What do I want to do for my 50th is a question my friends, mother and husband have been asking me. It’s not now but in February and while I never thought I would make it to fifty since the diagnosis, here I am.
So what do I want for my birthday they ask? Do I want to travel or go see a show… ?
For me this birthday will just be a reminder that my wick is burning faster than approved drugs are coming out. It’s a reminder that I have little time to parent- even though half the time my two eldest hate me.
…But, I also like gifts and far be it for me to turn down something I specifically would like- no deviations.
I’ve become so good at determining when someone is either lying or when someone is thinking about how they should respond.
It is something so small, so quick, that if you’re not paying attention to the person’s expressions or reactions, you wouldn’t notice.
The other day while at my doctor’s office, my mother and I were waiting to be called back. Typically, my person is bubbly or visually reassuring with her smile and “let’s go back,” directive.
Not Thursday. Nope, her head was lower and it was more of a deflated greeting. Thankfully I’d been tipped off by MyFuckingChart the day prior. I’d been so busy changing my passwords so that my mother/hubby would not look at my results, that I failed to also turn off the notifications.
Nonetheless, I noticed the change in her greeting and went back.
Her scribe was in the room, a young man with his hair in that stuck sleep position- where I could see how he must’ve been sleeping on his pillow. I noticed this because while sitting back in the room with everyone, I kept thinking that I will never see my son’s head that way at the same age as this scribe. I’ve seen his hair like that nowadays when he wakes up, but I won’t have the opportunity to see his young adult head. …Nor any late teen head, but I digress.
Anyhow… that thought drifted in my head somewhere before the “Iceberg! Iceberg!” comment that I made the fatal mistake of saying this:
So it really is five years, isn’t it?
And not that one really knows the timeline… the room fell silent for too many milliseconds to dispute otherwise.
My mother and I were going to a shiva, when I discussed that it wasn’t the best time to die. So it got me to thinking of acceptable times one could die, where it wouldn’t be as much of an inconvenience. Below are some times that I feel are the least offensive.
Any time after the Jewish holidays but before October 25th. This way if the kids have to come home, they won’t miss their Halloween festivities.
The Monday or Tuesday (before 12pm) of Thanksgiving week, or any time after Black Friday.
December is open up until December 20th- you know, since people go away…
Resuming Mid-April due to the dreariness of the atmosphere/raininess – any time before the Wednesday of Memorial day.
The Tuesday after Memorial day – any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (before 12pm) in the summer but up until the Wednesday (before 12pm) the week of Labor Day.
I have months and months of vacation days. I could go out on those, FMLA, Medical leave, or Medical disability. I am often asked why I don’t just take off or stop working, you know.., since I’m with cancer.
Sure, while I would enjoy being home and cleaning all day, I do love what I do. I love going to work every day and seeing my coworkers. I’ve made nice friends and enjoy being in my new environment.
And then there’s this… my meds are $$,$$$/mos. so…..
For someone who doesn’t like change… to put it mildly, I decided to take a different step in my career. That’s right, I chose to leave my work family and all I knew dear, to embark on a different path with but a few colleagues.
Fast forward to the other week, when I was teaching a lesson on music and came to the word, record.
Noticing mostly blank stares, I made a quick decision to first ask if anyone knew what a record was.
Well, my scans are done. Last week I had the pleasure of flopping from hospital to hospital so that I could once again participate in Russian Roulette of body parts. You know that game… the one where you’re playing with a loaded gun but you don’t know when it’s going to go off?
Well, a’hoy me mates because according to my oncologist, “I’m afraid we’re at the tip of the Iceberg.”
I knew eventually things would turn south so to speak… or, quite literally. The cancer is growing wings in my lower hip and sacrum (wherever that is) which is why I am full throttle in my buggy and walking slower. Plus, they don’t call it cancer for nothing… let alone, the highest stage, so, you know.
Any who… while I will never ask for timelines again… it seems this Titanic is right on course.
I had to pull away from facebook because I’ve found myself bird watching suggested friends.
Tonight, while swiping left, it started out as just “checking” to see if I did indeed know the person. I mean, does anyone really have enough friends? Anyhow, I started looking at each pixel to see if I knew anyone and sometimes I would just look at the name… but no bells were rung.
Then I moved onto analyzing the different profile pictures. Family profile pics are very lovely… looks like everyone gets along… onto the single photos … mostly just women as if they’re on the cover of Travel and Leisure or Allure. Some of them pretty…
Obviously the pics with pets are my fav… unless the dog in said photos looks like they need conditioner… probably wouldn’t be happy to know that their owner posted a bad one of them.
And only after using my forensic skills to determine who our “one mutual friend,” was by going through each of their pages…..(and even the friend wouldn’t know me from the next person), I noticed that I was just reading old posts and scrolling through their feed, deciding for myself if I did indeed want to add this person to my repertoire… like some horrible commandant from Schindler’s, that I had to pull away… to inquire if anyone else falls down these rabbit holes, contemplating other people’s lives and their appeared happiness and then judging their choice of profile pic… ’cause I’ve got nothing else pressing to do.