Monday, April 18, 2011

And Suddenly - Limbo

This post is mostly me quoting others, since my brain is stuck like a record - ambling between two grooves - anger at my poor mutilated self, and a surging "screw-you, you little bastard" groove- I am ALIVE. I WIN [so far].

As "Sandra" says to her own breast cancer tumour in Bonnie Burnard's new book Suddenly - "you little black-hearted misery." She goads it, threatens to annihilate it. I could not read the book at Christmas, but now, in Limbo, I can. Funny. Progress.

As mentioned before, I am caught in this weird freaky surreal space. I am stuck looking at myself. Was my self image so fragile that changes, regardless of their life saving ability - crush me thus? I am so sad.  It is not the flesh so much as what it formed spiritually - connective tissues, secretly coiling up my spine to merge with my cerebral cortex - proving my essential identity and showing me as I was to myself.

My ribs, foreigners from another planet, are now here ever present instead, shaping one half of my upper body, undulating across - where flesh once was. Sounds echo and pound through them - heart, digestive system workings. Now I resemble that metaphoric malnourished child that surfaced in my chemo-times.
As Michael says, we are "building up scar tissue."

And then there is the limbo itself. Michael Feuerstein, MD, says it in his book The Cancer Survivor's Guide - "For some time after I realized I had beaten the cancer, for exampe, I lived in limbo.  Survivorship is not without its challenges." He goes on - "fear of recurrence, memory problems, going back to be being a productive member of society - family, friends, most of whom  often just don't quite understand what it means to be a survivor."

As Michael also says - "On we go. Sometimes, I'm sure, neither of us know how."

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