(is the font too big and overlapping? if so, please tell me.)
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m constantly look for signs from the universe, signs that the tide is turning, signs that something good is ahead or, well, something really bad. But I’ve been living the really bad stuff for a while now, what with George the Benign Pituitary Brain Tumor (hereafter either George or BPBT) moving into my sinuses and my getting pretty depressed and testy about not being able to breathe – breathing is sooo underrated – and the regular radiation zapping my energy and vitality and, well, the funny neurotic “able to take a good breath and smile about it” me of Me that I enjoy and to which others seem to respond.
Some even called me brilliant back in the day, when that Me was predominant. Well, I’m far from brilliant, but I’ve been missing those times when I leave my body while I’m writing, and I hit that zone where everything just flows and the voyage I’m on becomes so clear, like those fabulous sailing trips of Puff’s and Little Johnny Paper’s, well, before that asshole Johnny grew up and took a powder. You guys all know that magical place and how fabulous it feels and how not great it is when you can’t find it again because you feel like complete exhausted shit or because your KF--- radio voices are whispering around you, the ones you have to talk back to – telling you that you’re an imposter and can’t bring the funny or the poignant any more. (Oh, God, Broadcast News is on and it’s that horrible scene where Albert Brooks gets a chance to anchor the news and he gets that fucking flop sweat that just keeps getting worse and you just pray for it all to be over for him so he can go drink heavily and/or botox his armpits if botox was available back then.)
Okay, so, first came the clinical trial with the laser radiation that zapped George right out of my nasal cavities, and things seemed to be looking very much up. And, what I’ve kept to myself, is that ANOTHER SMALL CHUNK OF GEORGE IS GONE. Excellent news, of course.
But what is hard to explain is that my feelings about my BPBT and the laser working are complicated. I’d love it to be all pure joy and disco dancing with the puppies – cocoa know how to go dancy dancy dee on her hind legs now, but that’s a story for later on – but it just isn’t that simple when you’ve loved and lost. God, I’ve just remembered this stupid thing out of the blue. My Cousin Eli owned a company that made all of those little plastic things, the little doodads that they give away at conventions and business conferences. Well, he showed us one that I actually loved. It was a keychain that said, “Better to have loved and lost than to have paid for it and not liked it.” Words to live by, for sure. The company is now gone because of all the in-fighting that erupted when his daughters’ husbands all joined the ranks, but that is another story for another time. I really am working on my tangents' tangents.
So, well, I’m feeling horribly haunted by survivor’s guilt -- yes, I know it’s irrational but it’s also real for people who are still here when others didn’t make it – over my husband’s long battle with pancreatic cancer and his not getting the miracle ending that I’ve been given. Same thing with my writing partner and best gay who succumbed to another pernicious form of the big C. I wanted last minute reprieves for all of us, you see. I didn’t want to be the one who survived only to be left all alone.
Now I’m here with my good fortune and all I want to do is share it with my dead loved ones, to go out and have a fabulously and sinfully fat-filled dinner that we can actually afford and to get pleasantly buzzed and amorous on a great bottle of merlot or the argentinian malbec that I’d come to love just before I got poor. Richard adored my best gay Robert also, and the witty repartee that I miss so much bounced off the walls when we were all together, and everything seemed fun and funny and so possible that the creativity just bubbled away around us all. My particular slice of heaven on earth.
What does comfort me in a sick way is that they still haven’t found a cure for the pancreatic thing. Randy Pausch died and he was beloved by everyone because of his outstanding last lecture and his general exuberance about his family and the life he had left, and he, I’m sure, had access to the best medical care available. Same thing now with Patrick Swayze who is looking more and more gaunt as the days go by. I feel for his dancer wife. It’s a hard haul. I don’t know how i would have dealt with the powers that be finding a cure for that cancer a few months or years after Richard died. So god/gd spared me that at least. I think i would have gone over that proverbial edge, the only consolation being that i would get to go live once more with my beloved fellow looney tunes and the nurses who love me for being a high-functioning wacko.
Well, so the laser zapped another chunk of George the end of last week, and I was about to share it on here and celebrate and then, well, things got a little dark for some of us. I want to express my extreme gratitude for all the outstanding support, kindness, patience and “people saying they would miss me” or whatever that is called, that I got from beloved friends and strangers on here, so many comforting comments and PMs, but I needed to retreat and process the awful events that showed up in the flashbacks and work through those memories so that they could then move on and out, like a splinter that hurts like hell below the skin's surface and then not so much at said surface and then not at all when it is gone. Other trauma survivors know all about this and I guess the others of you will just have to take my word that this is where the relief and the renewed sanity come in and make good things seem possible again.
I owe huge apologies for going completely off on someone whom I love on here, someone who supported me so wonderfully in the beginning and then drifted off when I began writing about depression and George and the dark stuff, which is all understandable but apparently also hurtful and unprocessed to me on a daily basis since I channeled all my PTSD rage and frustration towards her. I could not be more sorry or more mortified for what I said in comments and in an awful PM. I don't expect forgiveness, but I need to express my extreme sorrow.
Okay, so it’s been an up and down rocky couple of weeks, but something miraculous happened last night. An unambivalently good sign, if you will. I was in the middle of my one of my 12-15 hour sleeping marathons when Ella woke me up with her hideous scream-barking at something outside the full-length window covering slatted blinds that she peeps through incessantly. So I went to give the pups a little of their organic healthy kibble, got back in bed and realized that my night guard was no longer in my mouth. Well, cocoa ate my last night guard a few years ago, the 600 dollar one, when she was a puppy and teething, so I just assumed that she’d eaten this much kinder gentler one (the one that the exceptional Deven had told me about) that I didn’t, thank god, have to boil and fit to my teeth because I failed miserably the last time I tried that and ended up with a mangled and unwieldy hunk of plastic. If I smoked I would have used it as an ashtray. It looked like very bad piece of modern art. So I sighed and went back to sleep, tucking my kibble-filled Ella-vator back under the covers and pulling the softly spooning night guard gobbling Cocoa to me.
So I got up this morning, resigned to having to buy another night guard and to the bitter feeling that god/gd hated me a little even though I’d been so brave and worked through the rape flashbacks. I was sitting hunched over on the dust mite covered bed, taking my generic Tylenol and one of my many sinus and George meds, when I saw Cocoa poking at something on the filthy carpet. So I dragged my self-pitying self over to her and, to my massive astonishment and great joy, I recognized my night guard that she had very very much not eaten! Immediately I looked up and thanked god/gd for this abundance – as I’ve said before, god needs to get his props too and he enjoys compliments as much as the next divine being does. now, lasers eating a hunk of your tumor george is one thing because you don’t know if the laser will get the whole thing, and there are those complicated sometimes homicidal feelings about wanting this kind of treatment years ago and the giant asshole insurance people refusing to pay for it then and the why did you have to go through 3 sessions of radiation that killed my immune system and yada yada yada..
Well, it is such a giant relief to get a sign from gd that is unconditional, not at all complex, plain old good news! It felt/feels like a nod from my higher power that things are indeed looking up in a simple non-triggering way. There is other good news to share, amid all the so far unshared very frightening and threatening administrative crap that has come my way, but I’m going to take a much-needed break for my sake and yours and tell you about all of that in Part Two.
Love love love and enormous gratitude and please RATE me, not because I’m an attention ‘ho but because I’m part of the way back to the me of Me and to that zone where the voyage ahead is all clear and flowing and possible.
Now this doesn’t mean that I will be able to quickly catch up on all the posts I’ve missed. I still have my differently abled brain and i'm still exhausted from the regular radiation and i find reading online to be challenging even when I’m at my best. But please let me know if there is something you really want me to read and even why and i will do my best to get there! When you share good news, some people tend to think that everything is all better and that you should be held to regular non-George standards again, which other tumor survivors know is now true. Again, love love love to all and i'm really shutting up now.