Aug 152007

So, it’s been a very carcinogenic time lately.

How to explain.

My dad was re-admitted to the hospital for lung cancer/COPD/pneumonia.
That situation remains up in the air.

A friend, who was diagnosed with OVCA last summer, has been given a bed at the local cancer agency while she argues with them about whether or not she is palliative. It is her ferocious intent that she will go home and visit with her cats and work on her garden.
It strikes me that there are people who have, understandably I guess, taken that diagnosis and decided she is checking out, in spite of her kicking and refusal to just go along. I think that’s what people who aren’t sick need to do for themselves; start shifting their connections and, in some ways, pulling up their drawbridges.
I understand, and still, as someone who had plenty of people interact with me in a way that implied I had one foot in the grave, I will always back the long shot, cuz my friends, I am the long shot my own self.

So, that’s happening.
It’s weird on so many levels.
It’s a bit like staring at a fork in the road and seeing how someone else got the much rockier ride.
And do I feel any guilt about that?
More than you will ever know.

And then, last week, as all these things were shaking down, I made the ridiculous mistake of going through my “Copies to Self” file in my e-mail. I confess, I hadn’t gone through that file in several years. And in it, I found so many e-mails I had sent to women who have since died of ovarian cancer.
I’m counting four just off the top of my pointed little head.
Which leads me to wonder why I got to dodge that bullet and these other marvelous women took the hit.

And that’s not to say that OVCA didn’t completely destroy my former life.
It destroyed the most important relationship I have ever been in.
It messed with my work and my career aspirations.
It did strange things to my relationships with my friends.
And still, amid the fucking rubble that is my current life, I am the lucky one. Or one of them.

I’ve been really angry for the last few years about that which I have lost because of cancer. And unless you are a cancer survivor of some stripe, save yourself the keystrokes before you tell me something all sage-like, cuz you don’t understand cuz you can’t understand until you’ve done it.
Don’t mean to offend, just stating some facts.

Anyway… I have been angry. Cuz I was terrified.

And here is an enormous confession.

I remain terrified. Hence the crankiness.
Cuz whether you get it or not and whether you have already exhaled or not, for me… they still send me to a place at the cancer agency called the High Risk Clinic.
The folks at the cancer agency are only willing to say, “you are in the group of people which we view most optimistically”, and that’s when I live in a statistic of having a 20 – 30% chance of being around in 2011.
So, hey… I am one of the lucky ones.
And inside of all that, how weird is it to say that. But in spite of all the losses, I still get to wake up too early and go to work and curse that, and have my heart go in all its crazy directions, and if there are folks crying for me, it’s for things much less severe than because I left this mortal plain too soon.

So, I guess this makes me stronger.

It sure as hell has made me crazier.
And it has made me angrier. But I feel that I am turning a corner.
If I am gonna be here, then it’s time to get going and indulging, and letting go of that which torments me, to whatever extent that is possible.
But I feel so much less interested in being tormented by imbeciles and their presence in my peripheral vision.

Wish me luck.

And wish whatever you wish/hope for for the women still duking it out with this damned disease.

Rodger Dodger
over and out

 Posted by at 9:32 pm
Aug 012007


I just spent 4 glorious days in this groovy cabin. I actually spent 2 months in this very cabin last winter. Back then, it didn’t look quite as splendid. That was because there was snow all over the ground as well as fallen trees and crap. Much chain saw action was necessary back then.This weekend was completely glorious. I drove off the ferry and I felt my shoulders start to drop.

The cabin is kind of bare bones. And there is a different cabin that I sleep in when I am there.
But here is the pretty cool part of the story.

I ordered my copy of the last Harry Potter book from that evil bookslinger that sells things basically at cost. Being a cheap bastard, I opted for the free shipping feature.
Now, I work 12 hour shifts and, from what the folks at Amazon were telling me, the book was due to arrive on one of my work days. So I arranged with my landlordy that she would take delivery for me and I would give her a container of yummy corn chowder. She did her part by being home and available. But the Mensa dudes at Canada Post apparently couldn’t read the sign I left on the door of the building, saying to buzz the landlordy. So, in spite of the sign, they buzzed my place, I wasn’t home, and they sent my book to a local post office, where it is still waiting to be picked up.

That was a speed bump interfering with my plan for a perfect weekend, but that was okay because I had a big armful of books with me for my little vacation.

So, I was on Galiano, having an amazing dinner of halibut grilled on the barbeque and we started chatting pop culture. I mentioned being vexed by Amazon. My friends mentioned that they had a copy and, since they had already read it, it was available for reading.
Well, really, it was all I could do to stay and finish dinner.

And that’s how I spent my time away. Laying in a chair, in the sun, on the deck of a wonderful cabin, reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Gallows. It was marvelous.

The other wonderful thing about being at the cabin is… there are bees. Lots and lots of bees. They swarm around the fuscia plants at the cabin. You can stand right in the middle of them, and they just keep buzzing around, doing their bee thing, completely uninterested in hurting you, and rubbing their little bee feet together and making with the honey.
I liked that a whole lot.
And the eagles.
And the dragonflies.
And some brilliant yellow little birds that maybe were some sort of finch, I dunno. I just really liked them.
And the strange thing that kept making splashing sounds in the pond, but I never did figure out what it was.


And then one morning, I woke up and saw that a rat had chewed through the screen on my cabin window and had helped himself to a goodly chunk of my peach.
Well, what the hell.
I thought it was funny.
The owner of the property felt considerably less jolly about the whole affair. What with the rat-liness of the whole thing. Me, I thought it was an ambitious mouse but the owner of the property says rat, rat, rat.

And now I am back in the city. Did my week’s worth of work and now I am on holidays till August 13th.
It’s Gay Pride in my town, so that will take a big chunk of the first half of that time.
And then, after that, I may just toss some food in my cooler and head off camping by myself.

And then… if everything works out, which really remains to be seen, a week long kayaking trip later in the month.
Come September I know I will have to buckle down with work and school and having no life and so I plan on running a bit wild this summer and leaving the cats in foster care a bit too often.
I’m sure they’ll deal.

Happy Pride, folks.

 Posted by at 9:30 pm