Saturday, May 28, 2011

Putting Paid - and Paying Forward

There seems so much to include. I have not avoided this space so much as renewed my enjoyment of my physical space, my very presence in this the land of the well. I feel well!!! I feel it in my bones.

The time between  surgery and radiation was very changeable - much to deal with and absorb. Pain, physical and psychic. Massive change. Life altering, life affirming change. Possibility. Renewal. The other side of the coin - fear, cold, and gripping. Tired. Always tired. How will I do it? Can I cope?

Kick boxing. Rogue book club. Hauling rocks in the garden. Like coming back to life one inch at a time.

My body has healed extremely well - the scar is a fine specimen. The prosthetic is workable, mostly forgetable. Unless it's hot, then whew~ mama, you know it ain't real. The hair returns, and is now Annie Lennox bleach blond. Courtesy of L'Oreal. $8.99. It's not like the dye is going to give me cancer ;-)

But I have not posted, because I have not wanted to. My present moment-ness is so lovely, I find myself almost giddy with it. Llike living at MACH 10. Ok, the downswings are as low as the giddy highs, deep trenches. Like in The Hunt for Red October - complicated, twisty, deep, moving blind under the sea (uh, but without Sean Connery or Alec Baldwin). thus is the life of the freshly-anointed chemo induced menopausal 43 yr old. Swing low sweet chariot. Then climb on back out of that trench. Throw the gloves on and pound the shit out of the boxing bag in the basement. Acknowledge, then rid the body of its black humour.

I decided to work on the end of my manuscript of this ordeal entitled, Through the Black Humour: A Memoir of Cancerous Times - still at this point, 120 or so pages long, and in limbo re self publishing or the slow surperation of finding a publisher. It is a worthy tome, I think. Based on this blog. I am proud of it. I am keen to share it. It tells of the time, effort, love and sheer force of will required to move a body through cancer (successfully). Surely others live this life, feel these things, and might just might laugh out loud if something tweaks.

But I needed it to end. I needed to write the chapter which says, ok, so far so good. Not, I am cured. Not, I am better. But, I am not sick. I am where I am. This is the place from which to leap off. There is no going back. There is nothing but forward.

I needed it also to put paid to the debt of love I owe. I needed to write down on paper the names, ideas, feelings, places which kept me alive. I have no concerns that I will survive. I have beaten down the beast. What I need to do now is see how WELL I survive.

I am in radiation therapy, 5 days a week, for 5 weeks. 25 zaps. 25 goes of routinized lay down on bed, tuck right arm under bum, raise left arm over head, lay still, careful and considerate removal of hospital gown, watching as behemoth zapper mobilizes...3.5 cm this way 11 cm the other. Clearance. Ding Dong Ding Dong. Start the zapper. 7 minutes.

It is a miracle, this process, this machine, these people. Christine, who  is my RT technologist, with whom I sometimes speak french since it is easier for her and more fun for me. We talk of gardening. Children. Scheduling. 10 am is best. Enough time to drop off  at school, TTC, zap, with wiggle room for lateness, machine malfunction etc. Then maybe an errand before the lunch time pick up from school.

I take the TTC all the time now, since the ride program was, well, too depressing. Seriously, nothing says depressing like driving along Gerrard St. with a car full of people with cancer, who only talk about their health  (and, on that one day in May when there was actually sun!?.....Jesus God, strike me dead if i ever get so, uh, verbose about it!? Oy)

I mention the TTC also because I take it at peak hours now, for my 10 am RT. God people get worked up about it. They moan and complain. They bitch about delays and crowding and fuss. They are zombified fusspots. all those fusspots. I seriously want to bitch slap a whole bunch of them. As I cram myself onto the train so as not to miss my radiation therapy appointment, a young woman says - "well, i cannot move any further, I am pregnant and not getting squished." So I said, "ok, well, honey, you should have a seat anyhow". young dude next to me says - you're right. then asks polite as can be to someone - please give your seat to this lady - and they do.
He then turns to me and says - thanks, for helping me see differently. I almost did not believe it. Was looking for the Candid Camera, the Punk'd person.  But he was totally sincere. Like from a Hallmark commercial.

So moral of the story is - speak up politely, take care with each other. Don't become a zombified fusspot. And avoid being in a car with a bunch of cancer patients.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice to hear your 'voice' again KO!