Saturday, July 31, 2010


Well it happened again. I didn't know it was coming. I didn't think I was building towards anything. My back is even behaving more like a back. Supporting my weight, allowing me to walk without pain (well not a lot of pain), and to do my daily ablutions without being a cauldron of pain after completion. (Of said ablutions.) Goddamnit. I despaired. I thought I was passed that. Why now?

There is nothing worse than despair.

The only other time I despaired was under completely different circumstances. It was the day after my first chemo, and the miracle anti-nausea drug Kytril was doing diddley. There is nothing worse than nausea with no end in sight. Pain is infinitely preferable. (I'm not joking.) And this wasn't any typical nausea.

You know, when you're ill, you feel often feel better after throwing up? This was abominably different. There was zero respite. I was shot up with poisons, and I'd remain nauseated as long as...? Chip wasn't home. (That was the last chemo weekend he didn't stay home.) This never-ending nausea had me on the floor lying there in tears. I was long past hysterical. I could only whimper and weep.

The next day, Sunday, I was still as miserable. But not alone. Company helps. I'm not sure who said it first, but the directive was "We need to get weed in here pronto." We called The Boy who said he'd take care of it. That evening, weed and paraphernalia in hand, I discovered how it lessens the hell of nausea immensely and instantly with one toke. One toke. Weed is a miracle drug. My body could relax, I wasn't panicked anymore, I felt much, much better.

The doc said next time he'll have me take a combo of the Kytril and steroids, all should be as originally promised. ("Fran, there are excellent anti-nausea drugs.") I told him about the weed. He never said ooh great! But he did- just not overtly. (Kytril and steroids worked like a charm. The only problem was I felt like I was crawling out of my skin, and I got intense cravings for burgers from the local coffee shop The Bon Vivant. (Who thought of that for the name of a coffee shop? He or she deserves a separate exhibit at The Coffee Shop Hall of Fame for that alone. The burgers would get them in, no question.)

We both agreed that the CIA idiots had it so completely wrong at Guantanamo Bay. Never-ending nausea would be our torment of choice. But since I (and my doctor) think all forms of torture (including those inflicted on my body) are dead wrong, and I don't think the CIA will be asking me any time soon for new, fun things we can do to Muslims.

Do you really think that if the suspects were all white and European they'd have done all the awful things that they did do? No fucking way. We all know that the atomic bomb was okay to destroy Japanese cities, but there was no way in hell we would have tried them out on the continent. "Others" aren't like us. You know, they don't feel pain the way we do? Psst. And you what Jews put into their matzoh.

I never heard of "water boarding" before this fiasco, did you? I think feeling like you're drowning comes awfully close to nausea in terms of getting your suspect to say anything to get the torture to stop.

But last night, I despaired. I looked backwards which is a very bad thing to do. I raised my voice about the stupid doctors, about Chip for not being tough enough with them...And I raised my voice because I am ashamed that my entire existence is dependent on whether I receive emails or phone calls from the outside world. I really am. dependent and ashamed.

Hey, I don't sit here like a latke waiting for calls and emails to miraculously happen. I'm not that narcissistic, lazy, or stupid to do that. If I get a person on the line, great. If not, I leave a message. How many times does no one call back? Too often. (FYI, I'm talking about people I know...who know me.) I'm not cold-calling anyone. I sent one "cold" email. For that one, I received a reply. I send emails that go unanswered. And goddamnit, this shit crushes me. Grinds me up into little bits. I despair.

I want to turn inward. So those things won't hurt anymore. Whatever goes on in these four walls with Chip and the cats, I can handle it. But I can't handle the other. It's too painful. For the first time in a long, long time I pondered suicide. I mean really seriously thought about it. Not in the abstract. Poor Rich. I sent him a note last night that after I sent it off sounded awfully like a suicide note. I showed it to Chip. (By showing Chip, I'm making it as difficult as I can to follow through on my "promise" to myself.) You can't share suicide with someone who's not going with you. We're not talking Adolph and Eva.

Chip got me to go to bed early. I awoke the second the Lunesta wore off. I was out of bed at 6:30 this morning. Met Chip in the living room. He gave me cereal. I ate. (That's big.) He's always said, "Honey, if nothing else, I can feed you." And he does, he does. I curled up on the couch going in and out of sleep. I know I spoiled Chip's long bike ride he had planned for the morning. (Like he's going to leave me by myself after last night's production.)

Now, I'm just beat. Exhausted. No longer suicidal, but I have to find a better way to live. Or find a way to live with the loneliness, the lack of control (just let it go off into the ether, baby that's right, that's right...)

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