Well, I can tell you that her talent doesn’t come from her formal education. She dropped out of that as soon as she could, so she didn’t have many people telling her what she couldn’t do or say, and trying to squeeze her onto some shape she couldn’t fit in, which she wouldn’t have done anyway — but her going her own way saved everyone a lot of hassle. But she was a voracious reader, and a discerning one. And she was always happily juiced up. She would have been outrageous if she weren’t so good natured. That’s what gets her through the tough ones like this. She’s a lot like her mother, come to think of it. As one of my sons said, “I’m not sure I could even be a fraction of that upbeat, but that’s her and I’m me.”

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries!

Boy, am I glad I'm going to finally see my psychologist in person this week. We've communicated via email, and she's somehow managed to help me that way, but remember, I wasn't able to talk  before. Talk therapy is best practiced, I believe, with someone who can talk.

 I'm in a tricky place, my friends. What do I do, now that I'm well enough to do some things, but not all things? And I kind of don't want to do anything. I don't want to write, in case you're wondering where I've been since the twentieth of June.

 My life doesn't feel like it belongs to me. It feels like I showed up at someone's door after being robbed on the highway and had to borrow something to wear, and somehow that's all I'm ever going to have, and it doesn't fit right. If I could scratch from the inside, that's where I itch.

 Jesus, I look at the pictures on facebook and can't imagine who that is waving so cheerfully. Photographic evidence suggests that not only am I okay, I'm awesome. I keep explaining to people that I'm not going to snap a quick selfie during the times that I'm flat on my back staring up at the ceiling fan whap around and around,I'm not Kim Kardashian for Pete's sake,but I had many of those moments. At least as many as the ones that are chosen to be posted online. Look at this ;

Fun, right? Of course.This is a photo collage of our family vacay in the mountains. Look at me! I'm celebrating the Fourth of July in matching scarves with my Mom! Look at me doing a touchdown dance because I scored in a game with the graceless name of Cornhole. ( Come on. Is it just me?) I'm spending quality time with my sister, sharing a morning routine that developed  instantly and without discussion to be together, and that I miss every day. There's my nephew with his wife and kids, and my adorable niece, and my great nephew. And look, there's my brother!

All of these photos documenting my super fun life were taken on a recent visit to see my family, and if that's all you knew of me, you wouldn't think emotional suffering was my close personal companion.

But that's been true for a while, and  it was miraculous, indescribable, to be with the most understanding people of all, my family, when I tried a few baby steps back into the human race.

 During those two weeks my brain was kept busy. It's distracting spending every moment either bursting into tears or having a great time, caught between enjoying the feeling of being something besides a cancer patient, and feeling like a freak because, well, that's what I am.

   I tried eating solid food again with very iffy results, and sat at a table three times a day making only slightly less of a mess than my almost two year old nephew. I may have made more of a mess at some of the meals. I went from using a whiteboard to communicate to trying to talk at the dinner table with some really smart, funny people, and having some smart funny things to say, but not being able to get them out before I had swallowed my food and chased it with water. By then, the conversation would have moved on to a new and different place, and my witty comment had to die on the vine in my head. My head is a withered vine of unsaid witty comments.

But there's more.
When we left the mountain resort, I was able to spend some time with my stepchilluns, who are my favorite people in the world. That was wonderful too, and there are pictures to prove it, believe me. To look at those photos, you'd think I was a Real Housewife of Northern Virginia. Their Mom was obviously once married to My Husband, and I often sneak glances when she's not looking and wonder how that happened, but I have grown to love her dearly, and on this trip she pampered and cossetted me as though I was a cancer patient. Hahah.
  My two daughters helped me take a step toward chemotherapy that I wanted to share specifically with them to kind of include them in "my journey" (One of them is my favorite. You know which one you are.)

My thinking was that it was a step closer to my hair falling out, and we'll all be a little more used to me this way.It still seems like a good idea to me. However,  I had a chemo on Monday, and I have two more which I suspect are going to be spaced three or four weeks apart. It gives me the suspicion that my hair's not going anywhere. So now I have two wigs, two turbans, two little caps to wear underneath hats and to sleep in. Oh, and a really cute short haircut.

The photos don't lie. All of this happened, all of it was wonderful. I learned that you can enjoy yourself and be depressed. Now that I'm stronger,  I'm going to try to string together some "enjoy yourselfs" but maybe not too many, too soon, even if it does take my mind off feeling sad and as though sometimes I can't push the dumb rock up this hill anymore. (I can, by the way ) I've never thought that it was my entitlement to feel good all the time, and I'm persuaded that it would be a poor idea if the option were available.

By God, everyone should write a blog. I feel better. Not perfect, not "happy" but aware that I have access to "enjoy yourselfs," lots of them, and I can go out and get them as I choose.

That makes this stupid outfit I borrowed after getting robbed on the highway feel a little better.


  1. Hey girl , Kathleen m here. Well you are one powerful writer ! I don't think anyone expects you to be miss sunshine all the time . I know for sure if we changed places I would not be , but that does not take away the fact that tons of people find you inspiring because you are. You have not given up, low spots? , maybe many more than we think but STILL you are there pushing that rock up the hill. We love you !!! So there.

    1. Haha, so there yourself! I love you, too. Every body's got their own stupid rock, that's what I know.
      I love you, too.