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Journal, day 1… 08/08/09

We all know it damn it, we do… we know that remission is what it is…abatement or diminution, as of disease… It’s not being cured; it’s using your get-out-of-jail-free card to continue your journey on around the board… Life goes back to Normal and even though you bring a new sense of gratitude and appreciation with you, even though you think and do things in a new space filled with joy and purpose, you are still back to normal… tomorrow becomes a given…

Then the bump appears… In the case of my melanoma, right where the first one was… you try to sooth your self on the way to the dermatologist, all the benign things it could be… but there’s that nagging knowing in the background… this is the beginning of the next phase.

It’s out… melanoma again… but it’s good to be rid of it. It’s satisfying to see it floating helplessly in the solution of its tightly capped specimen jar. My dermatologist is forthright about her interpretation and what the future holds for me… but she is young, and she has never had cancer… you have to put her thoughts in perspective… you have to gain perspective in general… So I start at the bitter end of the worst-case scenario and rush to embrace the most challenging and toughest road which has been suggested… Brutal chemo, cancer popping up everywhere, bed-ridden… death. It was enough to make me want to just lay down in the road right there and call for some truck to run over me… a big semi preferably… it was the same path I walked with Dick just after my first diagnosis, only instead of building and unfolding over the course of weeks, this all happened within hours. Time is of the essence I guess…

We talked on the patio. I produced a noteworthy pile of tear soddened Kleenex and intermittently picked the dying leaves off the patio geranium… they ended up all smooched together, backed up against the freshening wind. They looked like a soggy bouquet… I was loosing my self, becoming numb and distant… I had no future, no enthusiasm, and no reason. I felt adrift without paddle or sail… I could see Dick sitting there sharing my pain and confusion, but I felt like if I had reached out physically, his form would have receded proportionately… Just hold on one damn minute… There is nothing “out there” doing anything except what it should be doing… Blowing, shining, whirring, chirping, rustling, bumping and bumbling… everything that was happening in me was totally of my own making… OF MY OWN MAKING… well… then if I can be darkness, can’t I be light? If I can be despondency, can’t I be joy?

My core… my center place where the essence of who I am sits quietly and smiles at my wild side. Sits quiet and welcoming when I have run myself ragged and need to come home… the place from which I will endeavor to set out from each morning for the rest of the time I have on this planet.

As within, so without.

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  1. Mary Stewart says:

    Shit Sue – I can’t believe this. I’m just sick…fairness just isn’t part of this game, is it? Bob and I are sending you love, prayers and hope — to you and Dick. Love, Mary

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