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Friday, May 23, 2014

Looking back


The past almost two years of treatment have broken down into a number of phases.

There's the surgery phase, the chemo phase, radiation. These are all discreet -- they can't happen at the same time, though they are jammed together. Then there are the ones that overlap, like herceptin, physical therapy. 

This has been the end of the most intense part of my clinical trail for a breast cancer vaccine. (I've been traveling to DC every three weeks to take part in the trial. I'll still have to go back every six months for the next couple of years.)

On the train, I stare out the window and think about where I was this time last year. Also on the way home. I'd gone to Sweden for work, to install a museum show. I overdid it, and came home with the scar on my breast breaking apart. The trip didn't cause it, but it hastened the inevitable.

This time two years ago I was in Rome, miserable and homesick. I thought it because I just wasn't meant to travel, but now I wonder if it wasn't the old spring/summer sadness.

The May before that I was at the beginning of my novel, feeling full of energy and thinking I'd finish in six months. I was working a second job at a day care, and only rarely feeling that "I want one!" urge when holding the babies.

The first May of the decade has nothing written in my calendar. 

And five Mays ago, Matt was made hoarse, and then silent, by radiation to the base of his tongue. I had just been accepted to graduate school. 

The constant? Planting tomatoes.

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