Sunday, November 30, 2014

Out of the Fog and Into Thanksgiving

I stayed in the fog from last Wednesday until Tuesday or so.I went to work, then there was a weekend, then work again.  Melanoma Man has made two more trips to Tampa since my last post and we will make a third trip together this week. All the preparation has been done, the Novalis 1 mm cut MRI, the head CTscan, the molding of the skin tight mask he will wear during stereotactic radiation surgery. He has a new radiation oncologist, which is disappointing because we had bonded with his first radiation oncologist so well. Alas Dr. Rau moved on to another group practice in Orlando. I feel like he was a good luck charm in some way. You get attached to the teeny tiny known aspects of treatment, like the doctor you have seen before, the same barista at the Moffitt Starbucks or the valet parker. The repetition reminds you that you have been here before, done this thing, can do it again, came through to the other side. Sometimes the little changes can immobilize me, suddenly standing there wondering, "what do I do next? what is the next right thing?" I will misplace a small household item and become possessed to find it, as if my existence depends on locating it.

Things are happening, surprising things. Coffee with a newish friend for two hours on a Saturday. It renewed my strength and belief in myself.

 A last minute invitation for Thanksgiving dinner from just about the only person MM would accept it from without feeling pitied. We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving Day at someone else's house. Usually MM cooks for us for Thanksgiving, but with all the trips to Tampa there was little time to shop or prepare. I worked all day Wednesday. MM got home late Wednesday night from Tampa. No worries, we had no preparation to do for Thanksgiving.

Moments after I got MM's brain tumor email my phone dinged, a new text. I checked my phone. It was AM, not one of my regular text correspondents, but a physician I worked with for 7 years, checking in to see how things are going. I am not much for faking, "oh fine, lovely weather" and what have you. Although I can do it, having essentially been raised by professional cocktail party throwers and goers. What I heard next from AM surprised me. Her father is dying. She is on the way to see him one last time. She told me how much respect she has for me and the way I manage my life. AM is extraordinarily bright, accomplished and dare I say a bit fierce at times. I admire her sense of purpose, drive and directness toward her goals. I, on the other hand, have not lived my life with that kind of determination, clarity or planning. I have continually adapted to the people in it, rather than ask them to adapt to me. I have missed opportunities and sold myself short and just gotten by sometimes. In spite of all that I think I may have succeeded in communicating to people that I love them. 

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