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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Invite


Friendlets, I'll be reading my work aloud on Sunday as part of The Eagle and the Wren reading series at BookCourt in Brooklyn. I'd love to see you there!

And now's as good a time as any, I guess, to say that I'm working on a little book. Separate from the other little book, that's now with agents whom I'm afraid to contact again in case their answer is no.

This will be an even littler book, about cancer et al. And perhaps you may be thinking, "But there are soo many cancer memoirs." (Well, I know you wouldn't think that. But someone.) And yes, there are. But there are lots of books about white dudes, and no one says anything about that, do they? There are lots of books about lots of things. And this is a book I have to write, and so I'm writing it. It may only ever see publication in the form of a hand sewn thing I keep on my shelf, but it will exist. One day.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

His n Hers


Radiation exam room for a checkup, and I realized how much more efficient Matt and I could be if we shared oncology appointments. 

That it actually the type of chair he sits in when they go up his nose and down his throat with an endoscope.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sharps



The needles are past the fill line! What could happen?!

Down in DC for my vaccine booster, and remembered this story: when I was getting my second opinion at Dana Farber, Matt revealed that every time he sees a sharps container he has a weird desire to plunge his hand inside and flail it around. And we laughed until we cried.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

National Cancer Survivor's Day

"Hello, hidden pain. So strange how you resemble my old face."

This line from a poem by Matthew Siegel has been bouncing around my head for the last few weeks.

Today is National Cancer Survivor's Day.

I don't like the term 'survivor.' In fact I think I hate it. For one, it deftly ignores those who have died, silently putting them in the column of Not Enough Moxie to Win. Not Enough Positivity. Did Something Wrong.

Those who have died, 40,000 a year from breast cancer in the U.S., did nothing wrong. They did not choose the wrong doctors, they did not give up, they did not not fight hard enough. The lesson to learn from those 40,000 is not one about keeping positive or staying strong -- it's about the confluence of luck and science. Being lucky enough to qualify for/afford/be responsive to the right drugs. That's all.

So a day that recognizes my good luck within the bad makes me feel nothing but unsettled and wrong. Like escaping a shipwreck in which 1/3 of the other passengers drowned, just because I happened to be standing near a life boat.

You understand why this feels complicated.

I don't need an official reminder that I'm alive and others are not. I don't need a sanctioned day, a party at the hospital with soda in plastic cups and a jazz quartet paid for by the music therapy program, to make me feel some approved combination of feelings.

Know that I am not proud, because I did nothing different than anyone else. I do not feel strong or brave or any of the other things people say about those who've had cancer, because those things have nothing to do with the accident of still being alive, and know that today I do not wish to celebrate.