I'm still sleeping until 11a.m. every day and so only getting in about an hour of work. Last night I went with friends to see the This American Life live simulcast. They did a live show in NYC and broadcast it into movie theaters. My friend P asked what level of NPR junkie I was and I had to confess, I'm a 12 out of 10. I'm a liberal cliché.
It was a good show but I had a piercing stomach ache the whole time which was distracting. David Rakoff did a piece, David Rakoff has cancer, I knew this, and that he's almost one year younger than me to the day. His piece was funny, sad, and triumphant, he talks too fast and sadly, some parts are missed. One thing that came across to me despite how subtle and unself-pitying he is that sense of isolation he feels from other people and situations, I could relate. A dinner party where the subject du jour is how people would like to change, what personal growth they would like to attain and how pointless this line of conversation is to those of us who's cells are dividing rapidly. We're different.
He made me sad and melancholy as I realize how different I am. My life is in a whole different place now. It's not about plans and goals, it's about staying alive and the gruesome things we have to do to achieve that. How we spend our time is different, for me a whole day of the week is lost to chemo. Another good portion of a day each week is calling the billing dept. numbers on medical bills to make sure they've billed both my insurers before billing me. Soon it will be negotiating with them on the unpaid portions. There's the PT and the time and energy it takes to eat only healthy, fresh, food. Cancer is a full time job and it's isolating and we wonder why we're different. Especially I would think, those of us with less usual and more aggressive cancers. Well, I've never been one to be mainstream, but why can't I have one of those not too unfriendly breast cancers, where you have surgery and go home to live your life in peace.
I feel different, separated, isolated, but I'll keep muddling through, that's the point I suppose, the goal of all this "treatment" is so I'll have the privilege of muddling through some more.
And I know it's not just me, so many people are muddling through... dealing with diabetes, MS, infertility, degenerative eye diseases, autistic children, all sorts of things. I need to get some perspective I suppose, but damn it, cancer just seems like one big bad all consuming mother fucker right about now.
This is a really good article by David Rakoff: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17lives-t.html