Thursday, May 25, 2017

YEARNING TO BE ILL?


If anyone had told me a year ago that there would be times when I wished I were still sick, I would have stared at them in dismay, fallen to my knees, laughed hysterically, then sobbed.

Are you f...ing KIDDING me?  Why would anyone still want to be hauling down to Baystate for weekly infusions, going to NETA for more weed (see earlier post about my wild confusion between ounces and grams, sigh), crashing on the couch, and drinking gallons of water per day to flush out my kidneys.

When I had my last infusion, I thought--I'll be doing the tango in the parking lot. I'll throw confetti out the car windows. I'll go to La Strada and buy a pair of 4" black stiletto heels to celebrate. Who cares if I can't walk in them?

I had a friend on FB who commented that when her treatments for breast cancer ended, she kind of missed them, "Because I felt we were fighting my disease, we were doing something!"  I didn't get it then, but I do now.

The toddler part of me still wants my beloved husband to bring me tea (milk and sugar, please) at the drop of a hat; to make me a thin, lean hamburger which I could digest; to pour me a small glass of white wine (who cares if the protocol says no alcohol when getting infusions!); and to spread a fuzzy throw over my legs on cold nights.

I don't need that any more, but I sometimes want it--that feeling of being held in someone else's care, in loving, tender hands, surrounded by wishes for my comfort and good health.

I think that once you have had cancer, you ever quite lose the desire to be cared for and nurtured. Because who the hell knows what the future holds?  I remember when my step-mom was in a near-fatal accident years ago and was in ICU in Baystate. As we entered her room she was wailing, "I want my Mommy, I want my Mommy!" (Note to self: never bring a ten year-old daughter to visit distraught grandma in hospital. Ever.)

I get it. I want my mommy at times, also my dad. When I was at the beginning of the cancer journey and talking with my adult son, Ben, on the phone, I burst into tears and wailed, "I want my Dad. I wish he were still here!"

If we had great parents--and I did--then I'm not sure we ever stop missing them completely. If we are lucky, we have partners and friends who can wrap us in this kind of comfort. And if we are REALLY lucky, we believe in an all-merciful, grace-filled, loving, abundant God who holds us in her/his hands, always and forever.