Anniversary & the Ritual Crushing of the Pills
On Jan. 16 a year ago, the radiologist at the Mammogram Factory was pretty grim as she looked at my ultrasound and told me I needed a core-needle biopsy. And so the fun began.
I decided that the best way to commemorate this event was to grind up the pills that I'd been issued for chemo side-effects. I mean, my understanding is that I can't have any more chemo, and if there were some kind of chemo for me in the future, I'm sure the drs would issue newerbetterstrongerlongerlasting pills to take.
The party couldn't start till 10 because I had class tonight. It's hard to get people to come to a party on a Wednesday night that begins at 10, especially when first advertised as providing no refreshments and lasting only 15 minutes. I loosened up but the damage was done. Only our loyal voisins de palier came (We know where they live) and we drank champagne, ate cheese and crackers and vegetable dumplings, and crushed the pills. L bought me flowers. That's L, above, crushing. My neighbor A wanted me to put the resulting powder in an urn. Or burn it. Or sell it on the street. I gathered the bits into a pill bottle and and put it in a gold mesh bag and I'm not sure what I'll do with it. I'll decide soon. I think it should stay enclosed so that it doesn't immediately contaminate the lake. My friend D sent me a study not long ago about fish containing Prozac because people excreted the drugs, which went into the water supply. Really, what's the harm? You end up with a little gentler fish and human population. And what's wrong with that??
My friend J is kind of nostalgic for the year she was diagnosed and treated, because she appreciated everything so much. I never had that quickening. At least not much. I don’t think my cancer was a blessing in disguise because it made me value life more, or friends or family more. Though friends and family came through in ways I hadn’t expected. Cancer didn’t cause me to bend more deeply to smell the flowers. It hasn’t made me deeper or wiser though I have become more aware of the manmade causes of the disease. The biggest change from the cancer is physical--my left breast is MIA.
All I can say for sure that I’ve learned is how to respond when someone has cancer. And I would prefer to have learned that second-hand.