It is many other things, also, but that is what I remember from the list as I was sitting stopped at yet another traffic light. I am starting to feel like people live in their cars. Why do we have houses? Oh, so there is a place for the housecleaners and the gardeners to go. I'm sure that must be an only in southern Marin kind of statement, but I leave with those going to work and dropping their kids off, and return with the gardeners, contractors and housecleaners. I am getting a bit warped in my view of the world.
So, at radiation, I point out that I am in pain, and I say I am trying to understand why this was supposed to easier. I say that as the machine is rammed in tightly against me, and my arm is pulled up even more to make room for it. Ah, not easier, it seems. I misunderstood. Different. There is no controlled breathing this way, and once the machine is set up, there is just the one minute, startling, blast. Of course, there is still the writing on me which is very painful at this point and manipulation, and yes, it will continue to get more sore. Ah, I see, different is not always better, and, again, we are in cumulative, and the discomfort continues after we are done. It is like the eyelashes falling out after my last chemo. Oh, this is fun. I will get more and more radiant. I am happy to know I light up the dark.
It is faster though. I get to hit the rush hour traffic both ways this way, north and south. I get in the car when I am finished, a brownie in my hand. It is another woman's last day. It seems many of us are finishing near the same time, but there will be a new crop to replace us. Anyway, on the radio is a man giving his comment on his chemo experience. He has a lot of D words to describe it. I can't remember them all now - dismal, depressing, debilitating. He speaks of feeling left out, and wondering if he is doing the right thing. He says if he weren't doing chemo, he would feel good. He could be in Hawaii drinking Mai Tai's. Why am I doing it, he asks, and then, he says he has always been a gambler, but he never expected to be playing Russian Roulette. My feelings exactly. I drive out of the Marin Cancer Institute, over the speed bump, and make my right turn as I listen to his comments on the misery of chemo, and how it is Russian Roulette. No wonder I feel so sad, brutalized, and traumatized. I was too sick to feel it before, but I am feeling it now, and I feel sad.
My hair is coming in, and people are very complimentary, and I don't look like me, the me I remember. I talk to the woman who finishes today. She is still wearing her hat, but shows me her hair coming in. It is coming in gray, and she doesn't think she will dye it as she did before. We both agree how easy it is to have no hair. She says she kept arriving everywhere 20 minutes early, and then, she realized it was because she had nothing to do with her hair. Can we give that up?
I look at myself, and yes, it is an interesting look, but I realize I never had time to grieve the loss of my hair, to say good-bye to that happy, care-free woman. She is no longer here. It isn't that I am not happy, and, of course, I can say, that I am joyous and that joy contains the sorrow, but there is a new gravity. I woke today thinking of my writing. It floated. I re-read my otter story yesterday, and found myself grounding it. The lightness has more depth, more shadow. It means there are trees. Imagine the light without trees to hold it, display it, and interrrupt it to shadow and play in the leaves. I know that is a good thing and I am grieving the woman I was. I liked my hair, and I feel like I didn't have time to say good-bye. I know we did some rituals, and we all gathered round when it was cut, but I was in some kind of false gaity, that nervous laughter place. I guess now I am grounding my sorrow. I am sad. I remember there was a long time where I had no tears. It was like chemo dried them up. Oddly, radiation is letting them flow.
I was reading about Bush and how he is such a take-charge kind of guy, and how we might admire that. Of course, as we all know, "Ignorance is bliss." Bush thinks dictatorship is a good way to go, when he is the dictator. I think we would all like that, a world constructed to our desires, but, how, then, would we learn? We learn from those who view the world differently than we do. We observe, react, respond. That is life, the definition of life, response to stimulus, to touch, to light, texture. Feeling rounds there. I would not like the world to be made up of six billion and counting me's. One of me is enough, and I am grateful for the one's of you. Take care, and appreciate fully the complexities of this day, while also reveling in the simplicity where all is one.
Four more treatments to go, and I am told, a couple more weeks of pain, and in a month, I "should" feel pretty good. I am sure that will be so.