Thursday, 23 June 2011

Breathe out ... so I can breathe you in.

"Breathe out so I can breathe you in
Hold you in ... and I wonder
... if everything could ever feel this real forever.

If anything could ever be this good again."
-Everlong, Foo Fighters

This is my husband Dave, in Bali last year.

                                American burgers built my arm

I like that I'm capturing him in a mirror. He didn't know I was taking the photo. I always notice things that he doesn't know that I notice.

Last Friday, he doubled over in pain from "a dodgy burger" ... we thought the pain would pass, but it didn't. He had it all night. As soon as I opened my eyes on Saturday I said, "How's your tummy hon?" And he just said, "Stuffed."

Usually, if a person has a tummy ache .. it's just that. When Dave gets a tummy ache, we think it is his cancer back. He was in a LOT of pain. So we called Tim over to mind the boys while we went to the first of three hospitals all weekend.

Dave, like every other human on the planet, has many faults. One of the more noticeable ones is arrogance. He was all, "GREAT. Now I have to go on chemo for another six months."

Can you see the arrogance in that sentence? It translates as, "Great ... now I have to beat cancer AGAIN."

We sat in stinky, stinky hospitals. Holding hands, looking at each other. I instantly grew angry. At people, at the world. I bitched about everything. I got road rage, I attracted all the arseholes. The world is FULL of arseholes, when you notice them.

I was putting my armour on, protecting myself from the fall - told myself I didn't care. Told Life ... "Fuck you, Life. You didn't surprise me this time! You'll never surprise me again."

I will never be taken by surprise in life ever again ... a Syrian army could abseil onto my back deck. The world could explode and shatter into tiny pieces. My fucking dog could look up and start asking me questions. And I'd just be, oh, sure Mischka. Whaddup?

I was thinking about the odds of the cancer coming back. In the past week, Dave and I have spent a lot of time in emergency waiting rooms.

                              I looked at this sign a LOT.

We waited hours, man. Whole catastrophes occurred and were resolved. We sat there watching bad TV. I wondered, what number did Dave come in at? IF he had his tumours back, surely that would be Number 1 - Life Threatening? But not really - a bleeding car crash victim has life threatening injuries. We weren't even having an emergency. I mentally put him in at Number 3 - Urgent.

Because it was. What if it's back? Horrible thoughts came - to both of us I'm sure, not that Dave would ever tell me his. Mine were things like, Well, at least Rocco knew his dad for three years ... I'll let Dave have the downstairs bedroom for his chemo wing this time .... What if it's mestatised ... And one that I'm particularly in awe of, in its utter selfishness .... I can't go to BlogHer now.

It was all a waste of time - the doctors were useless, not ordering the scan that I knew he needed. Sending him away with heartburn medication. Dave was presenting with the exact same symptoms as last time - "I can feel it in there, hon." It was terrifying all over again. I just kept thinking, over and over in my head like a mantra - "Life? You can suck my dick." It was very calming.

Finally, on Tuesday we got the Holy Grail of an appointment with his proper oncologist. The sky on the way down was so ominous, like it wanted to tell us something.

I just wanted to punch it

Free parking again. The free knitted beanies again. Sitting in the cancer ward. The same cancer ward I had just put art up in with Vee last month. I wasn't supposed to be back so soon, GOD.



                   All of these people have cancer, cancer, Spanish dancer

We live in a world where signs like this are needed. People = arseholes.

After a mere 1.5 hours, we were led into another waiting room. The same one we waited in a little over three years ago, when Rocco was fully grown in mah belly. I sat next to Dave, and started singing "Mem-ories ..... like the corners, of mah mind .."

I always know when Dave has passed the point of reason - when he joins me in song. "Of the way .. we were."

HA. Waiting for a potential cancer diagnosis can be FUN.

At the moment we walked in, Max rang me so I answered straight away. He wanted to know if I'd gotten him some Warhammer (HOW EXPENSIVE IS THAT SHIZ?!) I knew Max was ok so cut him short. Sorry kid - cancer trumps you right now.

I watched as the same doctor who originally diagnosed Dave, those years ago ... spoke to us. I remember his eyes. He's an odd kind of guy. I wonder what oncologists do on their days off? Does he go thrillseeking? Or just read boring books and play backgammon? He spoke for a bit, then simply pointed to the bed - which meant that Dave was to lie on the bed.

I mocked him behind his back and made Dave laugh.

                              Dave gets a physical, physical

I adored how Doc T's shirt was hanging out. It made it more informal - like, things were going to be ok. Then he spoke:

"I don't think it's lymphoma again."

Suddenly, that doctor was the hottest guy I have ever seen and I wanted to straddle him like a pony.

He looked at me.

"... and to keep everybody happy, I'll order a full CT scan anyway."

SCHWING SCHWING SCHWING

That's all I'd wanted for five days now. Only that scan would set us free. The doctor looked at me like he had looked at me three years ago.

"Where's your baby?" I told him he's not a baby anymore - he runs around destroying civilisations.

We all laughed.

Dave got the scan yesterday - he tried to put it off til Friday, grumbling about missed appointments and other such stupid things. We sat here last night ... at 10pm, he turns to me and says, "Oh - the doctor rang, did I tell you?"

"Ahh, no hon."

"Yeah - shit sorry I thought I told you - the scan's all clear, it's not cancer."

He forgot. To tell me.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a husband to ignore. BECAUSE HE FORGOT TO TELL ME THE RESULT.

Still no word on the cause of the pain - it could *actually* just be bad stomach cramps. Sometimes things aren't as bad as they seem. What?

::

There's a scene in one of the best movies ever made - Mel Brook's History of the World .. where the Romans smoke a joint and get all disheveled. "Um, I'm gonna walk round here in a circle."

I've been walking round here in a circle since Friday. The relief is washing over me, man. Everybody needs a cancer scare, to get grateful.

You reading this right now - you don't have cancer! Do you know what a miracle that is! Stop being so scared to live your goddamn life because there's people in the world aching to live theirs.
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