Wednesday, December 31, 2008


When I first found out about this thing, it hit me like a pound of herring*, and I felt like a different person. Different in some unexpectedly but also slightly cliche good ways. Like, reordering of priorities, consciousness of mortality, appreciation of "the little things", true empathy with anyone in suffering, etc. etc. Just basically a more conscious and appreciative and kinder and deeper person. Good things, right?

But two and a half months on and still in "watch and wait" mode, I find myself becoming complacent and forgetful. Wanting to be a deeper person but not wanting to have to actually suffer to achieve it.

Next MRI scheduled for Jan 19, consultation Jan. 22. I'll find out then if I have to have my head cut open or not. Whether or not I'll have to experience some more-or-less real suffering. Hopefully less!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

*(just trying to come up with an alternative to the cliche "ton of bricks")

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


For the life of me, I cannot remember what I was going to say.

Living alone

I love living alone. I never feel lonely. I am selfish and self-absorbed, so it suits me. Nobody to have to consult with, nobody to have to negotiate or compromise with, nobody to get in my way. I do what I like when I like. Watch tv at 3 am, sit around all day Sunday in my pajamas, leave clothes hanging on doorknobs, or in piles on the floor if I feel like it. Eat, don't eat, cook something yummy for dinner, or nibble on leftovers standing at the sink. Whatever I feel like doing. Clean house, don't clean house, whatever I feel like doing. Company coming? Then I clean house. Just me and the cats? They don't mind the dust, neither do I.

I am not lonely. I don't have a man in my life, and don't feel the need. I'm 51 years old, a confirmed old bachelorette, and likely to remain so (to paraphrase Henry Higgins).

And yet the prospect of surgery and of lengthy recovery without anybody to help - well, who knew. Serious illness wasn't something I was thinking might be a possibility. Who thinks about that? I never did.

Ah well. What can you do? This has been my path, and I wouldn't change a thing. I'm a proud old spinster and I'll manage somehow.

Me and Kate Hepburn. Yeah right.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mental state

I'm bad. I'm so bad. Ever since the diagnosis I've had trouble taking my job as seriously as I should. This is really, really, bad, because lives depend on my doing my job well. The lives of animals, yeah, but if I didn't think those were important, I wouldn't be in this field. And it's not like I'm blowing off my responsibilities. But I can't seem to shake this sort of obsessive inward focus, this amazement and worry about my brain and my future, and everything outside my own skull just seems somehow a little less compelling. I don't want to go to work. I just want to hang out with the cats in my sunny apartment all day, puttering around, taking it easy. It's almost as if I'm already thinking of myself as in post-op recovery, because if I have to have surgery, that's sort of what I vaguely envision it as being like. (Except of course that I won't be able to bend over or lift anything or cook or do any housework or laundry, and I'll be tired all the time, and have to sleep with my head elevated, and be on a bunch of drugs for who knows how long. Etc. Assuming everything goes well, that is! But I digress.)

This is the PRECISE thing I did NOT want to find myself doing! The self-absorption of the seriously ill - I've seen it so many times in my family, and I didn't want to be doing it myself, especially since I have such a strong Leo tendancy to be self-absorbed all the time anyway. And now look at me! Self-absorbed to the max! Fight it though I do, as hard as I can, yet despite all my best efforts I'm doing it anyway!

Aaagh! I can't stand myself!