It’s so loud sometimes I’m surprised it doesn’t disturb the neighbours. I walk around with a silly grin on my face. It’s raining? Great! It’s cleared up and the sun’s out? Great! It’s raining again? Super! It’s cold? Super-duper! Can’t get any work done? Hey, tomorrow’s another day, you can get up early again––yay!
But today I think things are finally calming down. I can read for longer than half an hour; I got some writing done; my smile muscles aren’t cramping. I have resumed thinking about what I can do to improve or maintain or at least not make things worse in my corner of the world. I’m thinking about where the world science fiction convention will be after Helsinki in 2017. I even bought green bananas.
And, to my surprise, a new emotion has entered the mix. I thought I’d felt everything I was going to feel––denial, bargaining, anger, anxiety, confusion, anger, disorientation, anger, jealousy, envy, determination, anger, hope, anger, anger, delirious joy, contentment, more delirious joy, joyful hysteria, and all points in between.
But no, there’s a new player in the limbic arena and it’s one I hadn’t foreseen: embarrassment.
Yes, I am ecstatic, totally happy that I can tell people I am will be living with canceruntil further notice and not that I’m halfway through the rest of my life. ButI’m also embarrassed. Underneath all the party noise, there’s a little voice saying, So, all the people you told––now what do you say to them? ‘Oh, hay guise, remember when I told you I had terminal cancer? Well, it’s the funniest thing…’
Yes, I know this is silly. There is no good reason to be embarrassed because the drugs worked better than anyone anticipated. Until last week’s appointment, as far as I knew, I was a short-timer. The cancer is still there; it hasn’t gone away. But it’s so little and wimpy, it should be embarrassed to call itself a carcinoma. There are probably lymphomas laughing at it, tumours making fun of it. You call yourself a killer? Better get outa there before you get beat up by a white cell!
I’m sorry. I make jokes when I’m embarrassed. (Disclosure: I make jokes when I’m not embarrassed, too, so I guess my telling you that is non-information and thus pointless. But I digress.)
In other news, I went to the gym this morning. I’m now a gym hero laureate, as a new hero has been recognised in Ilford––a young, formerly morbidly obese man who achieved serious weight-loss. Oddly enough, his doctor gave him two years to live if he didn’t lose weight. Now he has, and besides having a much longer life expectancy, Kayes looked wonderful. I did send the easyGym people an email telling them my own good news. So far, they haven’t met me at the entrance to tell me I’m not a hero after all, so I guess they’re cool with it. Still wore my “I’m making cancer my bitch” shirt. That’s still true, and it’s something I do every day. Because taking off and nuking it from orbit just to be sure isn’t an option.
And finally, my hair is coming in curly. I wish it would stay that way.