Let me explain
Our friend Amanda, who lives in our upstairs bedroom part-time, used to have abysmal eyesight. I think the term for it was pathological myopia. She wasn’t legally blind but it was a near thing. I tried on her eyeglasses once and I thought my eyes were going to impode. She wore contacts most of the time and she had been coping with her poor eyesight for most of her life. Then one day, an eye specialist said, I can fix that for you, and he did. The effects were dramatic.
It took Amanda months to adjust to life with normal eyesight. Previously, she removed her contact lenses at bed-time as a way of “shutting off” the world so she could go to sleep. After the surgery, however, there was no shutting off the world––she had to learn how to wind down even though she could still see everything. The rest of the day was a big adjustment for her, too. The visual centre of her brain had never had so much stimulation––she could get positively hyper from all the visual information coming in. Sometimes listening to her marvel at what she could see and how it made her feel could get me choked up. She’d been able to see just fine with her contact lenses but somehow, it wasn’t the same thing as being able to see without them. I don’t think she takes it for granted to this day.
I think you see where I’m going with this.
Every day when I wake up, the first thing in my head is, I’m going to live. (This is usually because I’m still damp from hormone-induced night-sweats.) Eleven months ago, I was working out how I was going to tell my son that I’d be lucky to see New Year 2017. This year I got to tell him that he shouldn’t be surprised if I were still around for New Year 2030.
My first post about cancer here included a fable about a prisoner who persuades the king who condemned him to death that he can teach his horse to sing (you’ll have to scroll down a bit to find it).
Well, I got my year––let’s just round up from eleven months, for the sake of neatness––and it turns out that the horse has a musical streak. The noises coming out of him actually sound kinda melodic. The king thinks so, anyway, and he has apparently decided that’s reason enough to continue with the singing lessons past the original deadline. Besides, the horse is enjoying himself, so cutting off the lessons would punish the horse who is the innocent party in all this.
I was giggling madly while I wrote that; I still am.
There will probably be a few more of these OMG you guys I can’t believe I’m not going to die next year! dispatches from Cancerland––maybe more than a few, interspersed or interwoven with OMG you guys exercise is so great! and OMG you guys here are some more reasons to be cheerful! Not to mention my favourite story to tell on Christmas Eve. You can read them or not; I won’t judge you.
But absent medical advances with viral cell therapy or a spontaneous, inexpicable event of the sort people often describe as a miracle, these dispatches will come from Cancerland. And that’s not a downer. Because although I’m permanently resident in Cancerland, cancer itself is––say it with me, loud and proud even if it’s not aloud––my bitch!