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being nessasary

a quirky look into being

Category Archives: cancer

My last post may have illuminated that I have been struggling a bit lately as far as anti-epileptic medications go.  Sleeping for 18 hours a day is not really my thing – there are way too many fun things to do out there in the world.  Including the anatomy homework I am about to attempt.

I forced myself out of bed this morning to do the most mundane and necessary of tasks:   laundry. I get a lot of peace from doing laundry – which I think is why I MUST have a washer and dryer in every apartment/condo I live in from now on.  Maybe even two sets:  one for when I go outside to play with my future mud-covered poochies/garden/hike/jump in a gross pond, and another for my amazing collection of underthings.

The thing is, I like simplicity.  It has been incredibly tough to apply the theory to my life the past 4 years with all the pitchy jazz that comes with cancer, the deaths of friends/those afflicted with cancer, medications, and relationships.  It takes a lot of deep breaths, a very strong support group, and a whole lot of the icey cream.

The more I attend my massage classes, the more I learn how many ways one can learn about their body, spirit, and the planet we live on.  The simplicity of having air in my lungs and a pair of hands to lay upon someone else’s body, gives me some of the simplicity I need – most of us are born with these two things.  No diamonds or decadent designs needed.

I suggest we all focus on simplicity, especially in the wake of the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan.  Many lost family, friends, homes, pets, and possessions.  I would much rather cope with the 10+ pills I swallow each day than lose my beloved family, friends, Betty and Maggie, and the roof over my head.

One of my favorite songs featured in the Waycross Camp songbook/sung at my grandmother’s funeral is called “Tis a Gift to be Simple.”  I will leave you with the lyrics:

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,

‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained

To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,

To turn, turn, will be our delight

Till turning, turning we come round right.

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I am once again going to challenge myself to post more on my beloved blog.  I am going to try to use the NaBloPoMo theme as much as I can.  The theme is “Sprout,” which is a word I happen to fancy for its many symbolic interpretations (and the word happens to be really cute).

I am delighted to announce that nothing has sprouted in my brain since the last time I wrote.  I had a squeaky clean MRI this past Monday.  I find myself less afraid of cancer, but more concerned with my residual epilepsy.  I have experienced two seizures since January.  To clarify, what you may or may not know, seizures come in several different categories.  The ones I now have are called, partial complex, which means crazy electric sparks are going on in the right side of my brain, but not enough to peer pressure the left side into the doing the electric slide. In turn, I get an aura (not the cool mystical energy color kind of aura, but more of a warning sign) which tells me in bizarre ways that something is not right – typically an desperate inability to find a thought/form a word and a rush of heat up and down the left side of my body.  At that point I find the closest place I can comfortably lay for 30 to 40 minutes while the electrical disturbance does its thing. 

The seize involved a good amount of paralysis in my left hemisphere – I can actually recognize my body’s invisible line between left and right.  I have an uncomfortable amount of  the pins and needles sensation (kind of like the stinging you get at the epicenter of an Indian Burn).  My left hand will open and close on its own, and my leg will do a bit of twitching.  It is a bit difficult to breathe and keep my heart from wanting to escape to a less toxic place.  Oh, and I do a great deal of drooling (I happened to have one of these seizures on “clean sheet day.”  I was more annoyed by that than the fact I was having a seizure).

I can talk about it in a feather-light manner, but in reality it is scary.  I hardly have control.   The first one I experienced this year I happened to be alone.  I was reading in bed when it hit.  Nothing crazy was going on around me (except that the book is about human cadavers).  The seizure lasted about 40 minutes.  I spent the time thinking of happy places, saying The Lord’s Prayer over and over again (I find a lot of comfort in it, mostly because of my experiences at Waycross Camp), and convincing myself that my friends and family that have moved on from this life were in the room with me.  I handled it the best I could considering I hadn’t had one in over a year.

I called my parents crying afterward (which tends to happen once things settle down and my emotions are able to take over), and managed to hobble my way to my kitchen. My left side’s paralysis and weakness does not just vanish – it hangs out for a couple of days.  I downed some delicious migraine medicine and slept for 16 hours or so.

I have now been to the neurologist and been put on even more meds.  To be brief, it means I may be completely ignored by zombies if they do decide to take over the world in 2012.

So is the life of this particular bran cancer survivor.  Maybe it is because I am little, maybe its because Mr. Tumey left a will stating that I must suffer because he was torn from his home, and his children were killed in an violent chemical and nuclear war.  It’s a mystery.

But it is all part of life.  We all have our battles – maybe it is balancing a life as a single mother of three, being a social worker in the inner city, or surviving the perils of being a middle school bus driver – whatever.  The best thing we can do to deal is to be a bit crazy and appreciative that we are here for our short bit of time to experience the green arms of a daffodil in the gray of March reaching for sunshine like a child does his mother (or Elmo).

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