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Okay! Wednesday the 3rd of October was the last day of radiation. I got this weird mask just in time for Halloween. But it freaks out the dog. So I probably won’t wear it — or not often, anyway (I did. backwards – -so I was ‘two-faced’ for Halloween). For five weeks, every week day, from August 23rd to October 3rd, I finished work on time (that never happens…) and got to the Cancer Agency just a bit late to lie on a metal bed to get my brain zapped. it was a very trippy experience. The radiologists and techs were really efficient and friendly. They asked me when my birthday was every time. One time I asked them if they wanted to know what I wanted for my birthday.

A unicycle. and lessons. I think it would be great to learn how to ride a unicycle, good for my balance and core strength AND brain function. When I told the two young women who were the team about that, they were very interested. Thought maybe we could make up spin classes, but with unicycles. “Could be our ticket out” I said.

Su’s always going on about some weird thing being “our ticket out”. I sometimes make this great liver dish with carmelized onions, apple and balsamic reduction. “that could be your ticket out” she said once. Her son makes amazing sour dough bread. He also is a carpenter and makes workout things out of ropes and carbiners. He has many tickets out.

Su’s ticket out is her habit of collecting Harris Tweed coats from thrift stores and re-purposing them. cutting them down to women’s sizes and shapes, making vests or cuffs from them. Other things, too, related to fabrics. She’s got an eye for beauty.

Where is “out”, though? And what if, instead of “out”, some of these pursuits could be our ticket “in”? Uh-oh.

Okay. As usual, it is now many days after I began this post. I’ve a cold today. Feel terrible. But never mind, I’ll be okay soon. There’s a bug going around work. I work in a residential addictions treatment centre. And recently, early in the summer, I moved from the women’s floor to a men’s floor. Now I work with ALL men. Imagine that.

Alright. Jeez. Now it’s more than a week since i left off. More than a week — a lot of change, started chemo on the 17th of October, that was interesting. I think i’m making up more symptoms than I have. You know how that is sometimes? Am I tired because of the drugs or because i’m not sleeping because i wake up worried about the drugs or because i’m just normal and have to pee a few times a night at my age now?

This whole chemo thing is weird. I almost feel as if I’m making it all up. I don’t have any symptoms from the brain tumour. No headaches, no seizures, no wonky motor function — nothing i can perceive. But I’m radiated now, (and have a bald spot to prove it), and I’m getting chemotherapy (which will probably NOT cause any hair loss). So there must be something going on up there. Well, of course there is. It IS my brain, after all. There’s some storms a-brewin’! the thing that keeps bugging me though is, it kinda feels as though i’m making this whole thing up.

Who would make up a brain tumour? Now that I think of it, it kinda reminds me of when I decided to be a lesbian. It was 1985, I lived in Lethbridge, I was a university student, and I had been, until that spring, engaged to marry a man. Lovely guy, too. We still are in sort of contact. Sometimes I see him when I go home (so very seldom now — this year not once. I ache for home, the older I become). Anyway, my world split open. I fell in love with a woman, i fell in love with feminism, I returned to school a different (but the very same) woman. It was weird looking in the mirror and seeing a lesbian. It didn’t feel like a trial. I remember thinking, “am i doing this because it’s cool to be a dyke now?”

at the time, it kind of was cool to be a lesbian. But I was still afraid. I lived in Southern Alberta, after all. But I didn’t ever have to face the violence that women even ten years older than I had faced. I was never incarcerated for loving women, never hospitalized. I lost a job once in the late 1980s, but it was a crappy job anyway. It was easy, overall. Becoming a lesbian. So I wondered, you know, if I was making it up to be cool, somehow.

I’m not cool, though. It’s been 35 years — just over. And now i’ve been a lesbian WAY longer than I was ever heterosexual. I was cool for, um, maybe, if you added all the days together, about a year all totalled. Not that brain tumours are cool, not at all. The suffering, though, I’m NOT suffering. Not that I want to be, no. But it seems unfair that I get all this attention and the treatments and appointments and so forth, and my brain tumour is this little dorky slow-growing thing that’s just poking around back there, not causing a ruckus or anything. I suppose it’s better than letting it be and then it’ll get all obstreperous and mean eventually. yes. definitely better than that. I’m not making this up. I just go get my MRIs, and those reveal the movements of the stowaway. I wonder if it has a consciousness? Does it know things? Can it tell that we’re after it? Wouldn’t I know if it was sentient?

Okay, this is getting weird for a blog. I should put this stuff in my paper journal, not out here on the web for everyone to see. But it’s here now. I may just leave it.

I will just leave it. I’ve had a pretty good fall so far. Which is lucky, because i have no more sick days at work, or vacation days — so I can’t get sick. well, I can, but then i would have to take a bit of a hit on my paycheque. it’s a small thing, though. all is well. Okay, i’m going to go do my school project now and post this. Next time i’ll put up something about the last GIDYVR talk, which we attended, (as did about 300 other people, probably more). I think the tide may be turning. Then again, maybe not. I get all hopeful then I step out of my house…sigh.

more later, dear ones.

About easilyriled

My mom was Edith, my dad was John. I have a brother, who is Shawn. I have many friends and allies and mentors in my life. I'm white, over-educated, working in a field for which I am not yet trained, messy, funny, smart, lesbian, feminist "Not the fun kind", as Andrea Dworkin said. But I, like the feminists I hang with, ARE fun. Radical feminism will be the roots of our shared liberation. Rejection of sex-stereotypes (gender) and male domination will give us wings.

One response »

  1. I like your writing and am happy you share it!
    Best wishes to you with your treatments, looking forward to good news.


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