The Hallowed Ground.

Cancer: My Journey Back to Health-Kicking & Screaming the Whole Damn Way

'Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.' N. Bonaparte ‘Never interupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.’ N. Bonaparte

Today, I am going to just write. I don’t want to think too much today. I want to just be present.

I don’t even know what that means. I am still so restless and tired. I thought maybe, just maybe, it was time to look at some other blogs on cancer. I shouldn’t have. The poor people. The pictures of their smiling faces. Why did I do it? I want to know what I can do for myself. The community. But all I did was scare myself. I didn’t steel myself to a new resolve. I didn’t learn a fact to help in my fight. I reminded myself of a 5 year of pretending I wasn’t scared of the monster under the bed. Still wanting the night light on. Too proud to ask.

Naturally I was automatically drawn…

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A Day In the Life…

Mom and Liza keeping me laughing-who could find the funniest Meme on the internet.

Mom and Liza keeping me laughing-who could find the funniest Meme on the internet.

Tuesday is chemotherapy day for me.

It's not just Tuesday though...when you start to dread the hospital, it can poison every single day that leads up to it. Tuesday is a day of trying.

Trying to pretend that you don't mind. That you're strong. Pretending that I am NOT afraid. Afraid of being sick afterwards, that something could go wrong, that the needles will hurt-they always hurt. It took 3 people and almost 45 minutes this time. Trying to pretend that it doesn't hurt because the nurses job is hard enough without me groaning and crying

Joos Von Cleve 'The Suicide of Lucretia'

Joos Von Cleve 'The Suicide of Lucretia'
This would have been a faster, less painful way to get that needle in...

Trying to eat something or drink something...I don't like eating or drinking much. It makes me nauseous. So Liza tries to bring me crackers and pudding and ginger ale and water and cookies...anything, if I'll just have something she would be happier. But I don't want to get sick and I have a long way to get home.

Trying to distract myself.

Trying to keep my patience and my smile in place when all I wanted to do was to close my eyes and try not to throw up.

Tuesday...used to be karaoke night.

I sang karaoke last month. In a strange place during a contest. With 3 judges. But that's another story and I'm needing to focus on something else. Like sleep.

I'm lying here in bed full of drugs and nausea and I feel like crap. But I am writing. I'm wondering why I bother. This is not a happy post. I didn't have any fun today. I wasn't happy. It wasn't a good day...was it?

Lets see...I was with Mom and Liza. That's always great. The food in the cafeteria looked really good and Mom and Liza had a delicious lunch while I waited for my results. (They were crap-but that's another story for another day) I had soup for dinner and tea. I chased my kitty around the table cuz he wanted to play. I did a load of laundry. I found a working fridge on FreeCycle and the lady said I could come and get it tomorrow. So we can get rid of the leaking, broken one we have. That's good.

I am in a nice warm bed and if I got up and looked out the window I would see a million stars. The neighbor across the field is having a bonfire and I want to walk over there and sit down with a nice cold beer and just look at the fire. I don't know them though. Maybe I should introduce myself. Just ask them...listen, would it be alright if, when I saw the light from a bonfire, if I just came over and sat quietly. I wouldn't be any trouble at all. I just like fires. Yeah...I should ask.

So, maybe not a total wash out. Once some of this crap is out of my system I will feel more inspired.

I already feel better.

Thats me trying.

How I feel on Tuesdays How I feel on Tuesdays

Merry Christmas. Really.

So I’ve been sulking.

I don’t know what else to call it. I sit around and think of all the horrible things that have gone wrong in the past two years and I brood. I’ve even asked ‘Why me?’, the immortal question for which there is no answer.

I would look at my computer and I just wanted to scream at it. Maybe I did once or twice. Everything turned black. My humor was gone. My tolerance was at an all time low. Who would want to read this shit? I have nothing to say. I am mean as a snake, as cruel as a house fire, as discerning as a rat in a garbage can…seriously, why would I write?

Then I got an email from a friend named Cheryl. And it was Christmas morning. Somehow she joggled something and suddenly I wanted to write again. I wanted to draw a picture. I wanted to punch my right wing Uncle Dave in the head for being an asshole and having asshole opinions.

I started feeling better.

It all happened in a minute. There I was sitting on the couch with my iPad taking pictures of my nephews who were trying to be enthusiastic about the socks and pajamas and ties they got (Did I mention I can be evil as well?)
I thought I’d read some emails while the unwrapping of gifts went forward

(‘Ooh look, a sweater that’s too short in the sleeves!’)

I got a simple, short email from Cheryl. She had cancer too. She has a tough row to hoe but for some inexplicable reason, she seems to get through it all without whining and crying and blaming and feeling sorry for herself. And she somehow, out of her crazy busy schedule, she somehow took a minute to write 4 sentences and, I don’t know why, but it fixed a broken part in my brain.

(‘Is this a coffee mug with your little dog on it. Fabulous!)

I tuned out for a little while and thought about what I do. The things I do that would inspire a smart, busy woman to take a minute out of her holiday morning to write to someone who has been unresponsive and silent for months.

Am I a good person? Am I a good writer? Can I be funny? Am I smart? Am I a good friend? A good daughter/sister/auntie? And then I realized…

I bought socks and ties for my teenage nephews. I’m a jerk.

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But not always a jerk.

I occurred to me that I think about you. Yes, you Kate. And you RedDog. And Jackie Mallon and Wingmother and Mr. Sugar Bears and Andra and Nate and that policeman in St Louis who is so funny and that young mother in the midwest who makes videos with her chihuahua…I thought about you all while I was in this black hole. It was something…it didn’t make me responsive or inspire me to write, no. But it made me feel guilty. And sometimes that’s a good thing. Just ask Mrs. Roz, my friend Cindy’s jewish mother.

I was guilty of not contributing. I didn’t even try to shine a small light into the world. It’s not that hard to do. I have a little, tiny, weeny flashlight in me and I just let it lie there.

I’m a jerk but not always.

I want to say thank you.

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Thank you Dora, for being on my new coffee mug even though you peed on the kitchen rug.

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Thank you Christmas tree for cheering me up and being so pretty.

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Thank you Walter for being so gracious about the Wolf tee shirt I bought you.

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Thank you Martin for the trip down memory lane.

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Thank you Ryka for being so cuddly and…and…never mind.

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Thank you all. I am sending a hug like this one to each and every one of you.

I’m going to write again. Even if I only have rants and raves and curses. I can make them funny, and maybe that will help me look at them in a different way. Maybe I will stumble on an insight and maybe if I do that I will find a moment of peace.

Maybe, when I am back in that chemo bed on Tuesday I will draw a picture or…write? I don’t know…but one thing I do know.

I’m taking the sweater back to Macy’s.

How not to be a Prick – A Few Ideas for the Celebrity Driven Culture We Live In.

I think I wrote about my cancer making a return appearance. Having to go back into chemo, different drugs etc…the drugs seem to be slowly working, but it’s not kicking ass and taking names this time around. It’s more like inquiring softly, with a lavendar scented pen.

“Pardon me…are you a cancer cell? No? I’m so sorry, pardon my intrusion, have you seen one? Oh really? Just over there? If you’ll excuse me…Hello! You ARE a cancer cell? Could I, perhaps, see you’re invitation? Yes, yes it IS invitation only I’m afraid…’

It’s left me totally exhausted, mentally and physically. Another summer down the toilet. It’s just hard to do anything. Even sitting in bed, lying on the couch, sitting outside, it’s all so tiring. I was reduced to online shopping for pants! Ladies out there, I KNOW you feel my pain…couldn’t even try them on and the colour is never what they say it is…I settled finally on purple pants…just sheer exhaustion forced my hand. Purple pants. They can be pulled off by many people. GET your mind out of the gutter! I only meant that certain people can pull off certain ‘looks’. I am attempting to join those ranks. The ranks of people who wear coloured pants and pretend they wanted them and it wasn’t a case of ‘the only pair left in your size.

And the other thing, since I’m going to be crabbing anyway, are the docs, not so much my oncologist, I think she knows that if she suggested any such thing I’d kick her in the shin with my good foot…but other docs and healers, and friends, them too, truth be told, who tell me that I should ‘get up and get some exercise, walk and stay active!’.

(DAMN IT, that was hard as hell to punctuate and I’m NOT going back to check and see if it’s correct. I just don’t care, not right now. Anyway… )

You gotta be kidding me? So I feel this way because I’m lazy? I want to? I can fight off this feeling of exhaustion? REPAIR the damage to my feet?! This is MY FUCKING FAULT?! Are you telling me that if I’d only show a little spirit, I’d feel like taking the dog for a run on the beach? If I weren’t so damned lazy and stubborn I could go out there in the sun and play badminton and weed my garden and THEN go grocery shopping and make a fabulous dinner and head out to the casino and dance til they close. Just like I used too? Well, hell…if only I’d known.

Yeah…some anger there. It sucks and it’s kind of boring. It’s very unmotivational, having cancer. I mean, don’t get me wrong, some cancer fighters seem to leap to their feet and run marathons! WTF? I can’t.

But then I couldn’t before.

Some of them have masses of people in their lives who are always joining cancer runs and showing up with kooky cheerleader outfits or organizing benefits and selling quilts or funny hats or something cute and wacky. AND THEN THEY GIVE THE MONEY AWAY!? Shit….

I’m jealous of them, acutally. It looks like fun. Like, those people are great! At the same time, I think to myself ‘Argh…how long would they STAY? Would they want lunch? I’d have to wash that couch pillow Ryka threw up on again. It still has a mark. Stoopid cat. And she’d probably do that butt washing thing…where she is sitting all elegant, looking off in the distance and then with a galvanic jerk suddenly glares at her ass and starts washing it furiously.’
(This is usually just after someone remarks how tiny and sweet looking she is…if they only knew.)

But seriously? Fundraisers? I’d say don’t give the money to research…give it to me. At least some of it, for gawds sake, it drives me CRAZY to see those famous people raising money for cancer research. Millions of dollars and I’m sitting here with a stack of bills, a fridge full of crap food and purple pants! In an orange room…picture that, assholes. It ain’t pretty.

Hah! I’d know how to spend it. I’d fix my motorcycle for one thing. And get new tires for my car before I skid off the road. And a tune up. I’d pay off those phone people so they can go and harass someone else who is better at fighting with them. I just agree with them…

‘It’s terrible, I know. I SHOULD give you money. When can I? Hmmmm….I think I should be able to start working full time at some point and you ARE on the list…it’s a long list…I KNOW! It’s terrible. Not only that, it’s pretty long and I’m sort of selfish. Yes, those doctors don’t work for free…nope, I don’t either. I like working for money. Yes, it would be annoying if they didn’t pay me. But they do. Just enough to barely get by…You aren’t in the money loop here. Unless you’re a corn dog and I can eat you. No, I’m not trying to be funny. I mean it. I’d have to say, urm…next April? I usually get a check from Grandma. We could split it.’

Yeah, fundraising. I wish people would fundraise for ME. The Run for Laura. That one would be all the people getting dressed like pirates and running from bar to bar and pounding a beer and a shot and then OUT, to the next bar, full tilt, waving swords…Yes…they could buy a punch card and everytime they hit a bar and pound one back they get a punch. Doing a shot also? that gets you two extra punches. Who ever gets the most punches AND makes it over the finish line without throwing up too much wins a fridge that doesn’t leak.

And if you live in a small town, like Canal Flats, that only has one bar you could just periodically all run out of the bar and around the block waving your swords, maybe run into someones house and capture a person eating cheese doodles and make them a prisoner. Until they joined.

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Seriously…I’d make a good pirate. I’d even switch to dark beer.

Hah!!!<

Or Laura's Place. They could raise money so I could have the carpets cleaned and a fridge that doesn't leak. And maybe paint my bedroom so it isn't school bus orange. That would be nice. And Liza would love a clothes line. I don't know why. It rains so much here…

No, that's thinking small…Laura's Place would be nice little pied e terre's or however those fancy frogs call a 'foot on the earth', you know, nice little one or two bedroom places, maybe with a fold out couch, so you could bring someone and cancer people could go to that city for a vacation. Watch Monday Night Football from someones lake house in Minnesota or Coral Gables Florida. Maybe eat some good bbq.

Gawd forbid that I actually get to see Venice or Athens or Sydney before I die.

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Here’s a pic of me on my way to chemo, thinking about all the FUN I’m going to have when I get there. C’mon, for once can you assholes get it together and donate to the people who need it and NOT to some frickin’ hospital research place? They have plenty of money to fuck around with and it wouldn’t cost a million dollars to give me a vacation, would it?

That’s right, celebrities! All you pricks out there doing commercials for cancer and getting paid for your time at about a million dollars an hour, (or even if you donate your time-I KNOW you either have a vacation house or you KNOW someone who does and who would loan it to you for a couple days) how about YOU?! All I’m asking is for a break. Just a fricking quiet little mini break from all my woes. I’m not some frat loser scum who’s going to trash your house. In fact Liza is as neat as a pin and she’d be coming along so…

Or WAIT, if not that, how about you just throw me a bone and give me a chance to get out of these horrible clothes and wear something decent? A make over would be lovely. Maybe some shopping for a pair of jeans that fit.

Or the sports stars? Hey, RIchard Sherman?! How about 3 tickets to see the SeaHawks play? You know what? I can’t afford to pay $300 for a cheap seat…seriously. You gotta be kidding…and they sell out? Or better yet, how about a chance to see the Super Bowl, or the Indy 500 or even a frickin’ hockey game. I’d take it.

GIVE us a frickin’ VACATION asshole researchers! Ever think of that?! That maybe sitting around being sick is boring and making us sick?! Sickness is really boring and boredom is debilitating. I am still sucking on the fumes of my first vacation in 10 years and that was a year ago.

I went to see The Americas Cup Race in San Francisco. Sick as hell, bald as an egg (well, a fuzzy egg…eww) and I LOVED it. I swam in my brothers pool, went to the fabulous art museums in SF (clicking my cane and wondering why there aren’t more seats?) and got lost in Oakland and ended up crying under a freeway overpass near the dockyards (dangerous and yet sort of pathetic) I wouldn’t rent any more cars. Chemo brain, and all that.

Laura’s Place would supply you with a volunteer driver who knows how to get around San Francisco or Kansas City or where ever. Mini vacations…C’mon Rich Bastards! There’s gotta be a place you aren’t using. Donate a week and some airfare, maybe a fridge of food and feel good about your conspicuous comsumption fucked up fake life for a second. In fact if you are reading this and you have a nice place in San Diego or New Orleans, don’t be a dick…just loan it to me. I swear I won’t call you a dick.

And I’ll leave Ryka at home.

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The Pursuit of Happiness

I wonder sometimes, lately, why I’m not happy.

I know I have a bad form of cancer. I’m in treatment and it’s making me feel awful but…

Why am less happy than I was before I had cancer?

Drugs?  A shorter lifespan than I thought I’d have? A wish for things I don’t have? Can’t have? Shouldn’t have?

What have I done that I have lost my capacity for happiness?

I have conquered adversity in my past. I may have been unhappy, but I got over it. Eventually.  And somehow I always knew, at my saddest and most desparate, that I would. I embraced sadness and unhappiness because they are part of life. Part of being happy.

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I want to be as happy as a dog at the beach. Is that asking for too much?! I don’t think so.

I have lived a full life without asking for more than I can usefully have. I never wanted fame, fortune, beauty or a towering intellectual genius. I wanted peace, friends and family around me. I wanted to go dancing, cook better, draw better, and sing better.. Even sad songs made me happy. Hearing Bonnie Raitt sing ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’, which is a terribly sad song and makes me remember a sad time in my life, made me happy. I learned so much when that song made me cry every time I heard it.

Cooking made me happy, friends all talking to each other, playing a game, sitting in a pub, sketching something…writing.

These are the things that created flow for me. The things that I could lose myself in.

But I’ve lost something that has nothing to do with my health. I’ve lost my happiness.

There are sick people in this world who have happiness. Why am I not happy?

My brothers are here to visit. They’ve brought all the kids and the wives. The house is full. Uncle Dave came too. And I am not happy. I’m tired and feel harassed and bored. I want to be alone. That’s not right.

There’s a devil in me. There’s something that’s wrong and it’s not cancer. It’s my ability to reach out and feel the happiness that was always at my fingertips. It’s my joy when I saw happy people. It’s vanished. When I read your blogs and comments, happiness was at my fingertips. A challenge made me happy. Cats made me happy. Dogs…music…there is so much to be happy about. And I have lost it…it seems as if I expected that it would always be there to grasp. I wait patiently. It will come back, won’t it? It always has. A small push in the right direction and it will come back. Of course it will…

But it seems that I was wrong. Happiness must be pursued. Ha. The Benjamin Franklin quote. The Constitution of the USA guarantees the pursuit of happiness, but you still have to go out and catch it.

I LOVE my chickens...me and Nina

I LOVE my chickens. They’re hard to catch, too.

So here’s the thing…I have been sitting here for the past 6 months, waiting for the moth wing brush of happiness to touch me again. Since it hasn’t, I am going to find it. I am not waiting any longer. Not wasting any more time hoping it will come back.

I am angry in a way. My little niece, Momoko, was here and I couldn’t be really happy. My nephews, my brothers and sisters…oh, I was mad. How can I be unhappy when I am surrounded my family. By the best food and drinks, by dogs and friends, vacation time?

But I STILL love you!

Sick as hell but I was STILL happy…

I deserve to be happy. To hell with this fog. This gray, blah feeling. This irritation and desire to be alone.

‘Alive, alive, I want to get up and jive, I want to wreck my stockings in some junk joint dive…’ Thank you Joni Mitchell.

Yes. There is a way. I can fix this. One thing I can do is participate. In something.  In anything.  In something outside of myself. There is a way back from this. I’m going to find it. I am going to start blogging again regularly. I’m going to write again and listen to music and I’m going to walk in the rain. I’m going to listen to music again and shake this gray out of my life.

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I WILL find happiness. Even if it means taking a selfie where I look as if someone is pointing a gun at me and I’m not sure if it’s a real gun. I want to just lie down and read a book or watch a movie and eat dinner and not think but…that is not the way to happiness.

I have to get up and find it. It’s there.

The Dangers of Not Drinking

Here I am, feeling much better thank you. The infection is under control and I have much to look forward to. Sort of.

Family is coming. I love family visits. I think I share most peoples love/hate of those visits though. I want to see them, my brother and his wife and the 3 kids. SO want to see them. Look forward to seeing them. It’s been too long…However, it’s a bit of a strain, the anticipation of this visit. There is a unending list of things that must be seen to and the date of arrival is looming ever closer.

So much to do…

The house needs dusting, the bbq needs cleaning, the spare bedroom needs attention, the dogs have fleas and now the cats do too. (Can you hear my scream of rage?) There are too many books everywhere and no where to put them, so they need sorting and donating. There are chachkys and knick knacks and interesting pottery and fabulous bowls and they’re all over the damed place!! Where’d this all come from?

And shoes. I’ve bought more pairs of shoes this year than ever before in my life. I was trying to find the elusive pair that won’t hurt my feet.
I would have been willing to bet that THESE would have been comfortable.

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No, they wouldn’t be. I know they aren’t out there. Even ugly shoes are uncomfortable. The beautiful ones are painful. Trainers, boots, ballet flats, sandals, espadrilles, you name it I’ve tried to put my feet in them.

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Just looking at those makes me drool and gag at the same time. Oh the torture…maybe it would be worth it?

No.

I’m going to try using big zucchinis next. We have a lot of them in the garden. But…but…my high heels! High heel shoes are especially heart wrenching to donate.

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I know I won’t be able to wear them again. So they must go. {sob} along with all the trainers, joggers, flats, boots…everything. I have to harden my heart. It must be done. But maybe not sober.

I went to get a drink and I noticed that the liquor cabinet was neglected. I started dusting the bottles and almost began to cry. Really. Dust!? On our vodka? A thick film over the 12 yr old whiskey? My beloved rum is almost depleted but I can’t remember the last drink I had…and I didn’t replace it. Have I not been drinking?!

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I ran over to the fridge and lo and behold, the thing is FULL of beer, mixers and 2 bottles of white wine, tentatively opened to entertain visitors and left to languish 2/3 full.

No one is drinking…it’s summer. If that doesn’t make you want to weep you’ve a heart of stone. I grew three different kinds of mint this year, dreaming of mojitos. I stoned peaches and readied them for margaritas. They’re in the freezer. Alone. Cold. Hard, Ignored.

It was sad seeing the freezer. Along with the organic strawberries and our secret stash of raspberries to use in the champagne, I have the makings for fantastic Pina Coladas with fresh toasted coconut strips-I have a damned COCONUT sitting on the bar! Rhubarb Collins, Cosmos, Caesars, Bloody Marys with pickled asparagus spears and fresh horseradish and these shoes.

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I have darling straws and flavored rimmers and tasteful cocktail napkins…I have strainers and shakers and a soda siphon…it doesn’t matter. No one is drinking…not even me.

Well, I’m not supposed to but that’s not the point. SOMEone should be drinking, shouldn’t they?!

Merde. If I had a sick friend who was a former champion bartender with a full liquor cabinet I’d be over at least a few times a week until it was gone…bastards.

This is Wednesday. I have until Sunday. No problem. I’ve decided that the only way I can steel myself to give away books and shoes {Sob…sniff-my two favorite things in the WORLD} is to get drunk after work tomorrow- I’m off antibiotics as of 6pm tonight. I’ll stuff it all into my car before I can change my mind. Or will I be overtaken with nostalgia and refuse to part with anything and risk having a cascade of high heel shoes and much thumbed novels rain down on my unsuspecting brother when he opens the guest room closet? hmmmm…if I could get his reaction on camera it might be worth it.

Wish me luck.

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The Wild Hunt

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I have to be up for work in 4 hours. It’s not enough sleep. So I’m going to write.

Today was chemotherapy again. Again. I just ignore it as best as I can. Sometimes it’s easy.

Today was not one of the easy days though.

I accept this. This, too, shall pass. I learned I must be patient and not look at the Wild Hunt as it nears. Close my eyes and ignore the glamour. The true meaning of glamour. The inability to look away, the hypnosis of terror. You can’t stop your ears from hearing or your senses from purling in fear, washing up like filthy foam squeezed out of your atavistic old brain.You will deny this truth. That there is a Wild Hunt.

It is in me.

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The Wild Hunt. It’s an old legend, who knows where it came from. Ireland Scotland France Germany, there are versions of it everywhere. The hunt of the faerie Queen with her court of young men. With sharpened teeth and screams for blood, they roam on wild nights, seeking who knows what. Sometimes, finding a weak person, alone and ill, they will steal you away.

One can hear the hoofbeats of the drunken horses and the shrieks of laughter and sexual ecstasy. The Wild Hunt…I was wondering last week, during a long drenching rain, late at night….I wondered. If I heard them.

The ground was warm. It’s been so hot here. Brutal for we Pacific Northwesters. 80+ degrees…no wind. Still and hot. For days on end. Then wildfires…always the wildfires in the mountains. We all look up at the sky and pray that the rain will make it over the mountains to the east and put out the fires.

This time the rain came. Our collective prayers were answered. It was late at night. It had been building up and building up…all day you could feel the dampness, a breathe that was warm and wet, gentle. Not even enough to stir your hair. But as darkness fell the clouds coalesced and dispersed, came together and faded away. The moon was huge and it lit the clouds. You could hear ‘sheeeeeee’. The sound of the big trees. But to me it sounded like ‘Sidhe’. That’s how you pronounce it. At least the very few times I heard it. Sidhe.

Faerie.

I went into the field beside the house, feverish maybe. I couldn’t get cool enough in my bedroom. The wind was coming from the wrong direction, exactly the wrong direction. I could feel it if I leant out the window but I wanted to have that cool wind rush through me. Cool me off. Brush me clean. And then I heard the rain coming. It’s so lovely. That sound. When it’s been so hot and you hear it heading towards you…you would have ran out too.

I didn’t put on my slippers. I couldn’t find them in the dark of my room and I thought I would just step out onto the verandah. Just feel the wind and rain. Just for a moment…

…and when the rain came, it was warm. Soft. Just some drops. Big and warm. They made a sound as they hit and splashed up. I wanted to be in the field. On the grass. The ground itself was like a heating pad, the grass was warm, the dirt soaked up the first drops like an open mouth. And so did I.

It felt so good.

I only was few drops, a gust and then the moon went out like a snuffed candle and the rain crashed down. A wonderful hard summer rain. I think I screamed and laughed. It felt so good.

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Then I heard a sound like drumming hooves. It was the rain hitting the ground. Of course it was. The scream was an echo of my own shriek, that echo of desperate joy, that seeking scream that made me want to run. No where. Just run. Find it. That thing. FIND IT!! There was something there. I needed to find it.

But the first step I took reminded me that I don’t run these days. I stepped on a stone. A pebble…something. It brought it all crashing back onto my shoulders. I was sick. I have neuropathy in my feet. It was exquisite pain.

And the hoofbeats seemed real now. I couldn’t run with them or away from them. I didn’t even know if I was scared. I just stood there with my eyes closed. I waited.

I wanted to turn around and see the Wild Hunt stream down the field from the forest behind the house. I wanted to see the silver horse and the Queen, with her feral sharp teeth, her inhuman eyes, glittering and see her mouth, opened in a howl of ecstasy and rage. To be the object of the Hunt.

To feel the glamour.

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But what if I turned and it wasn’t there? I preferred not to turn around. I stopped on the steps. I want to believe that the drumming was the hoofbeats of the Queen’s Court, that the sound I heard in the wind whipped trees, ‘sheeeeeee’ was actually ‘Sidhe’. That’s what I wanted to believe.

Because I have a portacath. It’s all too real. It’s a long, flexible, slender type of needle, for lack of a better word, that goes into the vein near my heart. There is a slit opening in the skin of my chest near the top of my right breast and the port loops up over my collarbone and disappears behind it, slipping down into the big vein.

I have an infection in the portacath. Which leads to my heart. They can’t wash it out or open it and clean it or touch it even. They don’t want anything to go into that vein so close to my heart. They just want the antibiotics to work. Antibiotics when I have a suppressed immune system. Hah…They won’t risk the infection taking hold, they can’t stop the chemo right now…so now I have to be so careful. So so careful.

All these drugs, they make me feel sick. They make me restless and nauseous. Exhausted and thirsty, dry as a desert stone. Empty feeling. Unfocussed. Unmotivated and uninspired.

Ugly.

But I heard the Wild Hunt and I turned away. It was beautiful.

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