I’m out of my mind
Think you can wait?
I’m way off the line
Think you can wait?
We’ve been running a sleepless run
Been away from the baby way too long
We’ve been holding a good night gun
We’ve been losing our exits one by one.
I’ll tryThe National, “Think You Can Wait’
But I couldn’t be better
All I have is loss
Damn it. And damn me- for always being so God-damned human all of the time.
A million times, I have told myself that I have accepted what is happening to me, and a million times I believe it is true. But then there are days, like today- scan result days, that lay out for me clearly that this trial is not working and everything has progressed. Days when they take down the harsh, fake plastic curtain of the process of medical care. And behind it is that stark image of the freight train at the end of this tunnel that is barreling toward me.
My days, these days are lost in the mix and the joy of home life and children and vacations that I throw on the calendar that I know full well that I likely won’t make it to, but which still give me a goal that makes me walk around with my brain not already half in the grave.
My days, these days are lost in the medications that I take like white paint over black, creating fuzziness and which dull the increasingly sharp pain penetrating outward from deep inside.
But then there are days like today, where I forget to pack my long-acting morphine pill and the physical pain grinds through and I realize that my abdomen and back feel like the aftermath of a cheese grater taken to them and all that remains are the tender, raw, abused fleshy parts
Ah, infuriating days like today where I discover that there still is a crevice in my brain that entertains fantasies about a secret key that will unlock the shackles and let me out of this dark, isolating echo chamber, staring at that train. This place where I must be so terribly, terribly alone.
Where I sit and I let the hours pass between one city and another and wonder: Which anguish would I prefer to be free of right now? The emotional? Or the physical?
I decide that physical wins. I cannot move forward with my days being a choice between a sharp pain that makes me irritable or a dulled pain that is livable, but which makes ME dull as well. Neither a day spent restless, nor a day spent trying to stay awake is really a will sufficiently qualify as a “life” that I want to live right now.
Arriving home, I move to apply salve on the physical; belatedly taking the lost dose of morphine and then pour a bath for myself. It soothes and settles me to a still enough water; space to allow the emotional to bubble up from beneath to break on its surface. I make a half-hearted attempt at distraction only to instead find myself shaky-crying over “on this day” reminders on Facebook. Reminders of a life that I led years ago which is now gone forever.
These leaky things come out of my facial orifices and I realize how long it’s been since I just let them loose. I built my dry earth village of acceptance; but I forgot that I must add water to that dirt to make it real. I must acknowlege my emotions first, before I let them go to mold the dirt into clay. To create something more permanent that cannot soo easily blow away. So I get out my phone and write. And I let the rain fall a little bit longer.
At home, it has just rained too. Petrichor. The smell of release, change and of new beginnings.
I get no rebirth. But I do get another day of home life, and children, and unrealistically hopeful vacations to throw on the calendar.
And some next steps to decide on tomorrow.