I Haven’t Written Since I Asked You For Money

7 Nov

…and that seems in poor taste.  I was watching an episode of Twin Peaks, but for the first time in a long time I felt the spirit move me to write something down here.  Maybe Agent Cooper inspired me; maybe it’s because we’re in a class that’s been focused on childbirth and will shortly move on to gynecological cancers; maybe it’s because a few weeks ago while working with a doctor, I met and examined a 4 hour old baby in hospital; maybe it’s because I just paid my quarterly bill for oocyte storage.   Maybe it’s because it’s really, truly, deeply, post-birthday autumn here and that always makes me feel reflective.  So much change in my life and lives of those I know and have known has occurred since I started writing here.

Good news first; I haven’t heard a peep from cancer.  My CA-125’s remain unmeasurabley low and my spirits high.  We had some crap news in the family about cancer, but I have no doubt that cancer is, once again, about to have it’s ass handed to it by a member of my family.  Really.  Cancer doesn’t even know what is happening/about to happen to it.

Forgive me, but I’m not going to give you a narrative rundown of what’s happened to me since May.  I’ll restrain myself to a list, read on if you want to fall asleep immediately.

1. Ran that pesky half marathon (THANK-YOU for your tremendous support – you helped raise $1,846 to help other people exercise after chemotherapy, which kicks fucking ass)

not gonna lie, totally posed for this picture when I saw my mom at the top of the hill.

2. Finished first year of medical school

3. Adopted hermit crabs

4. Went to Portland, OR

5. Stopped biting my nails

and went to Maine and found this sand dollar on the beach

6.  Had someone commission this from a favorite artist for me

7. Sold my Subaru.  Bought a pick-up truck.

not even remotely my pickup, but this is what comes up when you google “badass pickup truck”

8. Doctors appointments (obvi)

  • how’s my egg?
  • what will it look like for me to have a child?
  • how’s my estrogen level?
  • etc…

I don’t know.  I could go on and on about the things the people I love do that have made me proud or the things that have inspired or challenged or scared or angered me in medical school.  Y’all know I do love a list.  I mostly wanted to touch base with this interweb space because I feel my clerkships drawing near.  That time in graduate medical education when I’ll be granted the privilege of interacting with patients on a day to day basis.  Cancer feels really near when I see patients sometimes.  Not near in the sense that I will be struck down by recurrence tomorrow, but near in that my patient’s vulnerabilities summon my own.  Near in that when I got to touch and see the 4 hour old baby in the hospital, see a flushed and thrilled new father, a take charge new grandmother, an exhausted and serene new mom I had to swallow and blink so that I didn’t cry.  I won’t ever make that or be that or have that.  It’s ok – it was just more visceral than I anticipated.  The experience also feels near in that every time I hear a medical student, resident, nurse, or attending judge or belittle a patient, in front of them or behind their back, I want to turn and say “You know, you could be talking about me, right?”

I have bad days with medical school.  Sometimes we really don’t communicate well.  Sometimes we argue, sometimes we’re not even speaking for days at a time, but I still feel like I’m on the right path.  I feel called.  Today I got to meet three young, bright and brave men with autism who taught a group of medical students (myself included) about their experience of the world.  I got to listen, in depth, to someone describing losing their loved one of 25 years to dementia, I got to hear blood slooshing through a stiff aortic valve, I got to read and comprehend a New England Journal of Medicine article, I got to comfort a young woman in her first pregnancy, I got to help a woman who is in so much pain she only goes down stairs backwards because at least that way if she is overcome by pain and falls, it’ll be her bottom that hits the carpet below.  That was today.  This is a privilege.  Life feels full and rich these days.  Full of love, given and received.  Rich with art and experience and education.  And plus, there’s a cat sitting in front me doing this:

I’ll be more in touch.  For now, enjoy a tune if you feel like it…


7 Responses to “I Haven’t Written Since I Asked You For Money”

  1. Mama-Zebra November 8, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Beautiful blog sweetheart. What a marvel you are!
    Let me ask you though: Do you eat out of that bowl?

    • thezebrachronicles November 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

      That’s Adam’s grandma’s gifilte fish bowl! She literally got off the boat with that and almost nothing else. Now it is a cat sitting bowl pretty much exclusively.

      • Liza Kerrigan November 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

        A gifilte fish bowl? No wonder the cat sits in it…How funny!

      • Mama-Zebra November 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

        Priceless…the white fish smell lingers for future generations of Adam’s family to enjoy…

  2. Barbara November 8, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    suprised, scared & angered..that’s how I used to feel working in respiratory therapy; oftentimes hiding in the broom closet seemed the best course. Hang in there honey; need a phone call re: what that first sentence means, cancer again? Whatsgoingon?

  3. Leigh Horner November 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    Great news about the CA125! Even greater news that you are living each moment of each day to the fullest. It’s a gift.

  4. Liza Kerrigan November 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Your blogs are always an inspiration, this one included. One thing in particular…… Those touching vulnerable moments you’ve had the privilege of witnessing (I know you know), are those patients histories.

    You’ve your own history babyducks! It’s an intelligent, accomplished, vivid, beautiful and profound brew of your humanity. You may never “make that, have that, feel that” in the same way as that young family. But you will make/have/feel just as fully, -guaranteed- in your way.

    I’m sure you observe, plunked in the middle of human vulnerabilities, motherhood/family/bonding/love happens uniquely to each ones history. You’ll bring your own most touching moment to your motherhood! It’ll be great!; probably greater given what you have been through! Can’t wait to see it unfold………. hugs and kisses!
    My thoughts and concerns about the other’s cancer as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: