In the words of Andrew Bohon circa the year he was three just after ripping from the delicate skin of his forehead a sticky bandage that probably had not been needed in the first place:
Well. THAT was berry hard.
A lot has happened since I wrote last. I endured the streptapocalypse of 2013 in which my throat added insult to injury with days worth of canker sores on top of the actual illness. I wasn’t quite over that when I flew to Michele’s house (that’s Michele of Chapter 5 in my book) for the annual Oscar bash. It was a quick but delightful and restful visit I intend to duplicate someday without the raging throat pain. Soon after, I waltzed (fairly) bravely into the hospital for my second lung surgery and soon after that felt that one year of my life had been none-too-gently sucked away. I’m not going to lie. I cried. Incidentally, when you’re as brave and kind as you can manage but eventually break down and cry in front of the nursing staff, your surgeon’s nurse practitioner, your surgeon, and the respiratory therapist who all happen to be in your room at the same time, you get major hugs and compassion. Kindness oozes. And you think you might survive after all.
I can now list several drugs I never want again. Though I can’t tell you exactly why I break out in a rash after lung surgery – apparently it wasn’t the antibiotic they used last time, after all. I can tell you Day Three after surgery is indeed a doozy. Day Four through whatever today is: Not that great either. I can tell you that I now have unbearable, aching, compassion for anyone who deals with full-blown depression every day of their life, because I barely endured the post-surgical imitation of the same. Life should taste good, people. I mean, it’s ridiculously imperfect. But it’s also rich with beautiful things, and the beautiful should be able to get in. Find a way to it, if you can. It’s just too hard without that.
The good news and the bad news are the same. It was cancer. But the good prevails, because it was only “a speck of cancer” as my sister put it, and they got it all. On top of that, they are hopeful that this particular disease may truly be rid from my body for good. The day they told me that, I smiled. I saw banners and balloons behind them. I’m pretty sure a marching band went by.
I have only the recovery to finish now. I’m almost through with it. I’m pretty much a different person – that happens. But I expect any minute to feel brave again. There’s nothing like surviving to give you a slightly bigger dose of chutzpah. Just as long as I can avoid the hospital long enough to get the chutzpah back.