Home. I am home after spending the week in the hospital. I
sat this morning at my breakfast table with the morning light slanting in, the
cypress trees I watch build and shed their leaves for these past two years, my
peets coffee in a new mug, my morning pages, a metal fork and an actual
plate, my space heater licking my calves.
Yesterday evening, I lounged on the couch with my cat curled on the
chenille blanket across my lap, and I said something to her that I’ve asked her
often and many times: “How did I get so lucky?” How did I get so lucky to have
and find you, I have intoned to her over the two years I’ve had her, and lived
here in this apartment.
And that line, that question struck me, and I began to cry.
Not out of sadness, but out of cognitive dissonance with everything that is, I am still lucky to have her, and to have found her. To
sit with my bald head, unemployment, uncertain mortality, and to ask her how I
got to be so lucky? … It was a moment, to be sure.
Because, all in all, I’m moving through this. I am not where I was when this all began. In the immediate
terror and incredulity. I have more of a sense of what to expect now, and I am
not as scared of the times in the hospital, or the times after when I my
“counts” get all low. I can pack for the hospital differently now – in fact, I
can pack at all. All of this is different than it was in the beginning. I am in
a different phase of this – I can feel it, and it feels good, or a million
times better at least.
There are still a lot of places I want change and comfort
through this. I want to contact the young adult cancer support group. I want to
stop eating as much crap because “I deserve it.” But, for today, that’s all
I’ll say about what I want to change about me and my situation. Because I’m tired
of haranguing myself, honestly.
I’ve put up a whole new set of dates people can sign up on
the online calendar to bring me meals daily, but I’ve realized that another
part of how I have cared for and nurtured myself has been through cooking. I
like to cook. Sure, perhaps I can’t get to the store the same way and spend all
that time with you germ-infested folks(!), but I can still do some. And,
although asking folks to bring me food daily was important last time I was
home, this time, I want the chance to start making food for myself again, if
only every other day.
I’ve begun reading a book called Kicking Cancer in the
, and although it too purports the
benefits of vegetarianism, my chiropractor/nutritionist said that especially
right now, I don’t go veggie. It’s so strange – I was
vegan – VEGAN(!) – the month before I got cancer. The month of
August and September, the only animal protein I had was eggs in the morning.
(So, yeah, I guess I wasn’t *really* vegan, but for the most part!) So it’s
strange to read this book purporting the merits of a whole food, healthy, leafy
green diet, …. when.i.was.already.doing.that.
But, “whatever,” as they say.
I do know how to eat, and to some extent cook, healthfully,
but there’s a lot to learn, and a lot to branch out from my narrow knowledge of
it all. So, I’m looking forward to experimenting. It’s another form of art –
it’s always been for me, cooking. There are the months when it’s visual art, or
music, and then there are the months it’s cooking. I was marinating and baking
my own organic tofu this summer. I was soaking, cooking, and blending my own
hummus for Christ’s sake! I was experimenting, I was having fun. It’s another
way, I’ve realized that I can have fun within the means and bounds of my body’s
abilities right now.
My friend brought me chard from the farmer’s market when she
came to round me up from the hospital yesterday; this morning, it made itself
into my morning eggs. (I have a thing for eggs.)
Speaking of which, perhaps as TMI as it might be, I don’t know, I got my period again this month. Perhaps that may
seem inconsequential to you, … but it means the world to me. It means that last
month and this month, despite pouring nuclear shit into a port that feeds directly
into my heart, my ovaries are still working. It means that I withstand this
chemo stuff better than most people expect. I don’t get nauseous, or puke, or
get mouth sores, or skin rashes. Like Bella saying she was made to be a
vampire, I was perhaps made to withstand chemo. (and that is the dorkiest reference you may have from me
But, it’s huge, guys. It’s a big deal to me to see that
despite all of this trauma and ruffianism that is happening to my body, there
are systems that are still working. It means that I might not have hot flashes
at 31, or have to shop the feminine lubrication aisle. It means my body still
I am alive. I have heat, water, housing, finances, internet,
food, family, friends, a kitty, clothing, and I live off of one of the best
streets in the area.
I’ve been thrown off the course of where I was (but then
too, I had no idea where that course was going, so perhaps I wasn’t on one at
all), and today, I find myself, Lucky. 

3 thoughts on “Lucky.

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