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Archive for the ‘Saturday’ Category

trying

Dipping toes in

a nip

of a fish

threatens

the clipped sound of I

A blanket of numb

wraps around me

between me and the urge to write

encased and unsafe

in pain

all the time

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I’m here. It’s me. LOVE.

In my 50th year, I got a cancer diagnosis

Medical waste. You have no idea. If you’ve spent any time in a hospital, then again, you do.

If the way we live is making us sicker (though through advances in science, we have longer lifespans), we need to change it. We are stuck.

Cars, plastic, disposable everything. Cars, plastic, disposables. Single-use. Not biodegradable. Not safe. Medicines flowing from our bodies into the water supply and into the ground and into everything else.

Did you know you can take your own cups and bottles to take-out or fast food places? Sometimes they will refill your insulated coffee cup. Sometimes they will refill your giant, heavy-duty plastic cup. I have 2 of these and we have 3 thermal, hot beverage cups. Just peer into any garbage can outside of any strip mall in America on a Saturday or Sunday and see if you might not like to try. Have a plan. You can take your own re-usable utensils places; this is harder to remember. You might feel queer. But you might inspire others. You can put paper napkins in your compost. You can put paper bags in the recycling. You can take your own bags for fuck’s sake don’t tell me you still use the store’s plastic bags when you grocery shop. Save that for times you really couldn’t attend to this small commitment. You don’t have to be perfect, but we all have to WAKE UP. Do what you can that’s easy. Baby steps. You can do this. It matters. Oh, and don’t idle your car.

I feel less sad. I had fun yesterday. I was exhausted all day, but I had fun.

I feel a little happy this morning, I’m tired.

I’m self-absorbed. How long?

I feel the light of the universe flowing through me.

I shaved my head because Violet and a friend of hers shaved their heads and I thought FUCK IT, it’s time. I waited so long for a haircut that my hair was unruly and unflattering, but since my hair will fall out from the chemo (Cytoxan) I got yesterday, this was a great option. In about 3 weeks, my hair (what little is left) will fall out. I am not afraid or upset about this. HAIR GROWS BACK.

The problem is my face looks very raggedy to me. That part is harder. Our hair becomes attention, a focus, beauty.

Violet decided to shave off her hair separate from my situation; still it’s kind of strange, but only in my mind in a way that I wonder what other people might think. Do they think she did it for/because of me? She didn’t. Her friend goes through many hair manifestations and so does Violet. Fun. It grows back. Don’t be afraid of changing your hair!

I picture my bones white, so white. Vibrant and healthy. Calm. After all these months of picturing them in this way, not every day, but enough, it is easy to see them this way.

Calming the marrow. Stopping the proliferating rogue cells. That’s a little harder. Let’s have at it. I will have at it.

I slept well last night, but am mildly nauseous (Cytoxan does this). I’m still tired so will probably go back to sleep. It’s morning.

When I say I shaved my head, I don’t mean bald. There’s a nice, soft stubble. It’s soft to run my hand across. You’d like it. It’s a pleasant sensation.

Don’t forget to sing. I forget. My friend who drove me to Boston and stayed with me Thursday night so we could be at Dana Farber at 7 am Friday morning, reminded me to sing, to recite poems we knew from when we were young. Play is not unique to humans, but it is essential for happiness. I’ve been forgetting. That makes me sad; but I have every day of my life to choose to play.

Teenagers play in different ways than when they were little kids. Adults, too. Slowly, we forget unless we are immersed. Stay immersed in play. Do this. Remind me, too.

Love, send healing light whenever you can. Sing. Chant. Drum. Stomp. Recite. Play. Kiss your children and your friends, male and female. Kiss your family. Kiss.

I am greater than this cancer. I am bigger than this cancer. I am bigger than what it or the meds can do to me. I am strong. I am determined to be free of it for good.*

2 mantras:

There is no room in my body for multiple myeloma (or any cancer)

There is only room for healing light and love

Can you see that? I can. Sometimes, and at least more often than before.

*but it scares me to think this. I hope I get better at it. When I can’t pull for myself, I am so incredibly grateful for your help. I know without a shred of doubt that there are hundreds of people pulling for me, some praying, some visualizing, some singing, all sending love and hope. Some helping in the most concrete ways: food, rides, goodies.

I am grateful. Thank you.

Here I am right before the buzz cut. I’m not sure I am brave enough to show you after. In time, when my face is more rested. EVERYTHING shows when you are almost bald!

IMG_1761

Bursting with love, Katherine

love and kisses to you all!

 

 

 

 

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So. Damn. My computer screen is going crazy—for about 4 days now, it periodically goes to diagonal static lines. My computer, how old is it? I can’t remember, not too old. I know I need to get a diagnostic on this, but this is not gonna be the week.

I may be out of a computer for a few days if my screen goes dead. Sucks because it is my lifeline right now. I can’t drive and Hubby will be away for a few days. I am covered for people helping and schlepping and bringing food and carting kids, but the computer is how I can ask for more help…ah well, ’twill work out.

Here:

IMG_1704Annie made this little guy the other morning. He was quite tiny—maybe 8″ high. Annie thought he looked evil with his red berry eyes so she gave him a sword. Later I think the dog knocked him off the railing. Silly dog.

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Perhaps, like me, you have children of the teenage persuasion. I have two, of the female variety (homo sapiens sapiens teenager femini)

I am happy to report that the following news item appeared in our local weekly paper’s POLICE REPORT yesterday:

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

DISTURBANCES

• 6:59 p.m. — Police kept the peace at a South Amherst home where a teenage boy refused to follow parental instructions to empty the dishwasher.

Well, didn’t I think that was the cat’s pajamas until I was shopping earlier today and witnessed the following scene. This screenplay is based on actual events.

INT. TJ MAXX STORE, HADLEY, MASS – WOMEN’S COATS – A SATURDAY – DAYTIME

MOTHER, approximately 47, slightly disheveled and definitely exhausted in appearance; and DAUGHTER, teenage

MOTHER stands next to daughter in front of coat rack

MOTHER

Don’t tell me what to do. Ever! I’m in charge.

twinkly’s astute, perceptive, and erudite commentary on the screenplay:

While at first it may appear that the character of MOTHER was indeed in charge, upon closer inspection one sees that if in fact she were truly in charge, both in feeling that she was and in the reality of such, she would not have needed to speak at all. The scene would have played very differently.

FIN

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Long stretches between posts are now commonplace for me.

I learned a new phrase (and concept): uncanny valley.

I love the sound of it tremendously, but I don’t like the meaning. It’s a theory, nothing provable, but certainly it sheds light on the way I am simultaneously fascinated and repulsed by plastic surgery.

I am glad to know that I can still learn new things. Maybe I’m not hip, that I never knew the concept uncanny valley. The world is too big for any one person to know. We keep chipping away at it, gaining knowledge in pebbles.

I fell away from my writing and into an uncanny valley

I notice that my sleep is very disturbed lately. This is due in part to the fact that I have to wake up every weekday morning at 6:30. I still get up to help support my kids in that transition between home and bus and school. I am happy to do it, but I hate my lack of sleep.

I’ve pretty much given up on cooking. I still clean the few rooms which are not filled floor to ceiling with clutter. I couldn’t even clean when I was in the worst of the pain and immobility.

I still love the laundry. I like my fridge to sparkle white and bright inside. I organize to an extent. But I don’t give a crap about cooking for the most part. I feel so burned out. Maybe this is only since I’ve been injured, maybe longer. I can barely remember a time before this injury.

Instead of my summer schedule when I may wake in the early morning hours and can fall back to sleep until as late as 9 or 10, I wake around 4 am, am up for an hour, then have to wake up at 6:30, but I barely fall back to sleep most nights. I am getting about 4-6 hours of interrupted sleep–that’s it. I’m not too happy until I have my coffee but I can fake it most mornings til then.

When I feel good from good and long rest, I forget that I’ll ever be a victim of my insomnia again; and yet after all these years, it still rears its ugly head.

It’s been 5 months since my initial injury and I’m still not able to do yoga or to bike or swim. It’s been draining, frustrating, painful, disturbing. I am getting better, but I have really bad hours and days and nights. Soon, I hope, soon, I will be back to my old self. I know the sleep will change once I’m not in pain throughout the night. I am seeing a new physical therapist who does a particular kind of work that is unlike most physical therapy. After one session, I was monumentally better, but now my body is fading back into the habit of injury. For the next 3 weeks at least, I will have 2 sessions per week and I am hoping that will turn the tide for a good long while.

This is only the beginning. I need to write here. I hate to have such a long body of text without any images to break it up. I hate to write about the minutiae of my life and subject you to it, though you read by your own free will and I am grateful for your presence.

I will try to do better from now on out. I think my active mind will calm if I write more regularly and I won’t wake up at 4 am thinking the words.

I have so much to tell you.

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IMG_5490 if you write poems about pomegranates, don’t bother submitting to us*

I’ll be a featured reader next month at Unbuttoned, Thursday, September 12, 7-8:30 pm. There are usually 6 open mic slots followed by one or two featured readers. I know I’ll be reading alongside another poet.

Luthier’s, Cottage Street, Easthampton

*roughly quoted from a literary journal on their submissions page. Why do I bother with fucks like these? Where are my people?

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