Saturday, July 31, 2010

Number One

Nicky says that I should start a blog and post one of my poems every day. Or did I say that, to Nicky, casually, over Korean BBQ at a weekday lunch, or out on campus while we watched Lulu chasing squirrels at Faculty Glade? Well, whichever. Whatever. Whoever. Nicky's the one who knows what a blog is and how to start one, I'm the one who seems to have something to say...constantly

The point is that Nicky, whether he started the idea or not, Nicky is the one who wouldn't let the idea go. He's the one who sat on my couch on Tuesday and Googled Blogger, worked his way to the set-up page, and then handed me the laptop and said, "Ok, now, you just need a name." And there was no real escape. I was fried from the chemo, the new chemo, the chemo that I call cruel and that my beloved oncologist, Dr. Jim, has, since then, just yesterday in fact, declared me free from. (Well, go ahead, you think it's an ill-constructed sentence, you take it on, work it out. I'd be grateful.) He took one look at the soles of my poor feet and said...

So, anyway, on Tuesday, I was fried and Efren was in the back, painting trim before I lose all the window frames to dry rot in the laundry area, and Nicky had brought me Thai noodles from the Thai place that Pat taught me about, and I had been able to eat just enough to feel almost human again, even though every bite was a small torture for my chemo-shredded mouth—Xeloda does have a thing for mucus membranes, it seems. So, what could I do? I set up a Blogspot and here I am.

Just a note here, by the way, in all fairness to Xeloda, Dr. Jim, when I called it cruel, said that, "Many women find it completely benign, Melanie, believe it or not. It seems to run the gamut from A to Z. Unfortunately, you seem to be a Z." Ah, yes, a Z. And not for the first time. But my advice, if you are struggling with metastasized breast cancer, and your doctor says, "Well, I think we should try Xeloda." My advice? Try it! We have to keep trying, right?

More on this later, and it's a pretty amazing story so far, if I do say so myself—her2 neu positive, hormone-receptor negative metastasis in the liver; four and a half years of living with mets, so far, and two years of that chemo-free, so far. Honest, no kidding. No, I know, none of us can believe it, either, but I just keep limping along—

So, I do want to explain who Nicky is, and Lauren, who hasn't even appeared yet, but who wanted me to blog about who I am and that I have cancer, and some of the things that I think about AS WELL as printing one of my poems each day. And there's so much to say about living with cancer and living with dying and all that, BUT...

I just spilled a large glass of iced club soda in my bed. Again. And I'm actually pretty tired. So, until tomorrow, I will just post one of my bird poems. They were written as a cycle, these bird poems, and this is not officially the first of the cycle, but it is the one that has provided the name of this blog, and the url. And I sort of love it. A lot. So, here it is and sweet good night to you.

Today's Poem

we watch
the birds
in the grander scheme
of things

Saturday afternoon

the olive-sided flycatcher
(ridiculous as that may seem)
the great pee-wee (that can't be here)
a brown towhee (that is)
a house finch (always)

waiting for a twinge
a wise complaint

living after dying
they needed me

living after dying
I thought they needed me

call and response
when crows aren't flying

I want, I want to see him again
just one more time

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