Slow the last few days. Bought pale green floor & deck paint for the bedroom floor, which Steve & Nancy can start applying on Monday. A thin coat, then 24 hours drying, then another thin coat, then drying, then we should be able to put my bedroom back together. I’m so ready for that. I’ve also made some financial arrangements that should (cross fingers) let me manage the co-pays without going broke. Thank god for health insurance, thank god for Kaiser Permanente, and thank god for my job, but it’s still going to cost a bushel of money.
I had a good, long phone conversation with my oncologist last Friday. Kaiser rotates its specialists among the islands, so as of today he’s back on Oahu and wanted to check in before he left. I asked him what cancer cells do when they die. He said that (in essence) the radiation breaks them down and microphages chomp them up. This is great, because now I have something to think about during radiation. I’m told that it might be useful to thank the cancer cells for teaching me what they could, and bidding them farewell, but I am still too pissed to go that route. Ka-pow, you carcinomic bastards! Die, you squamous shits!
This reminds me: my mother had a friend named Stella, who was also married to a gringo; they came to California about the same time my parents did. Stella’s husband Max was a firebrand, a radical, and something of a bastard: he often went out to dine with friends but left Stella and the kids at home to make do with whatever meager funds he granted them, and was more absent than present until it seemed that his absences were worth a lot more than his presence. Stella loathed him but, good Catholic that she was, she couldn’t divorce him. Besides, that would have left him free to follow his cock around Berkeley and she refused to give him the satisfaction. She also refused to learn English. And another thing she refused was to curse him as the son of a whore because, she said, she was opposed to cursing men by referring to their mothers. Instead, she called him “un hijo de la mala verga,” that is, the son of a rotten cock. I have always appreciated her inventiveness.
Truth to tell, my most vivid memory of Max is scent-related. We lived a block apart from each other, and one day Max said he was going to cook dinner for both families – a paella I think – and made tremendous preparations. On the day of the dinner, he showed up in my parents’ kitchen with three-day-old fish. I gagged and took to my room and stuck my head out the window and generally behaved like a full-fledged brat, and refused to partake at the top of my lungs.
Aside: when I look back at my childhood I tend to assume that I was a well-behaved, if not actually repressed little girl, but when I dredge up actual memories, um, not so much. That’s something to think about during radiation, when I’m not flinging thunderbolts at cancer cells.
So, it starts early tomorrow (I count waking up at 6:15 as part of “it” since I am not particularly a day person). I will don my “Not dead yet” t-shirt and head north. I don’t expect much to happen (they say the first couple of weeks of radiation are fairly easy) and I’m hoping to stop off somewhere nifty for breakfast on the way back.