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The Patron Saint of Good Enough

I had lunch with a friend today who suggested that maybe
this isn’t the chemo round where I holster my gun and step out into the High
Noon sun. That maybe this isn’t the round where I shoot rainbows from my tush,
or alight gently on the calm waves of serene acceptance. Perhaps this is the
round I slog through. Perhaps this is the round where I am precisely where I’m
at emotionally and spiritually, and that this is exactly, perfectly okay.
A few people made some surreptitious phone calls to me
yesterday — “just to say hi” — after reading my blog. For which I am grateful.
And grateful that I have this as a mode of communication. But, yesterday afternoon,
I also placed a bunch of phone calls to trusted friends and left a bunch of voicemails
that said, “I’m having a hard time; can you call me back?”
Then, I made a call to coordinate Sunday plans with a friend, and even though it wasn’t one of my “outreach” calls, she and I
ended up on the phone for about an hour, most of which was spent talking about
some stuff she was going through. And,
don’t you know, I felt better afterward.
I still did call my friend who’s in both cancer and recovery
worlds, and she had some really good advice for the “Dark Night of the Soul”
periods of cancer drama. I asked her how you charge up for these things, how
and why you keep going when you’re so tired and defeated and demoralized. She
said, You have to create a life worth living for. 
If all of life was how it’s started to look recently –
chemo, mortality statistics, hospital beds, ER rooms, lab draws, platelets, eye
infections, rude doctors, side effects, isolation,
fatigue, acute solemnity – then SURELY, what would there be to fight for? Why am I fighting so hard for
a life that looks beige, taxing, and unending?
So, create a life worth living for. One which brings life
and color and laughter and perspective and deep lungfulls of air back into the
picture. If even for a minute.
I told her I’d been to an improv class last Sunday, and I’m
signed up again this Sunday. In fact, another member of the group emailed me after class to suggest
I go into their advanced class, so I asked the facilitator, and he said sure, I
could come to the advanced class, check it out, and potentially audition, as
they’re a performing group, … and have, like, real shows.
I’m trying, guys. I am. I convinced my friends to go see the
zombie rom-com last weekend, and it was awesome. I contacted my band friend,
and she’s out of town now, but yes, we’ll connect. Today, I took out the
keyboard the temple leant me, and, after the normal piano setting, had a blast messing with the percussion and pipe organ and steel guitar ones. I make a mean
beat. And I laughed.
Tonight I’m going with a friend to a zen talk of some sort,
something to get me out of my house and into the world, even if it’s not quite my bailiwick. Tomorrow, I’m going
into the city to check out a car I might actually buy (it’s cheap, and my financial friends have helped me
square if this is feasible, and it is!). And in the evening, head to the art
opening of a school friend of mine with another school friend of mine.
Sunday is improv, and then an afternoon with my friend who’s a CPA who’ll help me do my taxes, since I sort of had a melt-down on
the website the other day, and called her in for help.
A life worth living, piece by aching piece, putting it back
together. And, I know, this is just for now, what I’m able to do now with my
energy as it is. It’ll be less after the chemo, and it’ll be more once that’s
done. The cancer will come back, or it won’t. I’ll be able to deal with all
this, or I won’t.
But I don’t have to prise myself to be anything or feel anything other than I am. I don’t have to show up to the nurses with my grin
they’ve become accustomed to, and my good patient t-shirt. I can be cranky and
crabby if I need to be. I can be resigned and deflated if that’s what’s going
on. The good soldier routine worked – and was true – for a time, but it’s not
what’s true right now. 
Right now, every ounce of un-depression is fought for,
and every single phone call is a life raft. 

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