Wednesday, May 23, 2012


A few months ago I watched the movie 50/50 about a guy with cancer. I guess my movie would be called 70/30 which is better than 50/50 but still petrifying. I’m not afraid of the dying part, I figure it’s just like going to sleep for the last time and I don’t believe anything comes next. If it was just me, I could accept the 30, but damn, when you have kids it’s a different bag of potatoes. I don’t want my kids to be the tragic ones who’s mom died when they were young, that’s just awful. And not to be narcissistic {yeah, say that with a straight face while you’re writing a blog about yourself}, but I think those two guys really need me and I can’t imagine anyone or anything filling the void they’d be left with. And yet it happens, this happens to children. My friends would miss me, but they have other friends and full lives, I would hope they’d think of my sometimes, fondly and with laughter, but their lives wouldn’t be forever altered. My boy’s lives would be. I’m the one they can always count on for anything, and prods them and laughs with them and makes up silly nicknames for them, I make them feel safe and that’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I want to help them with their kids, I want them to be able to count on me for a good long time, as it should be. I have got to make the 70 feel more real, more inevitable than the 30 and normally that’s what I’d do innately, but this time, it’s just not happening. All I can see is the 30 and it’s my new least favorite number.

There are so many books out there, so many theories, philosophies, that promise good health and cures everlasting. I have no idea how to disseminate the good from the bad, the relevant from the bullshit. So many vitamins, herbs, supplements and of course the most convincing are always the most expensive. My latest foray into good health comes from Ayurvedic medicine and it’s call Oil Pulling {or swishing}. A friend just started doing it and recommended it to me, so I did my usual reading up.

This technique requires you put a tablespoon of Sunflower or Sesame oil {although other oils might be fine too} in your mouth and swish it around vigorously, pulling it back and forth between your teeth {hence the pulling part} for 15 minutes. The belief being that it is pulling all the excess bacteria out of your mouth and into the oil creating a toxic concoction that you spit out into the sink and down the drain. It is also meant to “massage” your tongue, tapping into the power of all the pressure points there that correspond to the different organs in your body. I used Sunflower oil, I can’t even imagine a mouthful of sesame oil, that stuff is strong, I put maybe two drops in my hot and sour soup. My friend has succeeded in doing this for the required 15 minutes, but I must be weak jawed with an exaggerated gag reflex because I’ve only made it 6 and then 14 seconds.

I have to admit though, that after spitting and rinsing, my mouth actually feels cleaner, my tongue, however, is definitely not getting a massage by being scrunched up in fear and horror in the back of my mouth.

I may keep trying it, I may not. Cancer is the full-time job you don’t need a resume for. I need to sleep 14 hours a day, 5 trips to the hospital waiting room per week, green smoothie swilling, pill popping, arm stretching, bill opening, insurance calling, blood transfusing fun all on top of the stuff you always have to do. Grocery shopping, house cleaning, laundry folding, school lunch making, kid driving, teacher meetings, food prep, endless dishwashing, end of school year activities. And dare I include paying work? Oh to have a real job with disability, this self-employment thing can really bite you in the ass in the good old U. S of A.

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