When Terrible Found Me, I Smiled… with Teeth

Dark humor “strengthens your immune system, relieves pain, eases depression” and makes all those ridiculously annoying people, who seem to walk around with a giant stick up their rears, rather uncomfortable… a detail I find freaking hilarious. ~ from The Healing Power of Humor [and moi]

 

If we are friends on Instagram, then you have already glimpsed this. But since I promised I would write a bit more about it, here it goes again, with an extra detail (or 3): I am slightly fascinated by how the chemo cocktail affects the body, and by how quickly the effects make themselves known.

Examples:
– The anti-nausea meds that accompany the bulk of the healing poison grip one’s nether regions (for about a second). The feeling is not exactly painful (not even all that unpleasant *cough*), but it is always surprising, regardless of how many times the quirky meds have previously clenched one’s behind without asking for consent or offering a refreshing beverage.

– Then… comes the high. Mostly from the anti-allergy stuff (lots of anti-stuff during chemo[ning]). Many people (perhaps, even most) get sleepy. Me? No, I get giggly, which makes me laugh at the slightest provocation, and quite often without being provoked at all. And since my nurses are a wonderful riot (and I insist on watching all the funny videos friends post on social media while I am getting my chemo infusions), well… the result is a lot of cackling. I enjoy every minute of it, even the weird looks I get.

– There is wild twitchiness and pains, which aren’t as bad as they sound. Really. Some muscle spasming—around my left eye, in the left side of my back… These are not the torturous neuropathic events (which are nasty). I’m referring to spasms that feel almost like tickles. They go away after I stretch. But… can you imagine the number of funny faces you must make to stretch your twitchy facial beauty? Many. And when you do it in front of the mirror, the doing can get quite hysterical, particularly if you are still riding the chemo high… And yes, by “you” I almost always mean “me”.

Soon, I’ll share a bit about the sexy side effects. Let’s just say that phrases like “Port! Port!” might’ve become safe words. See? Never a dull moment, especially with a sexy Piano Man who dances with me no matter the tune.

 

post-chemo scowling
selfies are quite diverting
when my eyelids hurt

 

When terrible found me,
I smiled… with Teeth.

 

See? with Teeth.

 

What about you, my Wicked Luvs, how do you deal with terrible, when it comes knocking, knocking, knocking… on your door?

 

Of the Love We Get and Give…

I was reaching for my favorite mug when a combination of nerve pains shot through my right arm and made me lose control of my hand for an instant. I dropped my favorite mug. My favorite mug landed in the sink… So, it didn’t completely shatter. I was left with two large pieces and some bits of ceramic.

“Neuropathy is a sneaky bastard”, I said to my Piano Man, who had run to the kitchen to investigate the commotion.

“You know it’s the chemo”, he said, reaching for me, stroking my shoulders as we both watched my arm twitch. When I tried picking up the pieces, my Piano Man touched my hand. “You don’t want to nick your skin. I will take care of this.” I handed the trash bag I had been holding. “We’re not throwing it out”, he said, and the outrage in his voice made me smile. “You can turn it into a planter.” I loved him more in that moment for those perfect words. I love him for so many reasons. I love, love, love him because he gets me.

This morning, I found my favorite scarred mug next to my coffee maker. My Piano Man wholed all the pieces before leaving for work. With a face full of grins and a heart bursting with love for a man who loves and knows me well, I filled the cracks with sparkles… and turned the new planter into the home of a wee succulent that I rescued (or plant-napped *cough*) last summer.

 

Earlier today, a friend told me how terrible she feels whenever she needs my help these days… We both know how little time and energy cancer treatment allows me. I reminded her that there have been days when I would’ve stayed in bed if she hadn’t needed me. She helps me free myself from traps made of pillows and sheets and rather costly comfort. Helping her helps my brain and heart remember that a friend needs me. There is wild healing magic in circles made of love we get and give (and of friends who whole each other better).

This belief is what always inspires me to give all I can and celebrate all I get. And speaking of gifts and wonders, I have a handful to be extra thankful for:

I’m grateful for the gift of my Piano Man
and my new favorite planter

I’m grateful for GJ (short for Gina Jr.)
a dolly crafted with love and yarn (mostly with wild love, I am sure)

I’m grateful for Gina, for winged thoughts,
and for stories inked with me in mind

I’m grateful for Rommy
and for creepy Gorey books that make me grin like a lunatic

I’m grateful for Susie
and for red and black skully ornaments that cheer me to no end

I’m so grateful for all of you, who keep on feeding my ink with your reading presence… even when I can’t be as reciprocal as I’ve been in the past. You, my Wicked Luvs, rocketh very mucho and heal me even mostest. Thank you.