Manon Brunet sings “Am I Blue?”
For me, this year is going out with some extra heartache in the form of finding out that a friend and sistah may be having a recurrence of breast cancer. A diagnostic mammogram found an area of what looks an awful lot like good ol’ ductal carcinoma, in the same area as her first occurrence of the Beast. This morning, she had a stereotactic biopsy done. Now, we wait. When I read her message yesterday, I cried. Then I tried to pull myself together. Then I called her. Then we both teared up. As I was finishing this post, I found out that yet another sistah has a “spot” on her ribs. What the hell? S’up with that? That just put the stinkin’ icing on a truly stinkin’ cake.
I was already in a blue mood. All week I’ve felt like a “woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown” — apologies to Almodovar. Why? Because it has become an inescapable realization that my life has been altered irrevocably by breast cancer and its treatment. Early breast cancer. Stage 0 breast cancer. Non-invasive, ductal cancinoma that involved no lymph nodes. Should have been cake — a little surgery, a little of this and that, and I should have been done and back in business. I should have been able to spend 2009 getting my life back. Instead, my health, my energy, my ability to think, my ability to work, my ability to take care of myself, to enjoy my life, to make art, to be sociable, to contribute something useful to this world and not just take up space and oxygen, all of that was taken from me this year, in pieces and chunks and swaths, by the damage done to my body by fighting cancer and fighting off the side effects of being slashed, burned and poisoned.
And now? Now that the docs have done their best to kill my quality of life after I survived the damn disease itself? I’m just plain worn out. I can’t work full-time anymore — I just don’t have the energy. But I still have to pay the bills. And I don’t have a trust fund or a rich relative or a large stock portfolio, so I’m not sure how I’m going to do that if I can’t work full-time. I just know I can’t keep going on the way I have been. Because instead of getting ahead, I just seem to get further behind. Because if there’s a prayer in hell of my being able to recover from all this nonsense, then I am going to have to make recovery itself a full-time job.
But not tonight. Tonight, I’m gonna let myself feel as blue as the moon. Tonight, the year and the decade are going out with an uncommon astronomical event — a genuine blue moon. Tonight, because it’s snowing, we won’t see it here. But I’ll enjoy it in my fashion. I might even have myself a good ol’ cry, while I bid farewell to this miserable, rotten, disillusioning, disappointing year. Do a little emotional housecleaning, have a little catharsis so I can move on. So I can get ready to celebrate tomorrow.
Come on by. We all need a new beginning.
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