Daze of My Life: I've Been Wondering...
Daze of My Life
I've Been Wondering...
Perhaps some of you regular readers have noticed of late, but recently - for the first time in six months or so of commentating - I have strayed occasionally from my cancer-related norm. And I suppose that's a good thing, a sign or an indication that no longer am I consumed, mentally, by the condition in which I find myself so heavily involved. Apparently, I have assimilated having cancer into my routine. Not so much coordinating my weekly labs, my every three-week chemotherapy infusion, every three-week appointment with my oncologist and miscellaneous other scans, procedures and evaluations into my daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly schedule, all of which becomes (or has become for me) second nature, despite their primary - and ongoing - importance; but more so into the activities of my daily living: reading, writing and 'rithmetic, etc.
Life goes on, believe it or not, even after receiving devastating news. And though I might not have imagined normalizing it (the diagnosis) as I have (especially after that first weekend at home after meeting with the oncologist the previous Thursday), but I have, and the evidence has been in my writing, specifically the non-cancer subject matter (that once again matters). Though the material is still as I see fit to write it, I seem to be a bit more fit than I have been and the proof is in the prose.
Don't get me wrong, the column is still about me, as it always has been. But it's less about the struggles of dealing with a cancer diagnosis, subsequent - and continuing - treatment, plus all the related effects not unique to me, as it has been since June. Obviously, I'm still very caught up and consumed by my health situation/status (and will continue to be), but subconsciously my brain has rewired itself a little bit and compartmentalized/segregated some (definitely not all) of the cancer thoughts thereby enabling me to mentally meander once again and literally lose my my mind in some more ordinary and mundane minutiae, the kind of which has characterized my column for the past 12 years.
And as I find myself writing about non-sense once again, I'm feeling empowered, sort of, by its appearance; I'm me again. I'm not Kenny-with-cancer; I'm just, Kenny, who happens to have cancer, who writes about it regularly but not exclusively. And deviating from this most recent 'ab-norm' of late has re-routed me. No longer am I on the cancer train. No longer am I on the road to God-help-me. I'm simply back on the same road as everybody else, back dealing with and managing the same myriad problems as everybody else (with one major exception, of course). But the cancer thing doesn't define me anymore (yeah, right?). Oh sure, it precedes me, it categorizes me, it may even be me, but no more does it control me.
My brain (and my body) has persevered through it all now: the initial testing, the shock of the diagnosis, the chemotherapy which followed, the regular medical activities/appointments/scans which continue and the lifestyle changes, have all been integrated into my/our routine. Onward we go. I feel like I'm myself again and since I've always liked myself, I'm happy to be back (heck, as a cancer patient, I'm happy to be anywhere). I'm not cured of anything, though; I'm just more comfortable (subject to change, of course).
Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.