a blessing and a curse

it is both a blessing

and a curse

to feel everything

so very deeply.

-david jones

i’ve been quiet on the blog, ignoring my writing for the recent months. mostly because what i have going on feels small. it feels minuscule when the world seems to be crashing down around me, when people (my dear BAYS sisters) have metastatic cancer and are losing their health insurance and the life-saving treatments that come with it, when women (especially lower-income or Black women) are stripped of access to basic check-ups (check-ups that would catch diseases like cancer), when fear of each other and our perceived differences threaten to undermine human decency. 

the fears that used to keep me up at night–my own illness, will my cancer come back, what it would be like to die and not get to do all i can in this world–are tucked away in a dusty, dark corner of my mind. there are much bigger things that keep me awake now, that make it feel like an anvil is riding high on my chest, and i cannot hold back a sob to save my life. i resent myself and my capacity to feel this…so very deeply. 

and in other dusty, dark corners, i cleaned out my closet last weekend and found all of my chemo hats and surgical drain holders. i remember shoving them there with force, thinking to myself, “if i get rid of them, i’ll jinx myself and end up needing chemo again.” but today, into the donation box they went. i’m done with them, or at least i hope i am, and i hope that no other person has a reason to need them.

fear and hope. they roll around together in the palm of my hand, like a pair of Chinese boading balls, bumping into each, singing out on contact, ricocheting in different directions.

my seventh surgery is tomorrow. it’s a planned one, following the standard sequence of reconstruction. lucky #7 on friday the 13th. following my mastectomy this past july, the surgical team will swap out the temporary tissue expander, remove the rogue stitch, cut out scar tissue that has caused throbbing cording (little threads of clogged lymphatic tubes that stiffen up), and do some extensive fat grafting to smooth it all out. mike and i will likely spend a romantic evening overnight at UCSF. then, i’ll be off work for a month or so and figure it out from there. it seems to take me at least a month to work out the anesthesia (aka i feel dumb and have no short-term memory), beyond getting cleared to lift anything. 

i’ve seen this movie a few times before. going into surgery in february 2013, i was terrified and in hysterics. right now, i mostly feel meh. my baseline has shifted that dramatically.

or, it might be that in the grand scheme of things, this is just that small.



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