Saturday, December 17, 2005


I just woke up from a dream that I had leukemia, and was in the hospital waiting to begin my first treatment; and the nurse came in with an assortment of needles, some alien machinery, and weird-looking medicines, and told me that my hair would start to fall out at 9am sharp. So I protested that couldn't I just take my chances on getting better on my own, and oh god, oh god, do I really have to go through this??

My sister-in-law does have to go through this, and doesn't get to wake up in a wave of sharp relief, then rinse off the lingering miasma of horror with a warm shower, a cup of coffee, and a little light browsing on snopes.

Mom went through this. Jesus, I don't even know what Mom went through. She didn't complain much. I never realized how badly off she really was. She was trying to protect me - as moms will do - but also she really didn't have a complaining personality. She kept me somewhat posted about what was going on but tended to make light of it. Once or twice she broke down in tears on the phone, talking about a setback in her treatment or fears about her prognosis, but collected herself and apologized for making such a fuss over it. She looked immediate death right in the face and apologized to me for making a big deal.

Oh geez. I'm about to fry out my keyboard with salt water here.

My beautiful stepmother (thank God for her) has MS and I really don't have much of a clue what she goes through, either. Whatever it is, she deals with it with cheerful grace and good nature, and only occasionally will remark in passing on the annoyances of ill-health - and she, too, will apologize for talking about suffering. She is (and I don't say this only because she's reading) probably about the least burdensome creature I can imagine; generous, warm, loving, supportive, kind and empathetic.

According to the Tarot (Disclaimer: I am not a fruitcake), the Death card represents change, and I can see how. I'm teetering on the brink of huge changes in my life and am so frightened I can hardly see straight; and tend to have a horribly morbid viewpoint of late.

In my dream, a friend (someone I don't recognize from real life) dropped me off for treatment at the hospital at night, then went off home to bed, and left me to face it all alone. I'm so afraid of being alone, of growing old, of illness, of death hurtling towards me at a breakneck pace and nothing I can do but stave off the inevitable.

I wish I were a little girl again - I wish somebody could protect me and take care of me, and make the bad dreams go away.


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