The Natatorium

An emporium of oddities from around the world, complete with somewhat informative plaques that almost never match the item they are meant to be describing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Feeling Slightly Better.... Sometimes.

The world is not ending every minute now.

It is ending ever *other* minute, which is a 50% rate of improvement, which I think I should be optimistic about.

Really, I've just been going up and down. And down and down. And then slightly up. I'm terrified about starting school on Wednesday. I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing to distract myself with other things. I guess it's a good thing, because me worrying and freaking out all the time isn't going to help anyone, but I'm still worried (ha) that if I try to ignore things I'll just have a nervous breakdown someday. So I don't know. I guess I have to get through this semester regardless, so whatever.

Mostly I feel like I'll just never be happy again. Not *truly* happy. I may laugh again; in fact, I notice now when I laugh, because it surprises me so much, and I can remember every time I've laughed in the last week. So I will laugh. But I don't think I'll ever truly be happy again. I will never again be carefree, though if I were honest with myself I would know that I haven't been "carefree" in years, mostly over stupid crap that clearly doesn't matter now.

A diagnosis like this is one of those things that splits your life; it demarcates time for you in such a cruelly precise way. There is the time before the diagnosis, when things were comparatively wonderful, and there is the time after the diagnosis, aka now, aka the future, aka everything our lives will be from now on, which is horrible.

I realize that it does no good to be negative, and that I can make things a lot easier for everyone, including myself, if I stay positive. But honestly, I don't think I'm capable of staying positive for more than 15 minutes at a time. I know I should just give it time, since it hasn't even been a full week since we found out (how bizarre is that? It feels like another, awful, lifetime), but again, that is something a logical, reasonable, healthy person would do.

I try to remember to breathe.

Tonight it was very icy outside. There was this fine mist falling and over the course of the evening, while I was toiling away in a toasty bookstore, this lovely mist gradually formed an invisible glaze of ice over everything. When we got out of the store at 11:30, we had to slide down the sidewalk (comically) penguin-walk to our cars across the parking lot (even more comically) and start to hack away at the 3mm layer of ice on our windshields. I worked for a good 15 minutes defrosting my car. However, the best part of the parking lot fun was when I was trapped on a patch of ice about 3 feet from my car door. I kept reaching for the door handle to pull myself over, but it was just inches out of reach. My feet scrambled in their business-casual brown leather shoes on the ice-patch, which rather seemed to be enjoying itself, while I swiped at thin air with my ineffectual, begloved hands.

Then it was time to drive. Surprisingly, the main roads were fine. I ran into trouble when I turned onto the neighborhood streets. I was going a cautious 20 mph or so when I started slowing down, much more carefully than usual, for the first stop sign. Things went bad fast, and I lost control and skidded my back wheel into the curb at a deadly 4mph. After this, I decided that 2mph was probably the proper speed for the conditions, and proceeded to make my way through the neighborhood thus, without further incident. I dimly registered the BBC radio announcer's story about the conflict in Kenya as I carefully cruised through the darkness at walking speed, riding the break that I was half convinced would be completely useless should I seriously need it. Though I was concentrating very hard on driving with about 65% of my brain, and listening to the radio story with another 10% of it, this still left another 25% unoccupied, which soon became bored and started philosophizing. I philosophized thus: I made it through the neighborhood by realizing that if I could move 3 inches at 2mph without losing control, I could make it all the way to my house at 2mph without losing control. It dawned on me that if I could apply this method to my mom's cancer, we all just might make it home again.

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