The night of the Academy Awards. Every year I swear it’s the last time but DAMNED if I don’t get all dressed up anyway. This year it was 70’s chic…not enough of the clothes are laughable anymore. Unless you consider how much they are reputed to be worth. $150,000 gowns!? I guess that is laughable, come to think of it. So that reminds me of rule # 3 ( or whichever one I’m at ) Laugh when you can! Sometimes you really have to look for it.
I love living with my sister, depending on the day. Sometimes I am a nuisance or a huge inconvenience or a burden. It makes me feel bad. But she is frank with me. No burying my head in the sand. Liza likes to retail morbid statistics about cancer survival rates and then say “That’s what killed Gilda Radner. Don’t worry though, that isn’t you. I’m sure you will be fine. They didn’t catch hers until it was really late.” (Like mine, by the way). Or “This bridge we are driving over? Do you know how many people commit suicide off this bridge? They had to put up barbed wire. Probably cuz it’s so close to the hospital.” And some how she makes me laugh. Even with 60 staples from stem to stern, hurting like hell, I laugh until it hurts sometimes. Cuz we are sisters I guess. I’d punch anyone else who told me that shit.
Or my personal favorite “It’s all how you think. You have to be positive. Don’t stress!” That’s right. Don’t stress and you know what she did today? She freaked me out by leaving the car mysteriously, when I stopped at Helpline House. Leaving no note, not even stepping inside 20 ft away to tell me what she was doing. On the way to the ferry she vanished, leaving me driving back and forth from Mom’s house to Helpline House trying to find her.
I had to go to a very important doctors meeting. If I missed it I would miss my chemo start date. I would not get the blood tests and I would have blown off a meeting with the oncologist, my surgeon and my gynecologist. Not to mention the head nurse, Heidi. So when I figured I’d better just go and to hell with waiting for Liza, guess who is standing in the ferry building, out front. Telling me, “You missed it. You missed the ferry, they already did last call. Where were you!?” I screamed and threw my purse on the ground. “You fucking bitch! You said it was an 11:35 ferry. It’s 11:30!” “We’ll, you missed it.” Like it was my fault I was driving around looking for her. I cut it too close. I fucked it up.
Well, I ran. I not only caught the ferry but so did two other people who took off running after me. Epilogue: She told Mom that I wanted to be alone. For the one consultation that scared the SHIT out of me. When I would have taken anyone, including a homeless man or a drunk. The first time was to look at stitches and take more blood. No info available but Mom and Liza came. thistimeMom was really sick and coughing and Liza missed the ferry.
This was the appt. when I got to finally find out wtf! They could finally answer The questions: What is it doing in there? (Growing) Am I going to be okay? (We think so…but it’s in your back and your lymph nodes are enlarged with cancer.) I worry about the drugs. ( just tell us the side effects you experience, it ‘s important.) what about food (heard you’re juicing and thats wonderful) But I held my own FUCKING hand. I showed myself how strong I am. I got my questions asked for the most part. I don’t remember some things, cuz I was saying “You’re cool, doing good, doing good, Laura. Don’t cry. That’s it, look her in the eye. Smile.” And they’d be saying something about steroids. Whatever.
That was a hard day to do alone. Shit. You want to smile in the face of bad news but there isn’t an easy way to do that, is there? I can’t do ‘stoic’ very well. Did some deep breathing through the nose, out the mouth. Take two or three of those deep breathes and DON’T look at the doctors. They know it’s hard news, they have sympathy. I need a blank face, shoulders back and steady hands. Instead I pulled off ” yes, I see….hmmmm. So that’s bad then?” And my voice is all over the place and I’m holding my hands really tight and I won’t cry god damnit. I have questions that need to be answered and a hankie, somewhere in my purse. All my questions are all written down. In my purse.
But I am just maintaining the status quo. No getting up to retrieve the notebook. No hankie for you, Laura. Dr. Grey hugged me tight. Gave my tissues. That made me feel better. I don’t even know her well but thanks Dr. Grey. I needed that little bit of human contact..
Yeah, so I found out. It’s still there. It’s growing. It’s painful. I am going to have to have chemo over at University of Washington which means a fucking ferry ride and bus ride all over creation every week. And on a Friday morning at 9:30 am. Every Friday for months until they fix me or I die. Crappy, long bus ride home. Bad cappuccino. Bad news. That’s how I feel right now watching my frozen tamales that I heated up congealing in the little paper box they got nuked in. Fuck this. Bad day. Doesn’t sound so bad dying right now. I’m tired of crying.