Most of you out there are probably wishing cancer would go fuck itself because of recent celebrity news.
I have a slightly more personal reason for my antagonism and the intensity of my desire for auto-fornicaton.
Allow me to drop my superhero realism for just a moment, for just one post, and tell you why you haven't seen any updates this week (and been a bit flakey for the last three and kind of slow on the uptake since November). Why I'd been helping my partner more and more with child care, housekeeping, and shopping. And why even though I hope to kick things back up by Monday, we may still have quite a bit of jazz hands going on.
You know this woman as Sonic Gal. You know her as The Brain. But as those of you who've gone rooting around with your decoder rings have undoubtedly put together, she is also Supportive Girlfriend and she has a two year old son who moonlights here at Writing About Writing as The Contrarian. She is also the family member of whom I spoke in past entries when I mentioned that health problems meant that I might have to blog a little less and take care of my family a little more.
On Friday, we found out what was causing the strange constellation of symptoms that we've been dealing with lately. The shortness of breath, the chest pains, the fatigue. The anemia that blood transfusions didn't seem to help.
On a follow up to a routine exam a week ago today, the raised bump caused alarm. She has been in the hospital ever since undergoing one test after another.
Lymphoma. Stage 2. (I won't bore you with the exact sub type.)
In the cancer world, it's not the best news you can get (I sure would have preferred prostate, stage one–plus think of all the awesome jokes I could have made!), but it's far far far from the worst. Lymphoma responds well to chemotherapy. Surgery and radiation usually aren't even needed. And it's miles from her pancreas. Still, I'm trying really hard not to translate that 70% prognosis into a memory of every time I needed to roll a 15 or better to hit an orc in Dungeons and Dragons and ended collecting type B treasure within minutes.
So that's what's going on. That's why there haven't been any posts this week–not even some self flagellating article about how hard it is to write write when life hits but you have to keep doing it anyway. That's why you might have heard a scream from the relative direction of Oakland that sounded a bit like "Fuck cancer!" That's why the weeks of chemo might have to continue our current tradition of a high ratio of jazz hands. That's why a lot of the personal updates for the next few weeks might involve a lot of shitty stories about emotional inventories and cope tanks or some crap like that.
And most of all that's why I'm going to keep telling you motherfuckers not to waste a damned day waiting for your lives to be perfect enough to go write. Or horseback ride. Or sculpt wavy kelp kartoshes. Or design rainbow Chia pet menageries. Or follow your damned bliss however it calls to you.
If it is writing, get out there today, find a second hand card table, set it up in the laundry room next to the nasty ass cat box, wake up 30 minutes early every morning when no creature of sound mind stirs, sit down with your pencil and paper because you aren't going to wait for when you can afford to buy a computer, and and fucking write. Because you might be a thirty-four year old mother of a two year old when life decides to give you it's biggest lesson yet on how the universe and existence are many, many things (some of which are even sublime and breathtaking), but fair is not on the list. And that moment where it is all going to go pear shaped is coming faster than you think.
But let's not quite end this post RIGHT there.
I didn't pick superheroes as my running metaphor for the people closest to me because they're lazy and have crippling ennui. There's a softball sized clump of cells pressing up against her heart and lungs that is about have its free ride rudely interrupted by being treated like the villain in a Marvel movie by of one fucking hell of a fighter. (Believe me; I fight with her regularly.)
Today they put a hole in her (called a port) so that she could pour toxic chemicals straight into her body that will murder the part of her that is holding her back.
And if that's not badass superhero shit, I don't know what is.
Wish us luck. We didn't plan to shift the focus to how to write while being a support to a loved one, but it seems the universe has other plans, and the next chapter of Writing About Writing has already begun.