December 6th, 2009
It’s been a little while since I’ve written.
I’ve been working hard in the shop. Turning out bikes.
There’s something about being well, and having energy that makes it pretty hard for me to write. When I was feeling like crap, I guess writing was about all I had the energy for a lot of the time. I think a certain amount of mental restlessness has come back with the energy. Chemo brain makes you sort of dull on the one hand, and messes with your memory.. a lot.. but it also gives you a kind of calm clarity that lends itself to putting together sentences. While I miss that clarity, and the ability to sit calmly and write, I don’t miss anything else about the experience! It feels good to feel good!
Life has been pretty different this fall than last. Hill is a full time PHD student now. They’re not kidding around! She reads all. the. time. It seems like a boatload of work. It’s my turn to pick up a little slack for her now, though not to nearly the degree that she did for me. I cook dinner every night, which I wasn’t quite able to do over the last year. Recently we decided as a challenge to go for six weeks without cooking the same thing twice. Some of the results are on flickr. It didn’t turn out to be nearly the challenge that I’d hoped. Maybe I’ll turn this into a food blog. A friend in England made that suggestion. OH! and Hill says we’re looking for another dog.
A couple of weeks ago I had a bit of a scare. For a few days I was experiencing some *cough* regional discomfort, of a far too familiar nature. Rational or not, I felt pretty sure that the cancer was back. I kept it to myself for a few days. Tried to talk myself down. As much as I tried not to worry about it, though, I couldn’t help but play through the scenarios. What would I do if it was back? Could I actually go through that again? Especially considering that it hadn’t WORKED! I would almost certainly end up with a bag.. etc etc. It’s pretty hard for me to describe the level of terror. Crazy to think that something I JUST went through already seems out of the question to do again! But what would the alternative be? Just getting dead? Panic. Sullen panic.
I made an appointment with my G.I. doc, which was due anyway. “He can see you a week from thursday and you can set up a date for the procedure then.”
I shared all this with Hill, and she told me to go see Alberto immediately.
He got on the phone with my G.I. doc and said, “I’m sending him over now.” (I can’t imagine what any of this last year would have felt like without a doc that COULD, and was willing to, pull some strings. Another thing to be thankful for.)
A half hour later I was in his office being handed a couple of fleet’s enemas and sent to the bathroom to do a little prep. I won’t bother to try and describe giving yourself a double dose of enema in a doctor’s office bathroom.
They didn’t give me a sedative for the procedure. I will insist next time.
Everything was fine. He said that the site of the surgery looked well healed.. better than the last look he had over the summer. He left me to get dressed, and the moment the door closed, I broke into tears.
For the rest of the day I had that great scene between Richie and Royal playing in my head.
Royal: Richie, this illness, this closeness to death… it’s had a profound affect on me. I feel like a different person, I really do.
Richie: Dad, you were never dying.
Royal: …but I’m gonna live!
On the way home I saw my mother riding her bike on fifth avenue, THE WRONG WAY!!
I caught her when she turned into the park. “hey, you! Little old ladies shouldn’t ride their bikes down busy streets the wrong way!”
“FAAAAAWK YOU!” (I read this section to her and she claims that she would NEVER say something like that to her kid. I promise, she did.)
She asked where I was coming from. I told her.
“you BAD kid, you’re supposed to tell your parents when something like that is going on!!!”
I explained that I was being very responsible and doing everything that I needed to. That I didn’t want to give them anything to worry about if it wasn’t necessary.
“Who’d you see?”
“Oh Ed saw him the other day.. he doesn’t have prostate cancer.. they thought he did for a while”
“YOU BAD MAMA!!! You’re supposed to tell your KIDS when you think you’re sick!!!!”
She laughed. Apparently it doesn’t work the same both ways.
In other news. I’m taking this week out to do a small production run of wood fenders. You heard it here first! Click the “fenders” tab with the stuntin’ elephant at the top of the page for info! (big thanks to my BFF Megan Ann for all the help with the site)