1.10.2008

From Beneath You, It Devours

Back in Seattle, my roommates and I would often play the non-drinking game of Would You Rather, as in "Would you rather have pronounced body hair or really bad BO?" It was almost as much an exercise in thinking up more and more absurd but similarly undesirable situations as it was trying to decide which scenario was worse.

Last night, as I was falling asleep, I found myself playing an accidental game of Would You Rather: what would I rather have instead of cancer--lifetime paralysis below the waist? Being in a coma for a year? Serving a two year prison term?

Would I trade my mobility, a year of seeing my daughter grow up, two years of my freedom for the guarantee of a long life? I didn't have the answers then and I still don't.

Today, Dr. Chemo remarked that I seemed a lot calmer since the last time he saw me. That is somewhat true--I have managed to digest and come to terms with my situation a bit more--but when I make the mistake of stopping and really thinking about what a cancer diagnosis can mean, I still get the cold, sucking feeling of the ground opening up beneath me, threatening to swallow me whole.

5 comments:

Pat McD said...

The cancer is not trying to get the ground to open its mouth and swallow you whole. The ground just wants some mad dog, but fuck that - mad dog is not to be poured on the ground. So from now on, whenever you get that feeling, you need to think "I'm pounding the mad dog because I'm a bad mo fo...you can have my empties, beyotch!"

hh said...

ahhh... buffy. that "from beneath you, it devours" was in reference to pure evil in the final episodes - wasn't it? i'm a little rusty. but if i'm on the money - i'd agree. cancer = evil. just remember - buffy lived longer than any other slayer and was able to save the world because she was different than the past slayers - she wasn't alone. her friends were by her side in her fight. and you're not alone either.

xoxo & a big hug

Sugarmouth O'Riordan said...

Pat--Think we could substitute my chemo for Mad Dog? Lightning Creek must have similar cell-killing properties...

HH--Nice reframe. Seriously, pretty FKN. Maybe I should rename myself Brigita the Tumor Slayer and you guys are all the Scoobies. ;)

Megan said...

The really weird thing is that I re-watched the entire seven seasons of Buffy during chemo. Maybe she's the chemo muse? She did kick-the-bucket two or three times and come back fighting, after all. I think the moral here is that pretty little girls don't go down without a fight. And don't believe it when they tell you you're dead. What do they know, anyway?

Sugarmouth O'Riordan said...

I like that image, Megan--chemo muse. I'll have to remember to channel my inner slayer the next time I'm feeling down-in-the-dumpsy.