Have you heard the news? I’m moving. Moving, if you didn’t know, is a swift pain in the ass. It requires one to go through every last godforsaken possession they own and determine, usually in a flurry of overwhelming desperation and anxiety, if it is worthy of being packed, carted hundreds of miles, and then unpacked. The further I get along in this process the less worthy any of my possessions seem to be. If I could have my way I’d just burn this mother down and live the rest of my life like a Tibetan nomad, everything I own strapped to a big, beefy yak.
Unfortunately, my husband and son have grown accustomed to having a couch to sit on and I’d have to admit I couldn’t part with my Keurig, so yak herding is just of out of the question right now. I have no choice but to sort through, clean as I go, and divvy up the spoils. I put back everything I’m willing to take to North Carolina and make piles for the garbage man and for donation. It’s tedious work, it’s frustrating as all hell, and sometimes it’s downright emotionally taxing.
I’m missing my daughter, whose away at college, a lot these days. I’m nervous about being even further away from her even though she’s proven her adult capabilities up until this point. I’ve been going through her things, baby pictures, old clothes, yearbooks. It makes me sappy. Well, let’s be real, a whisper of wind would make me emotional. I’m sensitive, it’s all right there under the surface waiting to bubble up into an ugly cry, but let’s not go down that rabbit hole right now or else you’ll need therapy before you’re 400 words in.
Then, I remembered the chemo. I had already gotten rid of all my other illness related items, but not all those pills. I was supposed to return my unused oral chemo to my oncologist when I saw her in May, but I won’t be here in May, so I had to make alternative arrangements. I can’t just chuck a bunch of cytotoxins in the round file, now can I? I called my local hospital and explained my plight. They’re going to take them off my hands and dispose of them properly. Frankly, I think it’s a terrible waste and I should be able to give them to someone who is unable to afford them, but that’s a topic for another post.
It’s oddly difficult for me to part with my chemo. It wasn’t exactly pleasant, the year I was on it, but those little pills have, in some way, become my security blanket. I’m only 6 or so months out from the splendid news that my tumor was dead, that’s only a third of the time it took my tumor to recur after my surgery. And, while I know that the particular chemo I took is looking more and more like it may be one of the most effective weapons in the desmoid tumor fight, I still fear another recurrence.
So, you know how Oprah or the Dalai Lama or Deepak Chopra or one of those spiritual gurus say you should write a letter to your ex and burn it to help you move on? Well, I’m going to do that, only I’m letting you guys read the letter and I’m not going to burn my laptop when I’m done writing it. I think Oprah would still be okay with that, if not I’m pretty damn sure the Dalai Lama will have my back on this one. Deepak seems a little creepy to me, so I don’t really care if he’s down with my modifications, but here goes.
Dear Gleevec and Nexavar,
Hey. It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? I just wondered if we could have a little chat before we parted ways.
Gleevec, I’ll keep this short. You kinda suck. Well, for me you sucked. You messed with my liver, gave me unbearable aches, pain, and nausea, AND you didn’t even kill my tumor. Let’s not even talk about that $2,000 a month co-pay. Bitch, please! I hear you’re doing great things for folks with certain types of leukemia and there is currently a more affordable generic available, so I’ll let all my animosity slide for now.
Nexavar, you are my boo. I hope we can remain tight even after we break up. I mean, not tight, tight. I don’t want to EVER have to take you again, but if you ever need to borrow $20 or need help moving, I am there.
Thank you, Nexavar, a million times thank you. You were my fourth treatment and I was feeling pretty defeated when we were introduced. My body was exhausted and my mind was spinning. You kinda made that worse. You screwed up my thyroid and I think I have a hemorrhoid from all the diarrhea you gave me, but at least you killed my tumor in the end. We kind of had a love like Whitney and Bobby, except there was no crack involved and neither of us can sing.
I owe you. After four years of struggle and hoping and praying, you were the one that made it possible for me to start living again. Thanks for that. I’d bake you some brownies as a token of my appreciation, but you don’t have a mouth and I’d end up eating them all and gaining a bunch of weight.
It’s not you, it’s me, and I really mean that. It is me. Even though you caused a bald spot at the back of my head that is only just now filling in, you were the better one in this relationship. I hope wherever you go life treats you well. I don’t really know where oral chemo goes when it gets disposed of, but it has to be a better place than my GI tract. It’s a shame they don’t do with you what they do with retired Kentucky Derby winners, because you deserve to live out your life getting it on with every hot mare out there.
Anyhoo, I guess this is goodbye. It really is time for us to part. I’ve been holding on to you for too long. I’ve got another chapter in my life that I’m ready to start and I’m sure there’s some great person out there that needs you more than I do. So, off we go. You’re a rockstar. Never forget that. Goodbye, Nex, thanks for the memories.