life

It’s been a while since I’ve been here, I know. I suppose that is because when my chemo ended and my body (and mind) began to feel like the old Mike, I stepped a ways back from cancer–the thought of it, the feeling of it, everything about it. I made a decision to make certain changes in my life (diet, exercise, etc.) and hoped the doctor would tell me what I wanted to hear. I have followed through on some of the changes, but the doctor has yet to really tell me what I most want to hear: in the words of George Costanza, “Cancer? Get outta here!”

Around Christmas time, I was speaking with Fanou Walton, the mother of Dawn’s oldest and dearest friend, Aurelia, and an extended family member in residence (the Walton clan in general is extended family for us) and she brought up my blog and how valuable it was for her. She mentioned the ideas and thoughts that a person in my state formulates, and how such things are meaningful to others too. I told her that when you feel healthy again, and it becomes easy to distance yourself from the sickly patient you once were, it also becomes difficult to hang onto those ideas. It is a bit of a struggle to keep them around since there is no longer the constant reminder of their origin, their rationale.

But still, Dawn and I have learned to look at the day to day stresses of life in a new way. We have learned to look at each other and say, “Remember what we learned from cancer? Life is bigger than this.” She had to say this to me on the phone recently when I was fuming about receiving my first traffic ticket in several years. Traffic tickets have the power to make even the most blatant violator an indignant, self-righteous asshole. I just couldn’t believe I had been slapped with an $80+ ticket. I really didn’t think I had done anything wrong, and I have a reputation these days of driving like a grandpa (one that still can see, anyway). Furthermore, it was my first day driving the pickup truck we had just purchased to make my job easier. “Remember what we’ve learned….,” she said. And she was right. We have definitely learned a thing or two about life–and some of them are not too hard to recall. Remembering how insignificant a traffic ticket is in the grand scheme of things is one of them.

So, in a little over a week I return to Dr. Arbaje’s office for a check-up. He will give us the results of my latest blood work, and we will continue to forge ahead, regardless of what he says.

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In other news, I can’t avoid the topic of my hair. It’s coming back strong. The hair atop my head is the strangest in its return, for sure. It has this downy feel about it. The other night, Dawn and I were at a small party held at the Monroe Street Fine Arts Center where Dawn teaches flute lessons a couple of nights a week, and there were lots of young children about. A young boy, probably two, walked into the room and I noticed his hair was just like my post-chemo hair. It is similar to a newborn baby’s hair. It is also far darker than my natural hair color.

I’m also shaving again, which I have quite mixed feelings about. I look like myself again, but dammit I hate shaving. Once a week, and no more than that.

Perhaps I’ll post a new photo soon.

I’ll try not to wait so long to write next time….

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4 Responses to “life”

  1. Stephanie Jutt Says:

    Dear Mike,
    Thanks for letting me have a little window into your life and all the things that have happened, are happening. It’s really a huge gift and I appreciate it so much. Also, thank you for helping Trace a few weeks ago when he really needed a ride – you were sitting all cozy in a coffee shop and then went outside into the cold to help a kid. Thanks for that. I truly hope that I’ll have an occasion to have a real conversation with you soon – sounds like you are pretty much into a full schedule. Would you and Dawn like to come over for a cup of tea/beer/whatever soon? Stephanie

  2. Post a damn photo.

  3. You can find a recent photo of me with my returned baby hair. It is hard to tell that it is any different in photos, so it will probably just look like the old Mike to most folks. But, really, it is different.

  4. I mean, I meant to say you can find one on the Photos page. 🙂

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