Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thank you Lucy

It is late, and I am sick. I am sick, actually, of being sick. Ok, I have probably said this before. Begging forgiveness for my now probably spongiform brain and its lack of coherent memory. Bear with me.

I have not felt well, or even vaguely close to well in about oh, 3 weeks. That is not including of course the 15 previous weeks of life with cancer, but just this past few. [15 weeks, really?Is that it?] Now, I really feel shitty. Flat out sick to death.  I feel  prickly and grey and moribund; completely without vitality. I feel all sharp angles and jutting parts.  I am tired of having a cold neck and a hot head. I hate the portacath, which abrades and chafes. I hate scaring children with my baldness. I hate being sick. I hate picking up a book I have wanted to read then finding out it is about a woman fighting cancer, and then throwing it. I hate that. I am sick of cancer and we are barely out the gate here.

I have had a cold, and the intermingling of those lovely symptoms (headache, aches, body-wracking cough, mucous-filled sinuses, sleepless nights) - with chemo (headache, aches, nausea, mouth sores this time, ad nausea)- make for a wicked nasty combination. Add to this, the grey miasma that is the week after YOU KNOW WHAT - in all its dismalness, well, I cannot find words to describe the flashes of darkness I have grappled with these past few days. Sometimes it feels like nothing makes those flashes go away.

Really, the glitter got to be too much for me, so I took it all down. It always does a few days afterwards. It all seems so, well, too MUCH to look at. So shiny. That is all OK when the house is full, and guests are expected, presents are under the tree, and NORAD is doing their tracking of the sleigh.

But I sensed an inaudible sigh of relief from the kids as the WHO-ville that was our house returned to the normal calm whites and beige and earth tones, pictures replaced Advent calendars, and Buddha replaced the glittery Martha-esque stick-craft I made for the mantle. [What was I thinking? As Lisa said as I made my purchases at Michael's, "Why are you buying sparkly dead things to stick  in a pot?"...why indeed] I can imagine there is little room in Feng Shui philosophy for the baubles and glitter that are Christmas.

I know I have to sally forth. I know I have to bear it. I know. I know that there are worse horrors than this.  But sometimes is just sucks so bad to feel so bad.

Tonight, as I was lying there, feeling like the tank was pretty close to empty, teetering on the edge of one of those dark flashes, with  Michael calmly sitting with me - up from the basement comes this beautiful sonorous ripple - straight from the belly laughter. My beautiful little thing Naomi, well, she has inherited "the laugh". You know the one. She got the entire Season 2 of "I Love Lucy" from Michael for Christmas and has watched it every night. And she loves it, and I mean she LOVES it. She laughs out loud to it. I bet Lucy herself can hear that laugh. Seriously, who can watch the chocolate factory skit without a good guffaw?!

And let me tell you, it brings me back from the brink, that laugh. Thank God for it. And thank you Lucy.

xo KO


Alexandra Leggat said...

Dear Kate: I just sent Michael an email asking after both of you then remembered I can send you my thoughts personally here. As writer's we should have all the right ways to say things and yet the real shit is the hardest to write. I want you to know Sam and I are thinking of you, how hearing you're being thought of helps, I don't know but if there is anything I can do, even visit or bring you a good book, a funny story - please let me know! Because I am thinking of you, a lot. My brother just finished chemo and in your words resonates his voice too. I think we are all getting ready to say goodbye to this year and herald in the new!

with love,


Ian Hadden said...


Keep on enjoying 'the laugh' and all the other little wonders that are worth hanging on to which we usually take for granted. I just returned home after two months in hospital. On October 1st, I didn't know what Guillain Barre Syndrome was and by the 8th, it had made me a quadriplegic; and, by the 10th, it took me to within a few seconds of death. I now understand what I took for granted and how important those little things can be.

Know that you are always in our thoughts and prayers!