Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Evergreen State of self-pity

Surgery this round has kicked my ass.

Good gods I cannot believe how much of me has been removed until I gingerly inspect the highway of sutures left behind and the firm, aching tissue that groans at me like an  infection but thankfully is just hateful fluid build-up. I gained a fever and a MRSA sore on my leg that brought me  back to the hospital for a good four or five days just 36 hours after my initial discharge. I spent Memorial Day Weekend in an inexplicable cold sweat, no fever but a grumpy stomach and a complete inability to sleep. My dear mother had to convince me I was not dying. I know it sounds stupid dramatic, but the drenching sweat, the queasy chemical feeling from my many antibiotics and painkillers, and the insomnia delirium convinced me that my clammy, shaking body would break down any moment.

I feel a bit better this evening; the sweating finally stopped and I managed to get calories down and hydration in. Still, I have been miserable in bed for maybe more than two weeks and I do not hardly recognize myself. My already toneless limbs are shaky and bony, my lungs and heart feel constricted and weak. I see spots when I amble about too long. My eyes are sunken, my face looks waxy and drawn, and even my mohawk looks pale pale and pathetic. My whole body feels ready to collapse in on itself; I'm trapped and mortified at my sobbing alone over the pathetic state I'm in. I feel sorry for myself.

I just want to be okay.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Rose City of love all over everything

I took a week off of life as a patient to visit my hometown. Portland is where I grew up, where I returned, where most of my people are. My fiancĂ©, my brothers, my friends are all here. I want to devour them and take them with me. I hate being so far away from everyone, from real life, from my funny city where people move to dream and try on costumes. It's not that I hate living in Washington with my moms in the country or with Mom in Seattle; I starvingly miss the comfortable back-and-forth and flashes of silliness from my Portland tribe. Everyone I love here is brilliant and lovely. Everyone is warm and interesting. Everyone has their own ways to show love and each of those ways makes me crave everyone's  company and bask in the glow of reciprocal fondness. There are kind people in Seattle. Generous people, considerate people, insightful people. They aren't mine. They don't live in my heart every day, pushing me along with their delight in being alive. I have had a week here and as scared as I was to leave the security of the Seattle hospitals, my heart is breaking to leave again.

There is a store in Portland called Crafty Wonderland. It started as a craft fair in the performance space at Doug Fir and grew into it's own local-made shop downtown. Everything is made by people in my community, and everything is thoughtful and easy to admire. I was walking through today to touch it all, to soak up the Portland essence it holds. I felt tears prick my eyes a few times, wishing I could make this cancer shit just Stop. so I can stay here where much of my love is concentrated.

Here is something amazing coming out of Eugene/Springfield, which is an hour from my home:
"Bald for Bri" is an Indie GoGo fundraiser put on by my sweet friend Hannah. If she raises $1,000 to help me with living-through-cancer expenses, she will shave her head! Please look at this video she made, including that pretty face that is going to be topped with naught but fuzz by the end of the 30 days.