Not all good intentions pave the way to hell. In fact, some may really get you along quite felicitously, coming upon air-conditioned way-stations of hard-earned respite and discovering undreamed-of wildflowers possessed of (and forthwith illegalized) palliative properties.
More often than not, intentions just go awry. Not so much damnable as delay-ful. More like this poetized anecdote from the rural duties of Robert Burns in which, plowing a field, he disrupted the home of an unlucky mouse:
But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
[Visit here for the rest of the poem and a translation from English to English—it’s lovely and sad, do yourself a favor and chalk-up the time spent to a literary field trip. I’ll sign any slips your teachers or employers may require.]
Ado is done. I had intended to start this blog at the very turn of the new year, to undertake a project worthy of an auspicious occasion regarding an inauspicious calendar of events. That is, the commencement of my chemotherapy and a periodic journal of its consequences.
I was made aware of my need for chemo in late December of 2011. (It occurs to me that not everyone is apprised of my chronic health condition. Loooooong story short: Doctors discovered a brain tumor over 14 years ago. Since, I have kept tabs on the thing by innumerable MRIs. Seizures and minor motor debilitation were the main botherations. Five-ish years ago, the growth grew, a biopsy was performed, and radiation was dialed up. In as much as it stopped the growth and shrunk the tumor a skosh, the therapy was a success. Back to chill-pills, MRIs and biannual, brief visits with my splendid team of doctors and nurse-practitioners. Fast forward to December 2011. Because time flies when your tumor is dormant.) The wascawy gwioma was in season again and it was time for Yosemite Sam to grease his pistols.
Chemotherapy*. I had been hoping for wildflowers. Something organic, free range. But poison it was and poison it is. I was to begin January 1st. I was thrilled at the coincidence. This very blog began to form in my mind. The chemo was to last a year. And not just any year. The Mayan/ Nostradamus year. I would defy my own slow decomposition in real time with the steady yearning of earth towards its December-ish decimation.
I started chemo on January 2nd. Mousie, thou are no thy-lane.
Here’s my excuse. On December 29, 2011, finishing a meal with my brother, his wife, and three awesome kiddos, I collapsed rather gracelessly into what would become a 9 hour seizure event. Efforts to stabilize my convulsions were pain-shakingly slow. I was transported to a hospital in Mobile and from there, still via ambulance, to Birmingham. At some point during that ride, I lost track of things--a day, it seems, evades my remembrance (drugs and exhaustion) though I am told I was conscious enough to flirt with nurses and to shower obscenities on my dear, undeserving family.
Eventually, the worst was over. (All hail Ativan!) But I continued to seize every hour or so in the hospital, even when I got home for another couple of days. The trauma laid me up for a while but now, with walking accoutrements [pronounced uh-cooter-mints, trust me, I have English degrees] and Herculean upper-body strength (you heard me, ladies), I am mildly mobile again and done with my first week of chemo. To which bulky pills, I say, “Psht, is that all you got?”
To which the bulky pills are undoubtedly wringing their little chemical mitts and twittering (not tweeting, don’t embarrass yourselves), “You just wait, Hulkamaniac, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t rent that tank top of yours.” *gleeful giggles*
So there you have it. I hope you’ll follow along. I promise on Robert Burns’ sideburns that I will be much less glum than jocose and complain much less than entertain.