My girlfriend says, quite frequently, that I don’t like change.
I disagree, and I tell her so.
I just don’t like change that I don’t like.
It’s that simple.
See, if I won the lottery and I was suddenly no longer dogged by money troubles, that would
a) be a change
b) be something I like.
So, as often happens when we disagree, I am right and she is wrong.
And that’s okay by me.
But back to the nasty issue of change…
It’s true, I tend to be a bit stubborn when things are pretty good and then some stupid thing or person happens along and shit-kicks the whole balance of things.
And it happens all the time.
Maybe we, as humans, are all just Weebles and we spend our lifetimes wobbling, and hopefully not falling down. Too often.
The other day, Elaine and I were looking at some pictures and some wee movies.
They were taken before any cancer diagnosis had happened.
I found myself looking at them with an eerie fascination.
“Wow, look at us then, playing with the kittens, going to work and planning holidays and thinking about life like we thought we were regular people, wow.”
That’s what I thought. But I didn’t say anything.
So, when Elaine said, “You know what’s weird about looking at these?”, I didn’t think she would echo what I had been thinking.
See, I am the Eeyore in this house and if anyone is going to see the dark side of something, it will probably be me (except for the times when I am much more of an optimist than Elaine… it’s freaky but it really does happen. But I digress…).
It’s weird to look back on life before the diagnosis.
It’s weird to look ahead and try to figure out what the future holds and where I fit in it all now.
It’s weird to figure out what I can and can’t do and to have to articulate that to everyone.
And on that, there is no one good social rule for people to follow.
If people want me to do more than I can, I will squawk.
If people underestimate what I can do, I will get bored or grumpy or insulted.
Nice set of options, no?
I am in a strange zone right now.
Kind of halfway between everything. Not unlike some small Prairie town.
I don’t think I “look sick” anymore. I can tell because people slam into me in crowds and stuff and I no longer qualify as a helpless little invalid.
There are a set of social behaviours that we reserve for when we are in the presence of the very ill and our grandparents and for the general population for the week leading up to Christmas.
I no longer qualify as the recipient of that behaviour, except in mid-December.
People will butt in front of me in a line-up, will screw me for a parking spot, pass me on the right and cut me off in traffic.
I am back as a card carrying member of the general population.
But the trouble is, I don’t *feel* 100% yet.
I mean, sometimes I do, but sometimes I don’t.
And I find I have to always calculate how I am doing and whether I am up for dinner with Mary and Marvin on Saturday night, and are they going to do up an organic meal or will I be invited over for another meal that I can’t eat?
(Cuz you know, I never planned on becoming so high bloody maintenance, but that’s where it’s at right now, and I can’t actually tell you how spectacularly boring it is for me to always have to always say, “oh… no thanks, I can’t eat that… not organic.”
Damn… I just hate it.
“Oh, no, really, water is fine… thanks.”)
And I think about going back to work.
Work would be good in some ways.
More contact with the world would be good.
Feeling like I was contributing would be good.
Bringing home a pay cheque would be more than swell.
But then I get struck by the fear…
What if I can’t?
I don’t even know what it is I think I might not be able to do.
Maybe I “can’t”.
Can’t what, I don’t know.
I was talking to a counsellor at the cancer agency. She said some people don’t go back to work for a year after their treatments end.
Lots of people find they have to go back to completely different jobs.
I don’t know about that.
I think I need to feel more productive soon.
I liked my job and I liked (most of) my co-workers and I liked what we did.
But still, it’s weird to not be working.
And I know most people drag their asses out of bed each day and hobble off to work and scheme about all the things they would rather be doing.
I bet laying in bed for a year may even be on some people’s lists.
My suggestion: Be more specific about the how’s and the why’s of the laying in bed for a year.
Just a tip.
Anyway, our lives changed a whole bunch.
I remember driving back into town last year, after our vacation and before my surgery.
I remember staring out the window as we drove along the highway.
I remember thinking I was about to have a surgery and who knew what might happen after that.
And I remember thinking I was being a melodramatic wanker as soon as I thought that.
It sucks to be right.
So, it’s all changed and it ain’t done changing yet.
And, really, things are just going to keep changing and I will keep trying to accept those changes.
Some are just a whole lot easier than others.