Monday, March 06, 2006

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt...

It has come to my attention that some people feel I might be masking a bit of unhealthy denial in a veil of sarcasm and gallows humor. “You do know you have cancer, right?” Yep, I respond. Is this a front? Perhaps. Is it the way I’ll get through it? You bet. How do I know this is real? I’ll tell you how. I woke up in a cold sweat last night after one of my now all too common breast cancer dreams. In this one, I went in for my lumpectomy and they found another lump, plus it had spread to my nodes plus it had spread throughout my body. After sitting in the recovery room with Will Ferrell, who funny enough, also had to pay his cable bill, I was greeted by a recently killed off character of All My Children. Ethan told me that those of us with a short time left should live it up and he refused to let me pay for whatever I had just purchased at some unnamed store. After all, he owned Cambias Industries. But if he’s so rich, why did he live in the townhouses by my parents’ old house?

While often fused with randoms, the cancer dreams do come fairly frequently now. And yes, I’m scared. I’m scared that this will change my life forever, not in the “you changed my life for the better”, forever, but more like the “how will I recover from this” forever. I’m scared that I will live in fear of this coming back for the rest of my life. I’m scared my relationship with my husband will change. I’m afraid people will think I am different than I always was. I’m afraid I won’t be looked at the same way (really and metaphorically). I’m afraid I’ll get bald and fat. (thanks chemo) I’m afraid I won’t be strong enough. I'm afraid I'll lose my characteristic self-confidence. I’m afraid I’ll never have kids. And I’m afraid if I do, they may have to see me go through all this again. I’m afraid of the shots I’ll have to have daily to help ensure those kids can happen. I’m afraid of the pain. I’m afraid I will have to cut both my breasts off- just to be sure. I’m afraid that won’t be enough. I’m afraid some of my friends won’t be able to take it. I’m afraid that 6 months from now, when this is probably at its worst, people will have forgotten. That the emails and phone calls will stop. I’m afraid to move to a new city where I know no one to help me. I’m afraid I won’t learn enough from this. Did I mention I’m afraid it will come back?

And I’m pissed. I’m pissed that this messed up what was otherwise turning out to be a pretty damn perfect life I was making. I’m pissed that we couldn’t buy the mini cooper convertible because we should plan to spend 15k on fertility treatments. I’m pissed that I just bought this big ol’ house planning to fill it with kids and now I’ll have empty rooms. I’m pissed that it happened to me and not someone else. I’m pissed that I have to put my husband and my family through this. I’m pissed at my body. I’m pissed that I have to put so many plans on hold. I’m pissed that I can’t make plans to show my dog or learn to ballroom dance because right now I don’t know if I’ll have another surgery or I may be in chemo. I’m pissed at the uncertainty. I’m pissed that I have to be so goddamn rare. And I’m pissed at myself for feeling sorry for myself. After all, so many people have it so much worse.

So yes, I know I have cancer. It blows. But I’ll stick with the witty observations and clip art. It’s much better than the alternative.


Anonymous said...

Scared, pissed, dark, sarcastic, glib, whatever -- your writing is honest and funny and amazing to read. Thank you for your intelligence, and for having such a kickass spirit and sense of humor. No sad eyes from this reader, either...just seriously admiring ones.

I hope you beat the crap out of this thing.
Please keep writing; I'll keep reading.

with love,
a random chick you don't know.

Anonymous said...

Remember, Court, we got rid of the bottom-feeders years ago. We swim at the top...every now and then we may get hooked, but we always wind up swimming again.

Oh yeah...I started knitting your scarf last night, I swear I am turnin' these things out faster than a 5 year old Pakistani kid makin' soccer balls for Nike for $.05 an hour!

Anonymous said...

In lieu of sad eyes and in the tradition of "It Was The Summer of 98" featuring such classics as, "I wish you could box up nuns. Why? So you could have a Box O' Nuns", I'd like to offer the as-yet-untitled sequel which will have its temporary headquarters on my refridgerator. Starting with, "I swear I'm turnin' these things out faster than a 5 year old Pakistani kid makin' soccer balls for Nike for $.05 an hour!"

And I know cancer and all, but the true tragedy seems -- what IS Katie Holmes going to do now and how could they not have called me first before I had to read about it in the Enquirer?

Anonymous said...

I remember crying in front of my brother (my brother!) after I got diagnosed, saying "I don't know if I'll be strong enough." The truth is, in the end, some days I wasn't. But I got up the next day and tried again. And maybe that's more important.

Did you ever know that I cried in front of Dr. Slawson when I got diagnosed? Jesus, I was a goddamn mess. It was after the surgery, when I came to play the show, while you four were warming up. After the run was over I told him, "well, I think I can start calling you John now."

Anyway. Kick the crap out of Maria.