I always liked the idea of wishing on a star, but which star? Which wish? As a child there were many. I wished school wasn’t so hard, I wish the boy I liked in the 6th grade liked me back. Later, I wished that the boy I met at a dance would call me and ask me for a date. I see that the wishes I thought of were all those I made as a girl growing up.
But I am now grown up and I haven’t seriously wished for years. If I still wished for things, I would wish that cancer would just go away and even more than that, I would wish people would stop telling me — with surprise — that I look good. When people ask how I’m doing, I’d like them to hear an honest answer because in addition to connecting to another person and sharing compassion, it helps melt away the awkwardness of talking about bad news. The truth is that I feel like crap, and no one wants to get it, probably because they don’t know any more than I do what to do with this crappy feeling that overwhelms me just about every day. Plus, many of us tend to avoid sadness, helplessness, and things we can’t fix so we find “quick fix” answers or suggestions which we think will make the negativity go away.
Wishes don’t work anyway — they are too passive and kind of whiny. Even when Judy Garland sang her song about wishes (or was it rainbows?), there was a wistful sadness to it and underneath is the feeling of “yeah, this is not happening.”
But what an interesting idea to launch my demand into the sky. Now this has action, excitement, and it’s not whiny. It’s very inspiring. I don’t know a song that would go with it but I’m imagining a drum roll as I take my giant-sized sling shot and launch a demand into the sky.
MAKE THIS FUCKING SHIT GO AWAY
MAKE ME HEALTHY AGIAN
MAKE PEOPLE STOP THEIR CAREFUL SAD EXPRESSIONS AS THEY TENTATIVELY ASK HOW I AM
AND LET US NOT FORGET TO MAKE THEM STOP TELLING ME, “BUT YOU LOOK GOOD”
MAKE PEOPLE BRAVE ENOUGH TO SAY WHAT’S ON THEIR MIND AND AVOID A PREGNANT PAUSE
I wish —oh there is that awful passive word again — that it were as easy as that, but I like the idea of launching instead of wishing. It is inspiring and makes me want to launch a new passion for life because I feel bogged down by fatigue, stomach issues, anxiety, and an overall feeling of sadness all of which came about as a result of my diagnosis of T-cell lymphoma, a battle that has been going on for over 3 years. Even though I was in remission for some of this time, these symptoms never really left. I was just about ready to say good-bye to cancer when it showed its’ ugly head again. So, it appears that my original treatment, consisting of chemotherapy, a clinical trial and stem cell transplant wasn’t enough to get rid of this tricky demon because as it turned out my remission was really just an intermission before cancer resumed and now it will always have to be managed. Currently management consists of a clinical trial, I take oral medication three times a week for two weeks at a time, then a two-week break before resuming again. I am closely monitored with bloodwork and EKGs on my regular visits to Memorial Sloan Kettering. If and when this medication stops working there will always be other medications to try, all in the spirit of managing my disease.
So now I want to feel the lightness of being — did I ever really feel it before cancer? Maybe not but it was always something I was aiming for. I want the rest of whatever time I have left in this life to have meaning. I want to create a new interest in life despite all of these issues that weigh me down. I am hereby launching my demand into the sky.