Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The very first decision I made when I got sick, was to be open about this journey.  I thought somehow by being open about it, it would make my life normal.  Like it would be no big deal.  Like it couldn't be such a big deal if everyone shared a bit of the journey with me.  Let me just say right now, I am sorry.  It was selfish.  It was self centered, it was Copernicusian.  Yes, I know I just made that word up, but I like it.   You see I love the fact that Nicoli Copernicus realized that we are not the center of the universe, this blue/green planet filled with life of such variety.  No, the sun is the center of our universe, and don't you know he would be amazed to be able to see all the photos from the Hubble and how that would blow his mind?  

But you see Nicoli got it wrong.  Because we are the center of our universe.  Each and everyone of us is the center of our own world.  Even if as parents or teachers or caretakers or spouse or whatever role we feel we play.  No matter how many times at the end of the day we feel like we are only supporting actors in our life, we are the center of the universe of our self.  I named my puppy Bob, Robert Copernicus.  And I have tried to explain to him over and over, well until I had the epiphany that, no, my dog Bob actually understands Copernicus's theory better then I do.  He was talking about the earth, not our own individual universes. And trust me, Bob is the center of his universe, of mine, and of all the other animals and living things in my family.

And here is another big secret.  I am not strong.  Everyone thinks I am so strong.  I am a conduit for strength.  You see I get all of my strength from the people around me.  So, I figured if I was going to be able to participate in this journey that had been given to me.  If I was going to actually be able to come out where ever the journey takes me with anything of me left.  If I was going to not throw myself in bed, pull the covers over my head, wail and rant and scream uncontrollably like I had always planned on handling things, I was going to need people to tell jokes to, to discuss the string theory with, someone to discuss what is on the other side and not try to convince me that what they think is the only right way.  Someone to look at me and see me, and not look at me like I was failing.  And so I told everyone about the cancer, and it made it better.  It made the cancer small, into a tiny little c.  No big deal.  People get cancer and live all the time.  This was going to be sort of fun.  We would all go to this sort of scary place, but just close to the edge, not really all the way there, and we would laugh and be amazed by the doctors and their WMDs, and there would be a few tough times, but all in all, an interesting and amazing journey.  It wasn't going to hurt anyone, and I would have people there who would have shared this journey with me so I would know that I actually did it.  I survived cancer and it was no big deal.  

But it has hurt people.  It is so hard to listen to Vicki over the phone.  To look into Ms Moon's eyes, to see the concern on my co-workers faces.  To hear the pain in my father's voice as I tell him that I don't think I am going to be well enough this year to go to Spain with him.  I was selfish to want to share the pain, but honestly I refused to listen to Judy and accept that my cancer was going to be all that bad.  Not the golden child.  Not the person who had survived so many things in life.  I know bad things have happened in my life.  I have already mentioned some, not all, because honestly, I don't think of the things that have happened to me to be bad.  They don't stick with me, I don't hold a grudge, I can be cautious, but honestly I remember so many amazing, wonderful, beautiful, glorious, joyful, delightful moments.  But the bad?  Nope, I may have the story, but not the hurt.  And I like my life like that.  So, my perception is off.  So I hurt people without realizing it because I don't perceive what I have said or done from their universe. I am too busy spinning around in my own universe.  But when I see it, the hurt I didn't mean to share, I remember those.  

I will remember the choke in Vicki's voice, the blur of Ms Moon's eyes, Judy trying to gently explain what I can't possibly understand yet.  I will remember my Father saying, "Spain is not as important as my baby girl getting better."  I am going to remember so many faces looking at me hurt the first time they see me after they find out.  And I am going to remember the smile, the ease of breathing and talking again when they realize that I am still me.  Still here, that life is still flying around the sun as we each spin our lives on this blue/green planet covered with such a vast variety of life.  And I will take those hurts that I have caused, and I will incorporate it into love and that is exactly what each of those reactions are.  They are love, because they love me.  And I hope that they know how much I love each of them.  And that is why I wanted them to take this journey with me.  because together sharing something hard, some thing that no one chose to do, but a gift that was freely given based on science of cells.  That simple.  And the only way to fail this journey is to travel it badly.  And since the doctor called last night, that is what I did, I took a side road off the high road and ran down deep into the bottom most area.  I just needed to go there.  To be overwhelmed, shocked, do denial, rant and rave and cry and scream and hide under the bed.  But as it turns out I am not so good at all of that.  So I took a little time and checked it out, and I am back.  I am back in control.  Don't get me wrong, I am not in control of this journey or what is happening or what will or will not happen.  No, I am in control of myself and how I travel this journey.  And I have looked at the dark side, and I don't think I can do it.  Ranting,?  Ok, maybe, I am going to be on and off steroids after all.  But no raving, crying, renting my clothes, living in a dark place, feeling sorry for myself, etc.  Nope, I think I will keep trying to figure out the tight rope of joking, reality, loving, sharing, living, doing, surviving, and remember that is the journey.  This is not about being well.  This is about having cancer and the journey to the place where I no longer have cancer.  Where I am "well" again.  And I am not going to screw up this journey by missing too much.


  1. It is a tough thing to realize that life is getting sidetracked by something that I did not expect. I think allowing yourself to rant and all is good. None of this is really in the script but yet it has to be played out. Hang in there.

  2. I would be much more hurt by a friend keeping something like this from me than by a friend sharing it with me.