Saturday, December 09, 2006

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Wierd, these last few weeks. Wierd, because, I guess, cancer has been at the back of my mind and not at the forefront of everything. Wierd because someone said to me, "You're a cancer survivor?!? I had no idea," and I thought, how strange that they didn't know that. "Cancer survivor" seemed like my whole existence- everything was wrapped around that- for the last year.

Ah, well, I guess the Beatles said it best, as usual. Life goes on.

I've somehow lost part of that me that I found during cancer treatment, that girl that didn't scream at people in traffic. The Me that wondered how so many precious little minutes slipped by without being appreciated.
Funny, isn't it? We move on, we forget the realizations, we become normal people again.

On the other hand, I'm to the point again where I walk out the door in the morning and see the barely rising sun or the moon still up and I think, "Ah, another day that I'm so happy I can really do something with." It's been since A&M that I can remember saying that in the mornings.

It's so nice to be wrapped up in somebody else besides myself for a change. Students. Work. Traffic. So nice to worry about the everyday things instead of life and death.

Bobby and I only had a few months together before full-blown chemo started. It was tough dating through chemo, not really knowing each other as well as I'd liked before he had to start helping me off of the toilet. Through it all, though, we laughed. I can say that honestly. We really tried to make the best of it. And our favorite thing to say was "if we're having this much fun now, just wait until after Interferon."

It's after Interferon now, though I still feel the effects every day. I had hoped I'd bounce completely back, and, where I'm at now is a walk in the park compared to where I was on the "big I". Every day, every time I go to the doctor, things are a little better. I'm getting closer and closer to where I wanna be. And this has been an adjustment for Bobby and I, as sad as that is.
We've had to relearn the roles of whatever we are (boyfriend and girlfriend? sounds so high school). I wouldn't say it's been tough, but it's been an adjustment. It's been up and it's been down, and I'm finally to the point where I'd say we're past the adjustment, and we're just Bobby and Lori again.

For my birthday, Bobby got us tickets to the Dixie Chicks Concert at the American Airlines center. It was the last show of their tour, and even if you don't do "country" music or you don't like the Chicks for political reasons, I'm telling you that you're missing out if you don't give these girls a chance simply for their amazing musical talent. It was a great show, and having seen their documentary, even though I've never been a die-hard fan, made the show even better.

I really relate to the lead singer. She's stubborn, opinionated, and sticks her foot in her mouth. It's not hard for her to say she's sorry but it's hard for her to forgive when she's been hurt. It's even harder for her to open up to someone and let them try to take care of her.

And she wants to be strong. You can really see this in her music, and a lot of times I hear myself in her lyrics. When my dad died, "Fly" was always in my head, telling me that I couldn't hold on to keeping him here with me when he was in so much pain and needed to be let go. And now, her song "Easy Silence" is saying everything I feel about Bobby.

He's been that person that I've let myself rely on totally for the last year. Doctor appointments, medicine, financial and physical and emotional support. He was the one that took care of all of that. I was cleaning in the bedroom and found a beenie under my side of the bed, probably one that he put on me in the midst of a crazy fever in the middle of the night, bundling me up while I was shaking. I hated it - hated it that I needed someone there to cover me up when I felt like I couldn't move. Hated it that I couldn't get down the stairs on my own. And yet he made it so easy to rely on him.

We moved out of that phase and into another where I was supposed to still be okay relying on him and him relying on me now, and yet, with all the changes we were making, it just felt like something was uneasy. We were both making mistakes and trying to fix them at the same time, and I had made up my mind that I was going to end up getting hurt all over again. I kept thinking back to a time when being with him was the only time I felt safe, like nothing bad could happen to me, and wondered what had happened to that.

It occurred to me one night when we were talking that he was in the same position I was, though. He had been bitten in the ass by a relationship one too many times, too, and now that I was up and running, he was pulling away. He, in essence, was doing what I do all the time, and I was feeling it from the other side.

At the Chick's concert, Natalie sang the words that I had thought so many times with Bobby-
"Anger plays on every station/Answers only make more questions/ I need something to believe in/ Breathe in sanctuary in the easy silence you create for me/ It's okay if there's nothing more to say to me./ And the peaceful quiet that you make for me/ And the way you keep the world at bay for me."
It occurred to me there, in the stadium with thousands of other people, us leaning up against each other, that we were both in that place where we felt like we loved each other way too much, like we were both feeling that insane feeling when you are allowing yourself to feel some way about a person that could, if things went wrong, essentially rip your soul out. It's a scary, scary thing, and, I guess, one of those risks that you take in order to experience the good things in life.

I've felt this way a few times in my life: with Mandy, with my Dad, with my stepmom, with Tamara, with Bobby. Sometimes I get burned, but mostly I don't. Mostly I suck the marrow out of the experience and am glad that I let myself experience this insane chance we take on each other in everyday life.

Whatever happens between me and Bobby, I'll be glad for the chances we took on each other. But, taking another chance right now, I'd like to put myself on the line and say this: Bobby and I are going to be okay. We've found something in each other that some people goes their whole lives looking for.

And I'm finding myself, again, very lucky.



Peter said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing all that very personal stuff.
The interferon (and its "side-effects") has such a large impact on your life, and you look forward to getting back to normal ... And then you discover that "normal" has changed, and what you want from life is different from what you previously thought.
All the best over the holidays.

Anonymous said...

Lo - first - I m jealous that you got to go to the concert - wowsers!!!! great gift boobster.
second - im so happy for you - you sound really clear about you and bobby - and that makes me happy - I think you two are amazing people and im extremely happy that yall are finding away to make things come into your own normal.!!!!
And it feels good to read your blog and feel like you are sharing the center of how you feel - you write like so many people we know feel.

well I will call you - promise - just keep your pretty little hand on your "angel" that way yall can "fly" high together - cheesy, huh? love ya Mucho mas - mange

connie said...

xMissmelanoma este pensamiento es para ti

Esta carta es para una chica que llego a mi vida como una hija mas y que aun aconsejándola con amor de mi parte enfrento su vida de malos tratos y aventuras con valor y justo ahora m entero que ella tiene ese mal que aqueja a mucha de la población mundial “ el cáncer “ hoy por hoy querida hija porque eso eres para mi como una hija missmelanoma hoy te admiro mucho mas y si algo puedo hacer por ti solo házmelo saber
Tu amiga Connie

East Missmelanoma thought is for you

This letter is for a girl that I arrive at my life like a daughter but and who even aconsejndola with love of my part I face its life of bad treatments and adventures with value and just now whole m that she it has badly that that aqueja to much of poblacin world-wide cncer at the present time loved daughter because that you are for my like a daughter missmelanoma today I admire to you much more and if something I can let by single you hzmelo know
Your friend Connie


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