I miss your blogging…$&&@@
That’s the text I got on Valentine’s day from my friend Tom. As intended, it triggered action. Well first it triggered guilt, because guilt’s my favorite useless emotion, and now I’ve moved on to action. As in lying-on-my-bed-typing action.
I didn’t check with Tom to find out whether the cash-and-and-at-at symbols meant fuck, as in where the fuck have you been (I’d have gone with *%&#*). Or is it something more literal, like cash is on the line here, and, and where the hell are you at at? I guess the dollar sign could be read as success. It sure isn’t money. But one thing I do know is that while writing is unlikely to make much money, not doing it is guaranteed to make none.
So I’m back at the blog, for today but hopefully for longer. I’m grateful beyond words that my life is no longer all cancer, all the time. Really I am. But I’m worried that I can no longer wow you with my escapades. And yes, I do realize it’s insulting to assume you’ll abandon me simply because I got off the cliff hanger, and am now sitting in some panelled den doing a jigsaw puzzle.
I’m putting together 478 pieces of fear. I’m doing it daily. Is that twinge in my lower abdomen, ovarian cancer, that ache in my breast, breast cancer, that pain I’ve felt under my eyebrows for over a month, a lymphoma tumour? And as I was writing this I tasted metal, spat blood and felt a little bubble on the roof of my mouth with my tongue. A woman I knew died from leukemia detected by a blood blister on her foot. That’s a new puzzle piece. It didn’t come in the box.
It’s a whole different kind of hard, a tedious, repetitive, non-life threatening (at least not that I know of and not at the moment) hard.
Aside from doing the puzzle, which takes a stupid amount of time, I’ve been busy figuring it all out. The big it, the little its. I’m not here with a full answer but it’s something like Don’t worry, be happy, which Bobby McFerrin preached decades before Pharrell Williams did, and a self-help guru or two might have figured out before that. The key is how to be. Happy.
The big news on the it front is that I met someone great. Between the anxiety, the daily dinner dilemma, raising kids, meditation (yes I’m still doing that. Otherwise the puzzle would have been 1000 all white pieces), shopping, laundry, anxiety and maintenance chemo, someone asked me out on a date. Someone who’d read almost every embarrassing detail my blog had to offer, and was still willing to leap in. And I went. Now I have a whole other exciting puzzle to put together.
Back on the horse is a weird expression for me to pick because I’ve only been on a horse once, and it didn’t go well. The metaphor is all about good habits and moving forward, not messing with the things we love to do just because life occasionally throws us off. Like way off. I wasn’t actually thrown off that horse, but I know from all the horseback riding scenes I’ve watched in my life, that my ass and the horse’s back are meant to be going up and down at the same time, not slamming into each other. I only had cancer once and that also didn’t go well. I mean it went well in the treatment and remission way, it just didn’t go well in the I-fucking-got-cancer-right-in-the-middle-of-my-life way. On the other hand, I have had lots of relationships, and been thrown quite a few times by them. And I’m back up there. So back on the horse might in fact be the perfect words to use.