Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jan. 25

Jan. 25
Originally uploaded by Cancer Boy

All googly-eyed and stuff.

It's probably all due to how much chemotherapy sucks, but as miserable as it is, the days in between rounds are sublime. I'm full of energy, I'm happy, and I'm surprisingly not bitchy. I even have a little bit of *gasp* hope.

I had a very good talk with Melissa's father about all this, earlier today. He's a really great guy, and I'm glad he and I get along so well. In talking, we sort of came to a very interesting consensus, that really made things click for me: It's deleterious to dwell on the negativity that stems from illness, however, it's plain moronic to suppress it.

Had I just about any other illness or health issue, or at least any experience I've previously had, I could count down to the approximate time it would be over. A migraine, a day, day and half. A cold, about four or five days. The flu or a sinus infection, about ten days (although I haven't had the flu in years). ... Hmm, otherwise, I've been pretty healthy. Go me.

With this, I can't count down to the end of cancer. I don't know when, or even if I'll ever be done with it. I can hope, and I can be as positive as I can about it, but I can't ignore the fact that there is a very real, albeit small, chance that this could turn around and kill me. Regardless, I don't know when I'll be "done". I can count down to what I hope will be the end of chemotherapy. I can count down to my scans. I can count down to a year from the day I was diagnosed. Two years. Three years... I can count down to any arbitrary day in the future... It still doesn't feel like I'll ever be "done" with cancer.

I'm not in despair. I'm not even that scared of it, anymore. Probably not even that upset. I've come to accept it as I would a scar. It's irreversible. It just is.

I "now" (or rather, I now am aware that I...) stand a higher chance of developing cancer (again) in my lifetime. Going by family history, I always figured I'd die of a stroke. Chances are, my lungs, liver, or prostate are going to decide to fuck me over at some point. However, my money's on leukemia. Probably this way, when I eventually do get some new cancer, I won't be as devastated. I'll go on chemo again, and I'll barter for more time, and I'll fight it. Maybe I'll win again. Maybe I won't.

I loved Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five". Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time. So it goes.

I get to live with cancer. So it goes.


Kathy said...

Thank you for an extraordinarily insightful post. Sometimes you write what I feel but am unable to express, and it's validating. I appreciate you.

Kathy said...

Oh - and you don't look like an alien.

Tori said...

Your remark about your googly eyes made me think of a line from Accidents Will Happen, a b-side on one of the Dig Lazarus Dig!!! singles:

"I'll roll out my tongue when she walks past
Fix her with my famous jelly-eyed stare"

You should look up the song. It's pretty wonderful.

P.S. Forgive me for the silly comment on a very thoughtful post. I'm glad you've come to some kind of conclusion about all this, and your feelings about it. You're certainly handling it with more grace than I would be

deborah d. lattimore said...

i had lunch with buffy today, who introduced me to you. were your ears ringing? i mean in a good way.

Armand said...

Kathy: I'm glad you found something of worth... Armand phone hoooome...

Tori: I need to get the B-Sides, etc. Funny, haven't been doing much Nick Cave type dancing since I got sick... :p

Deborah: I've got some mild tinnitus in my left ear. It's ALWAYS ringing! :p