Friday, 2 October 2009

apres moi le deluge

It's so easy to forget you had a life-threatening illness once you're better. Yes, I talk about cancer, but I am often detached from the subject. It has become foreign to me again.

I haven't slept a wink for days.

I'd been working on a school project like I always used to do, all night long, when suddenly cancer slapped me upside the face and I realized it's been 5 months since the end of chemo. Five months and I'm relatively normal again. Friends, school, design, work. All of this could come crashing down again any day now. Maybe I am just anxious for my scans this month?

I haven't slept a wink for days.

I've been trying to write about treatment in hopes of some sort of catharsis. It's a memory and a place to which I never want to return. Below is a bit of it. That's what cancer is like. Seriously. Exactly that.

Remember lying amidst the savage darkness, the hollow sound of idleness, waiting to either die or live, but only waiting. Wishing fate had a backbone. The feeling of your body plotting against you, wanting to reach in and exhume your disease, to tear apart tendons and scrape the bone clean. Oh, to be clean. Fevers like little deaths, dying only to be painfully reborn again by sunrise, watching that glowing orange eye rise and wink, upon which you realize the world must be mocking you. You'd rather end than watch the cruel parody of daybreak again. the sky is insufferable.

Unable to walk, unable to get out of bed. Jealous of the dust bunnies and all other moving unknowing things. The minutes build and you bear them on your shoulder like phantom bricks, the heavy load of an empty moment, and then the hours come, inevitable, breaking your back.

remember the retching. A wretched way to live, waves of sickness like the tides coming in, swelling up and foaming at the shore. A tidal heaves up, up, and out, crashing down, we've had an exorcism all over the kitchen floor, hallelujah, praise jesus. I exorcise all day long. they say it's good for the soul. After the floods an eerily satisfying calm settles in, as if the body has made peace with it's own volatility.

remember the killing machine, the feeling of poison pumped through your veins, the sting of the needle as it went through your chest. You could taste the chemo under your tongue. It would not go away. It became part of you and you became it, inhuman. You would sweat inhumanity. Murder poured out of your pores. The paradox of your body wanting to live, violently so, and your only cure is to kill it...

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