Dying/broken/forgiven.... now I begin

Born: 17-06-56....gemini.... monkey
re-born: 3-09-80
born again\found: 14-04-08
other notable dates: 10-03-68; 03-09-87; 23-03-96;
1-05-98; 31-01-02; 5-04-04

Interests: movement, stressed/transgressive embodiment, lived experience (body\space\time\relation)
expression ( word, dance, text, image, story, music, poetics)
learning, yielding......

Hopes for the blog:
offer up the wild intersectedness of lived experience and engage others in creative, expressive, perhaps irreverant, hopefully playful, and respectful encounters....
enact kindness
create moments of pause for disclosure, discovery, stillness

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Through the looking glass...

I suppose this should rightfully be titled " through MY looking glass...."
but, whatever.
It is one month since my last post. I have been recovering from a surgery that was necessary in response to a cancer diagnosis I received on July 25. There is lots of stuff to make sense of.... emotional, embodied, relational, intellectual.Writing about and through is one of the best ways for me to make sense of things,  so I am going to work through a series of vignettes, some absurd, some evocative, some just plain vexing. And so,  here goes.....

Vignette 1: Walking into surgery
that's how it happens now.  i arrive at the appointed time, having done the pre-op stuff several days previous. i change into two ridiculous gowns, one of which must drape off the shoulder to make room for the IV. and then there is an even more ridiculous hat, and booties that go over my shoes. so, in i walk, my blue booties covering my lovely lavender trimmed running shoes and the nurse who is the best with the needle gets the IV line in. this is important for all the goodies that will be poured in there later.....
i have " rolling " veins. this means that when one of them feels a needle coming close, it rolls away from the point. seriously. i get poked and stuck a few times before i get the line into a vein near my wrist. then, it's a waiting game in a waiting room filled with other similarly attired people all of us  guiding our IV sentinels and trying to avoid getting tangled up with each other on the frequent bathroom trips.
i am delayed about an hour. then i am called. the surgical nurse confirms i am who i say i am and i can tell her what i am having done today and who is doing it. apparently this means i am in my right mind ( !?).
then we, the nurse and i, literally walk into the surgical theatre.  i feel slightly incongruous in my booties and my hat, inexpertly dragging my IV pole. the table looks like a cross in the middle of the room, a long cocoon with arms outstretched to the sides. an odd letter T. i walk to it and place myself upon it. the lights are huge, and it is cold, so cold. i hear instruments clicking and soft voices. i realize fully, suddenly that this IS a theatre.  Everyone knows my name. i tell the story of who i am and why i am here again and again. it's a weird comfort, but i am also quite frightened. i stare up at the lights and almost feel like crying, but i don't. then, once the major players are all assembled..... they offer me the slow black buzz of sleep, and i take it.

Vignette 2: Waking up
the suddenness of the noise is startling.... i feel like i am emerging up out of a sea of ashes.....voices, lights, curtains, faces.... one voice closer than the others telling me that the surgery is over and i am alright and they will be taking me to the ward in a while.  all i see is shades of white... scrubs, curtains. blankets, masks.... then i am sharply aware of how cold i am..... i begin shivering.... i say " i am so cold"  and the voices around me say "oh my god she's shivering"  and then i get bundled, gently, in a soft warm blanket. they handle me carefully.  now it is safe to sleep again.

Vignette 3: A not so careful slide....
then i am awake again and a voice is telling me that i am going to be moved to the bed in the ward [ that's a big room with three other people in it.....]  in fact, here i am!! there is a blanket to be used and i somehow have to get myself onto it. roll this way, push push push, ok now roll the other way, push push push ..... every movement is organized around the screaming seam of agony in the middle of my pelvis. i cannot believe i am actually moving and being moved ..... ok, now we will just slide you over, brace your self. and then the slide. very fast. efficient and business like.  horrible. i lie there and feel myself actually on the beginnings of a whimper. but i don't. then the shivers start up again, and some thoughtful person  bundles me in another warm blanket.  i get the mini tutorial in how to work my morphine pump.  the red button stays with me. more important than the call button, which has mysteriously vanished down the side of the bed.  the last words i hear before i begin to fall asleep again are : you might want to give yourself a dose of that since your anaesthetic is just about worn off. good advice, i think, in that totally stupid way the mind works when one has no idea what one is actually feeling, thinking or doing. but, i manage to push the red button.

to be continued......


  1. thanks for sharing..

  2. Good to hear from you Harlequin - a dependable voice gone quiet for too long - welcome back. >ooD

  3. anonymous-- thanks for visiting and commenting; come back!!
    garth-- good to be back at it. i will be over to bother you at your place this weekend. ha ha!!
    thanks for the visit. and the nice comment.

  4. I do not like the "coming around" part, either, but I realize it is better than not doing so. I so hope all is well, or better, or getting there, harlequin!

  5. intelliwench-- indeed-- better than not coming around!! ha. i am getting there..... three radiation treatments in november and then that's it. other than 6 month check ups for the next 5 years. i am glad for the follow up. i am mostly feeling pretty good. :)
    thanks for the visit and the comment.