Thursday, July 06, 2006


I am back in Cancerland. Despite all the time these last fifteen years I've tried to deny this, I am resident of that country. Perhaps permanently. My disease, all appetite, has come back an even half dozen times. This morning, looking at other cancer sites and blogs, my heart (surrounded by enlarged lymph nodes) sank. So many sites were powerful or supplied solid information. But, and I am tearing up again, their words made me want to run away. I thought, “I do not want to be one of you. I do not want to be in your club.” Tough luck, cookie, you are.

I am not going to cry. I am in a public place. This time, another coffee shop—Water Street Coffee Joint—with its fine deli of delectables and delicious beverages I could make for one twentieth the cost at home. But who wants to be home, with all of its concerns crying out (dishes, laundry, clutter.) My husband and son are at a picnic involving potato salad and lots of athletics. I am here with Earl Grey.

Yesterday, I got an encouraging note in the mail, where an acquaintance forgave a small debt. Part of me believed she’d returned my payment out of pity, and, briefly, I surged with anger. This is irrational and hypocritical, as I do this sort of small generosity frequently. (To mix religious terminology, I strongly believe both in grace and good karma.) Her gesture was kindly; I know this. But my vanity got in the way. “You are not outside the human race. You do not need special treatment,” my Vanity said. I imagine her standing gaunt and tall in a magnificent outfit, looking something like Cruella DeVille. Vice usually has more flair than virtue.

Today I ask for grace in accepting the generosity of others. Acts not done out of pity, but as a way to help, somehow, a situation they can do very little about. When illness hits, our friends and loved ones are outside of us and often feel helpless. And Lord knows, my husband and I have needed these kindnesses, large and small, over the years. People teaching a class for me, keeping our son overnight, or helping us make the odd mortgage payment. Thank you and thank you. I appreciate you walking the border of Cancerland with me.

Best, Jumblie Girl


Blogger studiobeerhorst said...

Dang it Julie, I want you out of that "club" too! Healthy and Strong and Happy....good writing....I like the line about vice and virtue....I remember thinking that when I watched the Narnia movie! The White Witch was much more compelling in the movie than Aslan! I had not thought that in the book, but visually she was just mesmerizing (a good actress helps).--Brenda

6:07 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home