My friend Kye, who was really into astrology, once told me that people pass through particular years of their lives that are full of change - years when the stars and the planets of their astrology are so much in flux that everything changes. This must be one of those years. Let me show you:
February: I have a nervous breakdown
March: Pnut doesn’t care that I’m crazy, asks me to marry him anyway. Appropriately, at carnevale in Venice.
April: Quiet… too quiet! I am home with various medications, Dad flies in from the US to keep an eye on me.
May: Drugs, more antipsychotic drugs. The right drugs? The wrong drugs? Let’s experiment! We get Charlie the wonderdog, to keep me company. Let’s face it, two dogs licking your face makes you happier than one. Oh yeah, I get lyme disease, too. Wedding planning for Chicago in June. Family drama and fighting. Paperwork.
June: Back to the job I hate but which I may or may not be losing. More family fighting about the wedding. We get married. Luckily, I have plenty of tranquilizers to go along with the antipsychotics. Then, the woman I consider my grandmother passes away after kicking a rare leukemia’s ass for over six months.
July: My mother’s brother, my Uncle Budda dies suddenly of a massive heart attack. The family dog, Rudy, has to be put to sleep. Oh… and I lose my job, finally, formally.
August: Plans to move to the US are underway. Embassy visits, paperwork. A house-hunting trip to New Jersey!? Looking at nursing schools and prerequisites and trying to figure out how the fuck I’m going to pass math classes. I attend the memorial service for the woman I consider my grandmother.
September: My mom is diagnosed with a stage one tubular carcinoma in her left breast. I’ve already been to the US twice this year, and we can’t afford a third trip. I’ll have to manage my anxiety knowing she’ll be here for my wedding in October two weeks after her lumpectomy.
Paolo lost both of his parents to cancer. The tumor in his mother’s head made her blind when he was six, and she lost her mind over the following few years. She passed away when he was twelve. That was the last time he ever cried. His father was found to have a metastisized (to the bones) lung cancer when Paolo was eighteen. He lost him not long after. Now, he has a brand new family. A huge, loud, obnoxiously loving and close-knit family. And the C-word makes it’s appearance not long after. I hate that fucking word. I hate it for him, and I hate it for me.
I have led a relatively easy and blessed life. I’m not sure if knowing or not knowing anxiety and grief make them any easier to live with. All I know is I fucking hate cancer. And my mom is one badass little Indian lady.
Pnut and I have decided that instead of giving presents at our wedding (which Europeans think is odd anyhow), we will donate ten euros per guest to the Cancer Research Foundation.
Do you know anybody who fought or is fighting cancer? Please share your story.