Tuesday, June 28, 2005

So much to say and I'm not sure where to begin. Today my port-a-cath was removed, officially ending my chemotherapy. They will keep monitoring me over the next two years. If I can make it past the five year mark without the cancer coming back then I will be good. My oncologist and my gastrointerologist were both worried (but still positive) because the cancer had progressed so much and due to the size of the tumor (a golf ball in my intestines) they are keen to keep an eye on me. Which of course, I have no trouble with. Now I can focus on all the other health problems.

The procedure itself, the removal of the port, was rather fast. I was, however, awake for the whole thing. It is rather strange, I must say, to be talking to your doctor as he is cut a small hole in you. My friend Jon says they had called me in to de-cyborg me. I like that. They only did topical anesthesia. It hurts like hell right now but it's out. I have been to the surgery wing three times now in the past nine months and again, I recognize everyone and everyone remembers me. Last week when I went to the chemo ward one of my friends chided me for not wearing my livestrong bracelet anymore. She gave me the half closed eye and said just because things are looking up you can't stop wearing it. If anything, wear it for me. God bless her. I have searched stores and they are harder to find. Anyone know where I can find one seeing as I don't have my old one anymore?

So seeing as I had to rest (a bit) post surgery I watched a movie at home. I saw a lovely, beautiful and nuanced film called Clean. I've heard complaints that it is slow moving and the lead character wasn't likable but in relation to the story I saw those as good things. Maggie Cheung and Nick Nolte and Beatrice Dalle are in it and there is a brief appearance by Tricky. The plot line is relatively simple and reflects the title. I won't say more.

This past weekend I went to my student's funeral. I don't know why but as soon as I wrote those words I find myself unable to continue. It was an open casket and looking at his face I didn't realize how much older he had gotten. I mean, he was 22. I taught him for three years until he graduated but still, he was a boy not yet a man. And now he is a man. With a child. And now he is gone. Over bullshit. He was shot over bullshit. Is there ever any other reason? I remember the first time I met him. That day I caught him and another student out front throwing snowballs at passing cars. A co-worker from one of our sister schools implied to me, after I had busted the two, that these were beginning signs of bad behavior. Really? I just saw it as a kid being punky. It struck me as funny (obviously not funny to those getting hit). Looking back at it now, he was just being a kid. I talked to him over the course of his high school time, talking about anger and fathers. In the end they are all kids. A hand can hold a gun. Any hand. Anytime. Anywhere. Am I making sense? Maybe I'm still high from the surgery. Rest in peace my friend. All I can do is keep teaching. That is what I will do to honor you.


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