she will stay there as I have no place in my heart for her.