Saturday, September 15, 2012


The Thinker: too much on his mind

So my doctor, the one who told me on Thursday that I have cancer, was supposed to call me on Friday to tell me how bad it is. He was waiting for an additional report from the pathologists. He didn't call.

I didn't call him either, which is what I imagine any normal person would do under the circumstances—call the guy and find out. I don't want to find out. Ignorance of these matters is as blissful as it gets. I'm already imagining the worst I can. Why would I want to find out it's worse still?

Meanwhile, I'm exhausted all the time. Much of this is due I suppose to the fact that I just had surgery. I keep telling myself that it was endoscopic, outpatient surgery, and shouldn't be that big a deal. My doctor keeps reminding me that I was really sick when I first came to see him so I shouldn't expect my recovery to be a simple thing. Bolstering this view is the fact that, after two weeks, I'm still hosing saline solutions up into my head and blowing alien life forms out several times a day.

On the other hand, it may be depression that's making me tired. I was actually feeling better for a few days. I had more energy. I was staying up for longer periods of time. I'd weaned off the pain meds. I was busy conceptualizing a new series of artworks featuring tubas of all things, and feeling a renewed sense of excitement about that as well as writing. Then I found out about the cancer.

Now I'm suspended between feelings of not wanting to be in bed and not wanting to be walking around as if nothing's the matter. I spend a lot of time also suspended between really dark thoughts and trying to manage a bucket list that contains not one item that I can afford. My fault really. I mean I didn't have to load the list up with Lamborghinis, waterfront properties, exotic vacations, and a stable of Triple Crown contenders. What the hell was I thinking?

I'm going to have to trudge through this grand mal funk. I don't really have a choice. I figure it will take a couple of days. That's all it took the last time a doctor told me I had cancer. I've got prior experience, so I ought to be better at this process than some poor schmuck who just found out he's got cancer for the first time. Experience counts for more in living than it does in the current job market where, apparently, it just means you didn't have the good sense to move on when you had the chance.

I've done this cancer thing before. I intend to survive cancer however many times I have to in order to die from old age. Fortunately I'm already pretty old so I think I've got a legitimate shot.

In any event, it's a shot I have to take. I've got stuff to do. The tubas are not going to photograph themselves. Nubile young women are not going to come knocking on my door to ask would I mind very much taking their pictures with gigantic wind instruments.

The several books I have in various stages of completion are not going to finish themselves, even though the characters in them seem determined to do stuff that I haven't asked them to do. The characters may be free agents, but in my experience they just won't write anything down. They certainly don't make my life as an author very easy.

Now that I'm jobless, retired, and mostly idle, I don't have any time left over to be sick and dying. I'm just too busy. It's not easy to save up for a Lamborghini when you don't have any income. You've got to stay focused.

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