Tag: stagec4 breast cancer

One Fresh Hell, Hold the Tomatoes

Last week found me a visitor to a mental health facility, leaving each evening alone and downcast. The place just a few miles from our home, in the foothills south of the city, in an unremarkable single story building where I chose to allow supposed professional responsible human beings to rescue my ailing partner from the shackles of long term anxiety and depression. Leaving without him broke my heart and provided not a whit of relief as a few close friends hoped a “break” in the action might provide. His pained eyes looking upon my sadness as yet another judgement to come down upon me. Another multi-year term added to the #lifer tag around my neck, another blow to my remnants of hope.

All the while I possess the knowledge that I likely won’t live to see our future through to a plausibly happy conclusion. Even though this love 10 years in the making, its melodramatic script changed and the film itself in the can, spliced together and the story arc mangled under the cruel editor’s blade. The final reels go to the studio with my scenes cut and lying on the editing room floor.

I hoped for relief at the end of a long week spent alone over the course of treatment, yet no sparkle reappears in his eyes yet and his life not yet resuscitated. It takes the Zoloft about four weeks to help much. But I’m mostly alone these days. Yearning for my partner’s support and the kind of tender and caring love many of which many metastatic sisters write and blog about, I now look over at him, home in bed, and find one whose dark, inky emotions remain locked away inside his heart, like the stars behind clouds in a dark night sky. He lays there disengaged, thinking to himself about things that cause long bouts of sighing, and the simmering anger of so many men who find themselves bitten by such disorders.

Sometimes, my difficulty lies in hiding my visible outrage for being his care giver for over three years, of which this past 18 months one of the most heart wrenching trials of my life. My god – this and cancer, too? Fuck. What more can one do but look up and ask the ceiling over our bed long and winding questions about the treacherous nature of spiritual meaning, self-worth, and the relative value of a life. I then break from the sum of my existential questioning of cogito ergo… to find an email in my inbox from someone who reaches out to me to thank me. Grateful for my honest approach to my blog posts they type out a note that reminds me of why it’s worth it to know that it’s my responsibility as a wife to make a decision to help alleviate my partner’s suffering and try to revive him. To ask that his soul be returned his body.

He, too, wants only the same for me and indicates we may not stay together. For fuck’s sake — why now and you have got to be joking (the only sentences I can form without punching him in the face.) These trivialities came to him exactly how? And in what universe does he believe he lives in where this would even be okay by a substandard unintelligent alien culture of unfeeling assholes? And with that he passes wind and falls asleep and I’m left to wonder alone, naturally, what fresh hell might await me tomorrow?

Hopefully a new sandwich called “fresh hell” from the deli and no more than that.

Maps and Legends

My epic signed by blue,
Pencils edited, erased.
Pages loosened and flew,
White winged birds sung,
Tightened claws bound to lines,
Snap and fly to inner space.

Shortened pagination,
Politely taken wayward
A palace ‘tross seaward.
My imagination skips,
Hissing gently, a light kiss,
Skip the lights aquatic,
Swan dive into the record.
Hole round against,
Metal and rusted center,
End over a feather,
A light in a jet stream.

Dripping ink and rain,
The last page set,
Down in a spring,
Slowly changing everything.
My books marked still,
On page one. Your laughter,
Soaked and heavy with disaster,
Sitting in the oak’s shade,
You kiss my nose and mark,
With cooled breasts. Wonderful
Of you. A park and your hand,
Reaches to shade your face,
As we read from the book
Of the dead and avoided,
The looks of their eyes,
Ashsmed and exploited.
Slaves and a haurcut.

You forgot.
Cash piles stashes,
Ashtrays and snug graves.
We all fall down.
The ground grows smaller,
As I pass the tree line,
Bangs on the Earth,
Becoming her daughter.
Funny to stand today,
Eclipsing the sun,
Looking down?
Avoiding blind faith,
Pin hole in a box,
Gentle and round.
Protect the last epoch,
Hidden in a rainstorm.
Injustice of ghost town.
What substance, space
She left us, just as wraith.

The Longest Goodbye

He called it the longest goodbye. When my husband came to me in the kitchen he looked fore lorn, bright blue eyes spilling clear Caribbean blue waters down the white smooth skin of his cheeks. Waves hitting the sand.  His emotions, usually saved for “some other time,” overwhelmed and weighed heavy on me and pulled me under. A fist started to ball up in the middle of my abdomen, then swung out of my rib cage like a hook to my solar plexus.  The pain akin to what I imagine a boxer’s punch to my stomach might feel like.  The wind came rushing from my lungs leaving a vacuum instead of breath.  With the counter between us, I stood in the kitchen staring at him, grasping for air in outer space rather than earth, with no gravity nor anyone to hear me.

He said, “I feel like this is the longest goodbye.” His long goodbye probably feels something like my unknown immanent dance with death to the song of metastatic breast cancer. But its not his disease.  It’s a disease that his wife and his life’s partner wrestles with and nothing he can do much about except hold my hand and sometimes ignore when it all becomes too much.  He’s never been one to care take, so the nomicker “caretaker” doesn’t fit him very well.  He’s one person in a two person horse costume and there’s not enoug of him to fill it out.

How he feels watching me go through every day with the physical pain and mental pain only comes out as cliche terms and inept acts of nothing he thinks very effective. As he speaks of his lack of efficacy, tears welled up in my eyes – tears were welling up in his eyes, too. That moment touched me so deeply and it was so profound that there was nothing that I could say, nothing at all, that would make him or I feel any better.

The profundity of the longest goodbye in my husband’s sadness began two years ago this week over the news of my cancer at 4:30 am – called back to the hospital.  It couldn’t have been anything more than what he said today, which was the most profound thing I had ever heard another person say about me having this wretched disease. I felt a lot like he does trying to soothe me somehow on a daily basis, and how unfair this all is and how frustrating that I couldn’t do a thing to abate his worries.

Some of us call it striving. Some of us call it fighting. Some of us call it surviving. Some of us call it whatever the fuck we want to call it. But at the end of the day what you call it is what it is – it’s metastatic cancer. You know eventually it’s going to pull the trigger and shoot you in the back like a coward in a western movie, and it’s going to be excessively painful.

And it’s going to suck. It’s going to suck worse than anything that you’ve ever had to deal with in your life and you know it. You know in your heart you know what in your soul and your husband knows it in this long goodbye that’s just an estimate of how much time is left with you. I love that man more than I can express and I love him in a way that before he arrived suddenly 10 years ago, love had no real consequence. I do not remotely regret he will be my last love, either. In fact I’m relieved it’s him.

You say goodbye, but I say hello.

Hello hello, I don’t know why you say goodbye I say hello.