Haven’t posted anything for a few weeks. Life overtakes us sometimes, and the things we do when life isn’t overtaking us end up taking a back seat. It’s hard to be amusing when nothing much funny is going on.
We worry a lot about the ultimate virus, the big one, the great plague we aren’t ready for that causes widespread panic and decimates whole populations while the CDC in Atlanta frantically hunts for a vaccine. I guess it’s a real concern; but it also obscures the scourge that’s among us right now, an epidemic no one seems able to get a handle on.
Two years ago I lost my best friend to ovarian cancer. Since then I’ve watched cancer overwhelm the lives of friends and coworkers and the people they love. Another lifelong friend has spent a horrific year battling colon cancer. My uncle died of a rare form of liver cancer. My son-in-law’s father overcame prostate cancer. My friend Susan lost her mother to bone cancer. Ann lost her husband, soulmate and love of her life to pancreatic cancer in three months. Linda’s had her life turned upside down while lung cancer threatens her husband of 35 years. And I’ve watched young women stricken with breast cancer at a time when they shouldn’t be thinking about anything except their children or their careers.
I started dating Jim, a very nice, semi-bald man, in May. He’s totally bald now. In July he was diagnosed with lung cancer that had metastasized to his spine. Could’ve, maybe should’ve walked away, but it never felt right. I’m no angel of mercy, mind you. We just hang out and I try to do what I can. It’s humbling and takes some time, and it’s very, very sad.
Chemo is a bitch. It’s supposed to kill the cancer cells, but it kills a lot of other stuff in the process. You’ve got that – one of the myriad forms of chemo engineered to thwart one of the myriad forms of cancer – and you’ve got an arsenal of pain medications, and that’s what you’ve got. That and a bunch of tortured loved ones wanting to help and feeling helpless. Jesus have mercy. Cancer is the plague among us, so familiar we haven’t exactly caught on yet.
In the meantime, my grandkids haven’t stopped being sweet and funny and oblivious. Cosette turns four this weekend. She had a birthday party in the backyard last Sunday, and I was persuaded to revive Grandma Judy’s puppet theater for the occasion. The theater fell over before the show began. We propped it up. The production was distinguished by even more mishaps than last year, if that’s possible, mostly because the audience members insisted on helping. We laughed a lot. Cosette is a joy and a blessing.
Toddler Bret is starting to take a few steps now. He’s a good-natured baby with zero patience. You put him in his high chair, he knows the food is coming, and still he sets to complaining immediately. Where’s the food? Give me food! Your food, my food, the dog’s food, anything! He likes to walk behind his ride-on toy, pushing it along, happy as a clam, until he runs into an obstacle. Then you’d better fix it and fast. He will not be stopped.
Anyway, I haven’t stopped blogging, but you are likely to see fewer posts further apart for a while. Such is life.
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