Giving Thanks

The mesothelioma folks asked me what I'm grateful for. I told 'em:
I am most grateful for my Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance. I get it from my husband, who worked for a union as staff.
We went out for nine years before we got married, and I was diagnosed with breast cancer three years later, and with blood cancer (polycythemia vera) not much after. I had a mastectomy and chemo at a place in Chicago I call Fancy Hospital. My hematologist is also there, and I’m on a new pill for my polycythemia, called Jakafi. Retail value is more than $10,000 a month – I pay $20.

Hi, blog readers. I've moved on to other things, but sometimes ya just gotta write about being one-breasted. 

Did you click on "write about"? That's what you're supposed to do. Or you can click underneath my photo.
Underneath, or au dessous, as we say in the French, since this shows me sans sein au bord du Seine.

Cancer Bitch


So proud of myself--I had a phone conversation in French today, with someone at l'Alliance Francais, about taking the de Gaulle course instead of the literature class. I'm more interested in de Gaulle, though that's C-level, and I'm B-level, as is the lit class.
I listen fairly often to La marche de l'histoire podcasts on my phone. I understand between 40 and 70 percent, depending on the subject and how fast the guests speak. I was thinking last month or so that La march is just too hard for me, and I was listening to a show about Sainte Catherine de Sienne, and she didn't eat, and I was thinking to myself, Sounds like Simone Weil, and two seconds later, the host said, Like Simone Weil.

I guess I can follow, at least some.

The Untimely Death of Stonewall Jackson

The Woman Who Could Not Take It Any More felt very very very very sorry for herself. The Woman Who Could Not Take It knows she is her own enemy, but not her own worst. That distinction set aside for old bosses. It wasn't that she didn't blame herself too. She imagines conversations with said bosses, none of which would end well, with power on her side. But that is not what this is about. This is about the $12,000 retail monthly medicine. And the dead friend who floats into her mind and stays and then leaves. There were no regrets when she died. But now. 
The Woman Who Could Not Take It Any More did not make sure that her hematologist approved the costly drug for six more months. The Woman Who Could Not Take It Any More also did not order her monthly Jakafi a week or so in advance. Because she did not do these things she spends four hours on phones and in the Walgreens at Fancy Hospital. The Woman has a few admirable traits. She can make the pharmacy rep laugh over the phone. We were not expected to have such interesting lives, her sister's junior high school friend writes to her on Facebook, probably 45 years after they have seen one another. There is sorrow throughout the land. The poor groundhog, dead in New Jersey Feb. 1. Why was he named Stonewall Jackson? The Woman Who Could Not Take It Any More saves her cousin from committing libel on Facebook. The Woman Who Cannot Take It Any More hangs up accidentally on the pharmacy-insurance gatekeeper. She wants to play the cancer card though she suspects that most people who call the Specialty Pharmacy are in the same boat, that boat being smack in the middle of Shit Creek, the long crab claws reaching in from the water, over the gunwales, even. She hates the quaver in her voice. Knows that she is privileged. Cannot control the quaver in her voice, in spite. It is the 21st century. She is alive in the 21st century. 
She is alive in it. 
She is a slave to her emotions in it. Despite: Buspar (generic), Effexor (generic) and Remeron (generic). She is one of those people who digs deep into her backpack in public. Sometimes she calls it a knapsack, knowing that she is speaking from the wrong place and time. Rucksack. She has rescue medicine for her skin, her lungs, her brain--or wherever the emotions are seated. Some said it was the uterus, of which she is still a proud owner.  
How can she feel so young so alone when she has grown old?
The people who are worse off are already dead.