Monday, February 22, 2010

a long way down

I've read this book of Hornby recently, and I'd like to share a piece here. It made me smile, because it describes almost exactly how I feel about learning from cancer.

"[...] And yet just about everyone I've ever interviewed has told me that by doing something or other - recovering from cancer, climbing a mountain, playing the part of a serial killer in a movie - they have learned something about themselves. And I always nod and smile thoughtfully, when really I want to pin them down. 'What did you learn from the cancer, actually? That you don't like being sick? That you don't want to die? That wigs make your scalp itch? Come on, be specific.' I suspect it's something they tell themselves in order to turn the experience into something that might appear valuable, rather than a complete and utter waste of time. [...] Call me literal-minded, but I suspect people might learn more about themselves if they didn't get cancer. They'd have more time, and a lot more energy."

(A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby, Penguin Books, 2006, pp.208-9) (an informal way of citation, I know, but better than none at this time of day!)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

best way to celebrate v-day

I am working, again, after three months of laziness, which was also three months of treatment of course. Now I'm showing off with a red wig on my dear bald head - I must confess, however, that I feel more comfortable without my wig.

I haven't had the chance (or courage) to exhibit the white skin of my head yet, and very few people have seen me naked in that sense, namely my family and my girlfriend, who by the way considers this a personal privilege and doesn't want me to extend it to anybody else. Although I agree with her, I'd like to experience the scene at least once before my hair grows again - the scene when I walk on the street virtually bald. Still contemplating.

Now here's a Valentine's Day story...

When it became clear that I would be able to go back to work on the 15th Feb. my girlfriend and I decided to attend the party, Ladies' Night, at the Planet Café on Saturday. We started making plans weeks ago - I told my parents I wouldn't come home almost two weeks ago! So we went to the party, with a straight friend of mine, who was kind enough to join us to celebrate my return. We had to talk loudly so that we could hear each other, and we had to sit closely so that all three of us could find a place to sit, and we had to either watch an old friend kissing her new girlfriend or a lonely friend watching them. So we left before the party was over, and we went home together to watch something better - one of the movies we bought in the evening. We chose "Everybody's Fine" because the title implied that everybody in the movie was fine, meaning this movie was supposed to be fine - except it wasn't. We ate cookies, we drank coffee, and we got depressed. ("Everybody's Fine" is not recommended to my friends, to anybody.) We tried hard and got over our depression, and we realized it was time to go to bed - it was 2 a.m. when the film ended. So we went to our bedroom, with our cat following us. My girlfriend sat on the bed and called our cat. He responded and jumped on the bed, lay down while we gently petted him. Then he grumbled, and what's that? He marked the bed as his own territory, if you know what I mean. We were shocked, literally. We started our V-Day by changing the sheets, and the quilt. And our boy spent the whole night alone, outside of the room, making an intolerable noise, complaining right in front of the door. We weren't happy about it, but all he wanted was to go out, and that was impossible at night, when it was dangerous even during the day with all the stray cats and cars in the neighborhood. We could hardly sleep - I got up several times to check whether he opened the window and ran away, and first thing in the morning, after of course releasing him for half an hour and having breakfast, we called the vet to ask if they performed neutering on Sundays. That, unfortunately, was our V-Day present to our cat. We had no choice, and it was for his benefit, but it still broke our hearts.