Tuesday, October 18, 2011

stepping out of thuh beeg C?

dear fellow beings.
i'm opening to the wide world of what is life like without cancer. tentative as it all ways is anyway, huh? i've just finished my (extensioned) taxes for the second year since treatment, and am saddened and stunned to find it takes me nearly three times as long as it did before treatment (even after diagnosis). the most obvious conclusion for me is that my brain is working 3 times as slow, after head & neck surgery & radiation. but i'm hearting&thinking hard about surviving this okay. and treatment may not be the only factor. it is hard and distracting for me to live in a city and without all my belongings—still in storage since July 09 in Oakland CA, ironically the town of my birth. it is next on my list of adventures to relocate outside of city in a domicile large enuf to envelope my belongings from out of storage. and of course it would be nice if it was in a place where i will enjoy living ... maybe for a long time. whiew, to settle down?
we'll see how that materializes.
in the meantime, the somewhat annual mcc (my specific, rare, kind of cancer) gathering, hosted by a main research & clinical lab in the country focused on mcc, Dr. Paul Nghiem's lab here at UW/SCCA in Seattle, comes on tuesday, october twenty-five (if you wish to attend, i can invite you, let me know.). would i travel to it if it required more than a bicycle? it is hard for me to bring my self out of where i am right now to imagine. i am right in the hub for the moment, and am, in my way, taking advantage of it. by simple presence + enthusiasm. our numbers are increasing. there's an international google group of us. a number live in town, several of us know each other. i am going to propose a retreat and a local in-person support group, for people touched by mcc; and if there's significant co-enthusiasm, i'll put a lot into either or both of these for the next 6 months at least. if not, i'll send my self off into other things ... there are many rather equivalent pipe dreams of mine rustling at this time. i think the next couple weeks will tell a lot on this.
i'll also see a few doctors regarding some other not so worrisome side effects, mild double vision and mild irretrievable weight loss. and may participate in a research study on "memory or thinking problems after cancer treatment."
so everything may still seem all cancer focussed. but i am also going, with eyes & time, open: for a job, a new home, and many goals of old: writing, intentional community. and when i look back just a bit, a year, and two, i see and feel i have been doing just this all along, while also accomplishing what is absolutely necessary in my slowly returning stride.
with you by my side. grateful. marty