Friday, November 04, 2005

Last year on October 4 I went in for surgery for my cancer. I was diagnosed about a month or two prior and was intensely tested for the months before that. All in all, I have spent the time from the first test until now in doctor's offices, hospitals, labs, wards. I've gotten to know the nurses, how many children they have, who they are dating, what shows they watch. I show them pictures of my kids. They show me pictures of theirs. We communicate like people outside of the situation.

I look at other patients and sometimes we nod at each other like relatives across a great big Thanksgiving table. Sometimes we deliberately journey inward and refuse to acknowledge each other as if to say this is not real. You are not real. I know both avenues, and their paths, intimately.

It's been a year since the surgery a little shorter since the chemo ended and still we are going, in one way or another albeit in a better way. I had lunch with my friend today and his experience with the medical world beats mine (though it's a race he wouldn't want to win) and together we chart our life according to these dates. He is still living with his. It lives with him as he lives with it. There is the potential to oprah-ize our moments together but I can't. They are not that simple. I cherish them because I can cut through a lot of daily bullshit and we can speak in shorthand. But I look at my friend before me I see him incomplete not because of his physicality but because his desire isn't satiated. And I am humbled.


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