April 18, 2012

Hi, there. Violet here. Forgive all odd spellings and syntax.

I’m in the icu at the hospital and rationing water for for four hours, relegated to a bedpan when needed. No, I don’t particularly want visits, I don’t mean to sound harsh. Nor phone calls. I’m covered with monitors and bloody IVs.

I’ve decided to discontinue chemo. It didn’t do anything. It made me sick. This discontinuation creates more conversation I don’t care about. I tune it out. I don’t want a walker. Where would I go?

And besides all the paperwork, the Medicare, the money, which I must somehow pay, there’s the question of me. What’s going to happen to me? Physically. It’s weird. Do I get another summer? Do I get to revisit the beach house of my childhood summers? Do I drag on for months? Is there another Christmas? What about Paris? What about Kong? What about my family?

Sorry. I don’t want to to hear from you. I can’t answer questions. I have no sense of humor. I glad your aunt Gladys kicked this disease but I also don’t care.


April 17, 2012

I have been having a couple of of shitty, would not wish on anyone days

This afternoon, over the sound of Martha Stewart, I heard my mom discussing various names in conjunction with mine. I became suspicious. “what’s happening??” I asked, and after a melee of noise, detetermined that a minister was coming by. “What nationality is is he?” I asked, meaning denomination. “Muslim,” my mother answered, which is when I lost my shit. “I have no sense of humor. You can’t be fucking with me!!” Evangelical Baptist is the the real answer. Essentially the opposite of everything I believe.

Supposedly I agreed to this meeting yesterday. My fever was over 103.3 yesterday. I dont think I can be held to anything. I don’t know.

I don’t know what this conversation will will entail, especially if she sits on the the sofa, prissilly overseeing the proceedings.

Fuck this shit.


April 13, 2012

There’s rain on the roof and a warm comforter. My cat is curled up nearby and while he’s not exactly with me, he’s present enough. I’m enjoying a day off from medical procedures, from having blood drawn. These days are invaluable.

Call me lazy –I don’t hear you.


April 12, 2012

I made the decision to enjoy a few days of semi-normalcy after the transfusion, and so postponed the chemo for a week.

Last year, I would have jumped in with both feet. This year, having seen nothing but lackluster results, I’m a little more blasé. We’re gonna wait.

It seems that my mom’s 90-year-old companion is providing a good distraction for her. And so, because I have vented a lot about her, I will offer something nice:

It is a fact that she, her sister and their brother marched with their grade school band in the opening day parade at the Happiest Place on Earth.

That is pretty neat.

In other news, my brother brought me a new stuffed kitten.

I’ve named him Moxie. Kong’s immediate reaction was to hit him in the face, hard. Welcome to my world, Moxie.


April 11, 2012

Zut, alors! And so here we are, back in the hospital.

I met with the oncologist today and learned that my last PET scan showed spots on my lungs. Hello, cancer, my old friend.

I’m here for a blood transfusion because I am anemic.

Tomorrow, I start new chemo. I know! I said I wouldn’t put myself through it, but, faced with the decision, I opted for the safe route. I’m so tough.

I am listening to music in my head: All of My Days and All of My Days Off, by AC Newman. “And now I give you my days, all my days, and all of my days off, all of my days off…” I feel like I am giving myself over to this cancer, even as I continue to fight it. I am not winning this fight. I give you my days, all my days. Do with them what you will.

In other news, it rained so hard last night, but by the time I had to go out, it was all gorgeousness and gorgeosity, so I did not, o my brothers, get to use my new zebrella. So close.

My current view


April 10, 2012

I feel hollow. Literally, as if I have been emptied with an ice cream scoop. I don’t know if it’s hunger or anxiety, or some dreaded unnamed thing.

I awoke far too early this morning and can’t get back to sleep. My nose is acutely sharp, and is picking up something like cardamom. There is a bag with a half-eaten pastry in it on my nightstand. It does not seem capable of throwing off such an intense scent, but there it is.

I’m dreading calling a friend today. It’s his birthday, and I’m just not into it. Twenty years ago, we had a slight inside joke based on the fact that a classmate in our theatre program used to talk a lot about “the stack of porno mags” the previous tenant had left behind in his apartment. It was not a subject that interested me. Somehow, my friend became transfixed with this very minor piece of humor, I think because it allowed him to introduce the subject of porn with no segue necessary. It is tiresome. And he never fails to mention it. He’s a little too intrigued with it, if you ask me. This year, I think I’ll text him. And if he mentions “porno mags,” which he always spells “pawno magzh,” to indicate the speech pattern of the original subject, I’m going to ask for a new joke, please. I’m sorry you are unhappy in your marriage and want to find an escape, but I’m not into it. At all.

I’m having a lot of anxiety about my mother being here. She stops in for a few minutes, and then leaves. But there is something going on. She never behaves as I ask her to without some massive backlash, and so I’m just wondering what’s going to happen. You’ll be the first to know.

I’m so grouchy. It’s going to be another grouchy day.


April 9, 2012

My mother came by today and poured a me a glass of Gatorade and a glass of mineral water. These are both fine on their own. And I’m capable of drinking on my own. But the sight of an untouched glass causes her anxiety.

“Can you just guzzle your Gatorade, please?” This pushed every button I have. Guzzle? It’s once of those annoying words that increase my blood pressure, like “munch” or “yummy.”

I held my thumb and forefinger an inch or so apart and quietly explained that my patience was at an end, and could she please not bug me about the Gatorade. I also mentioned my hatred of all words like “guzzle.” She tried another tack — equally irritating, and when I shot her a warning look, lightened her voice to a Shelley Long lilt and said, “perhaps sip delicately and unceasingly from this glass…” at which point I held up my forefinger and thumb again, and said, “It’s been two years. I have no patience left.”

It’s unbearable. And deliberate.

So I drank the fucking Gatorade. Drank.

now I am dreaming of the wonders I could make with this.


April 7, 2012

Cancer is many things. How’s that for a sentence with zero meaning? Yeah, great. Anyway, what I mean is, cancer is not just a disease. It is primarily that, but it is also a club you can join, wearing a pink ribbon or a yellow rubber bracelet. It can take over an identity. It is a monster. It can act as a teacher. What it is not, is a diet plan.

I’ve lost a fair amount of weight since I started chemo back in November of 2010. It’s fine. I don’t miss it.

Every now and again, I run into a guy I haven’t seen in a while. Most recently, this happened at a memorial service — not a traditional pick-up site. At least, it shouldn’t be. “Whoa!” said the man I was greeting, “I almost didn’t recognize you. You been going to the gym?”

“I have cancer,” I said.

“Oh, yeah. I had cancer…” (launches into story I don’t care about.)

I’ve run into other guys who feel that they have the right to check out my new, lighter frame, give me the once-over, and tell me in an inappropriate tone that I’m “looking good…” It is so offensive to me to be viewed as a sexual being, as if I lost weight through cancer simply to look better. I loathe them for seeing only opportunity, for overlooking my entire situation. I really do not require long expressions of sympathy from every person I meet, in fact I prefer not to have that at all. But for guys who know my situation, I would really hope that they wouldn’t turn lascivious. It is not flattering.

I don’t go anywhere anymore, so this happens infrequently, but I got a voicemail from a certain idiot who won’t take a hint or a direct rejection. He didn’t ask about my health at all. Obviously, I’m not dating right now, if I were, I wouldn’t date him, and I’m not calling him back.

I did not get cancer so my skinny jeans would fit better. Side note: my mother is also fixated on my weight. I came out dressed in some straight jeans, and she said, “Wow… Are those a 4?” “Eight,” I said. “You look so skinny,” she said. It’s so great! It took only 37 years and a life-threatening illness to win her approval!

It’s crazy! It’s sexy! It’s cancer!!!

I can’t tell you how repulsed I am by guys who suddenly find me attractive. Next time I encounter one, the slapping will begin. Get it together, idiots. Not everything is about your stupid penis. (oh no! I’m a lesbian feminazi!) Well, whatever. My disease, my body, my rules.


April 6, 2012

Some people have a lot of rules. For other people’s behavior, generally, but the rules are there. I don’t really have a lot of rules, but the ones I have are:

1. The car is a U2-free zone.

2. The car is a Ramones-free zone.

3. No yelling out of the car at passers-by.

The one I have to enforce most frequently is #3, and it pisses me off every time, because why is there a yelling idiot in my car? Again?

Anyway, I thought of how easily I can enforce these rules, and by contrast, how impossible it is to set rules with my mother. The difference is the absolute lack of respect my mother has for me. “Don’t come here,” I say. She arrives a week later with a disingenuous smile. “No, you can’t forward your mail here.” Two days later, the first letter for her arrives.

Right now, she’s “in shock” because I told her I think one of her pet medical treatments is a scam. Shocked! I must be kidding, right? Nope. She might be giving me the silent treatment. I’m ok with that.

Three days before she gets here. Good: she’s not staying with me. Bad: she’s unlikely to suddenly start respecting my boundaries. Good: my house is a U2-and-Ramones-free zone. Good: I can lock my doors. Good: she does not have keys to my place. Good: I can yell at her out the windows, because: my house, my rules.

Good: I can wear any hat I want.


April 3, 2012

His blanket is back to an acceptable level of disgustingness. There is happy bread.


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