|Fun with Annie's new iPad|
As for the chemo itself, I intentionally ignore the bright green biohazard sticker on the bag and try not to dwell on the reality of what it is—liters and liters of absurdly toxic bright-orange chemicals saturating my entire body over a four-day span.
I mean, it's obviously what I'm here for. I'm not sick in any other way, I'm not in any pain, so my sole mission here is really just to entertain myself while it drip-drip-drips its' way in. But in terms of healing, I just have to think of it as a necessary measure to becoming un-cancered. It also helps to stage the chemo-environment with some undersea creatures (see photo).
|Lobster Puppet sent by Ken Bowman,|
Jellyfish crocheted by Amanda-Jean Ward
I also brought in quite the load of other items that seem to boost the Essence-of-Kia in this small, bland, dark little space. Photos of myself in stronger moments, photos of friends I wish to keep the closest, a giant poster with a drawing of a screw with the word CANCER in bold red type beneath it, the quilt Annie's mom gave us for Christmas, my own pillow with the butterfly pillowcase, and of course, Annie (see photo below).
Basically the only real obstacle this time around has been my neighbor to the left. We call him Jerry. Jerry screams in pain, he begs to die, he moans and hollers at all times of day and night. When we try to politely inquire to the hospital staff if he's ok, they all kind of roll their eyes and say that the people who put on these kinds of theatrics are usually the ones furthest from actual death. It's still a bit unsettling, to say the least. I don't mean to be all sassy-bitchy about other people's suffering...I just wish someone would give the man something to make him sleep it off! Then I could get on with my ignoring I'm in a hospital and continue pretending I'm just traveling below decks on a really tiny boat.
Here she is in my view from the bed.
Another major boost to my energies has been the "special" cookies I smuggled in with me—though it's not really smuggling if nobody cares, which I'm pretty sure nobody does—made by the loving and generous hands of two very special sets of friends. They boost my appetite incredibly, helping me to eat right through the chemo, which was very difficult the last time. Also, I have to say they just make the days funnier and generally more pleasant. I feel really grateful to have received them in time for this hospital stay. Probably the best medicine I'm getting in here. Viva los edibles!
|Speaking of appetite—|
my last meal before the hospital. Yum yum!
Every time I peer into Facebook, I am slapped in the face by all the fun things my friends are doing that I am not currently able to enjoy. Vacations to Mexico, outdoor cocktails, bike rides in the spring greenery, you name it, I'm not doing it. Can't do it. For several more months at least.
But, every so often I'll see someone buckling under some kind of stress or responsibility that I'm also not having to deal with at the moment, that used to weigh so heavily on me before. Washing dishes. Sweeping up dog hair. Trying to keep myself fed every day on an incredibly tight budget. Going to the laundromat. Washing more dishes. Changing the oil in my car. All those un-sexy, un-fun adult responsibilities that I carped about so often are completely swept under the rug right now as I continue to just be a Cancer Patient. And, in some way, I'm lucky to have a break from all that. Who wouldn't enjoy the chance, on some level, to be free of all their usual responsibilities, for several months on end?
Of course, the conclusion I'm coming to about all those pesky adult responsibilities is that they are totally worth the fun-time, spring-time, summer-time, time-off activities you get to do alongside them, generally whenever you please. All that dog-hair, laundry, dishwashing bullshit is the price we pay for those ultimate freedoms. Don't take them for granted. Go ride your bike!
|Taken at the Sequoia Mall,|
Saturday, May 14
I've found it to be tremendously relevant and meaningful as I go through this. The main nugget is to use challenging times —big or small—to expand yourself into a more soulful, conscious person. To be able to be the phoenix rising from the ashes of your own personal tragedies, whatever they may be. I'm loving her voice, her own story, and the stories from other people that she shares.
It just makes me wonder: how to put that into practice myself, in the midst of my own so-called tragedy? What am I holding on to that I can now let go of in the ashes of this Cancer fiasco? Who is that person around the corner that I'm just waiting to become? And how on earth do I make that actual transformation? I feel so on the brink of that blossoming.