~'So Broken', Bjork, because it's cautious about how clever it is. And it has the tempo of certainty, necessary for persistence of the human-kind.
~Noise, properly conveys how something can mean so much to one person while everyone around that person responds with "so what?" and the resulting frustration. It's a comedy.
hi gang. pull up a strong one because i'm going to go on a teeny-tiny rant. and yes, sigh, eye-roll, it's about cancer. for those of you with the above "so what?" attitude, please, i implore you, stop reading.
but i think, after three years of being mostly out of the muck, i'm finally pissed off about it. i never got mad while i was going through surgeries or chemo; it was just something that happened. and it is, that, too. but it's starting to dawn on me that i've got this fire-eyed, clawed-creature in me that is ferocious over: pharmaceutical companies being in bed with insurance companies being in bed with the government being in bed with the doctors...and i'm most angry about: breasts.
when my first diagnosis was that i had 8 months or so to live (god that reads so dramatic), i self-denied like any good girl does, didn't tell anyone, and promised my HR department that i'd work up until the day i started losing my hair. after i had to tell my boss about the diagnosis she asked, "What is your plan of action moving forward? I'll need to know for my schedule." heh heh. what?
i told HR that i'd eventually like it if they could arrange for me to work from home because i was pretty sure, despite how i'd seen my mother dissolve, that i could do it. O readers. Sweet readers. sure, a lot of people can still work, provided adjustments. but many cannot. take a short stroll with me through Chemo Gardens!
before you begin chemotherapy (bear in mind that it's tailor-made for each type of cancer, stage, person and age), you're given The Literature. it's full of bald, smiling women with beautiful teeth and adoring husbands. i get that. for shit's sake you sure don't want the marketing company who really tells it like it is. if they passed out pamphlets showing people hugging the toilet for the sixth hour that day, or gripping their insides until their skin turns grey, or hallucinating that someone has stolen their car when they don't even own a car, i guess that marketing company wouldn't exist very long and would give over their mini-mall storefront to a bagel café or somesuch.
for nearly two years, every other week, we made a two-hour drive to my 5-hour chemo appointments. when i had surgeries scheduled, we'd stay at some hotel by the hospital. guess what they put next to the breast care center? Hooters. so, while the wives, daughters, sisters, mothers are getting their mastectomies, at least the fellas can go get a greasy burger and ogle. pisses me off.
besides losing weight to the point of being unrecognizable, you're bald as a ping-pong ball, you lose your eyelashes, eyebrows, will to live, everything you eat, if you're lucky, only a couple of toenails/fingernails will fall off. BUT, if you're lucky like i was, you still have enough leg hair to shave every other day. where the hell is the justice in that?
and, of course, no one knows what to say if you don't cut them off at the pass and make a joke of everything, and you have to make a joke of everything because people don't like sad or cranky sick people. you're supposed to have a great attitude so people can say "s/he's amazing. What a great spirit." (do the bullshit-cha-cha with me, kids.) so they're sublimely uncomfortable around you. i heard "hey you're lucky; you're saving a fortune on shampoo." how, again, is that lucky? in other words "hey you're lucky you've got this terminal illness and have lost your hair, etc". yea! hey, that's neat! i never thought of that!
my unsolicited advice: If you don't know what to say, shut up and just smile. it really does means a lot.
when i finally had the nerve and strength to leave the house after nearly two years, i had some hair. my first trip -and i was so scared because i was paranoid of getting sick or doing something wrong that made me sick again- was to see my beautiful sis LL in Petaluma. i'd not seen her since she moved up there and i made the drive. going over my gorgeous Golden Gate felt like a real milestone. we went to Bodega Bay and stopped to eat (because i could). there was a couple behind us, dining. my sister had gone to the bathroom. the young man said to his date, "I don't know why any woman would cut her hair that short. It reminds me of my gym teacher in high school...and he was a guy."
back in San Diego i went to a music festival with my other fabu sister. we were at an outdoor Italian place waiting for a pitcher of sweet, lusty beer when this drunken guy came over with a camera and said, "You know, I'm a photographer. I would have liked to take your picture, but I don't know why you've done that to your hair. You could have a nice face, but…."
what makes it even more difficult is our breast-obsessed society. they're everywhere, and it hurts. i'm trying to think of how the fellas would feel if the proverbial tables were turned. what if you saw penises everywhere you looked? billboards, calendars, jokes, men's and women's magazine covers, napkins, coasters, newspapers, television, restaurants, t-shirts, video games, postcards screen savers. it's bad enough that the images are *i'm so sorry for this* shoved down your throat, but then, what if you suffered this awful disease and survived…without your penis?
everywhere you look a reminder of what you went through and what you are without. people say "you're not your body". i am. i can't have one without the other. i want people to step back and consider, be mindful. i want to scream that cancer is fucking ugly and hard and savage. and that the "treatments" are worse than that and last forever. you are never cancer-free. it's a whole multi-dimensional miscalculated mess. i think it's happening to me now: There was no point in being angry when i was sick, but. now. i am mad.
this is cheaper than therapy. i'm going to go watch mitch hedburg and fix a drink. guh. cheers i guess.