I’m still working out how I want to use this thing, which is why I haven’t posted for a few days. I’ve been thinking about this blog as almost like a series of essays: for example, for several days now I’ve been thinking, “My next post will be about cognitive dissonance and how strange it is that Faramir’s illness and hospitalization is a hugely bizarre and unlikely event, while at the same time being our everyday life for right now.”
But every time I’ve sat down at the computer, I haven’t been thinking about…that. I’ve been thinking about the song I’m listening to, or the crafty chemo shirts I’m making for him, or the gorgeous teakettle I ordered from Amazon that just arrived. So do I write about those things, or do I write about the Big Things?
Today is Day 4 of an intense 5-day chemo run. Faramir’s doing very well, although the pattern seems to be that the side effects hit the hardest after the run is finished, during the rest days. Still, it’s nice to have a few days of relative normalcy, where he can eat solid food and his joints aren’t swollen and painful, just to remind us that pain and weakness will not be the norm. This week is shaping up to be considerably less crazy for me than last week. So far there are no major errands to run, and no friends or family visiting. I’ve actually managed to get the apartment in order, as well: I’m proud to say that every box is now unpacked.
All right, so there you go. Look what I just wrote up there. “A few days of relative normalcy.” Even with the qualifier, it’s shocking to me that there’s a part of my brain that believes there can be normalcy during this time. This is the part of my brain that I have to rely on, because the part that’s still weeping with shock really isn’t getting me out the door in the morning. It scares me that anything about this can be normal, even though I know it has to be. When he’s feeling good, when we’re goofing off in the hospital, when I’m going grocery shopping and making my usual recipes, part of me is yelling, “How the fuck are you so calm about all of this? Don’t you know he’s in the hospital? Don’t you remember that this is not the way you wanted this to be? How are you just walking through Safeway like some kind of normal person, who can go home and ask her boyfriend to wash the dishes? And then stroke his hair! What is wrong with you?”
Yes. I know. I remember. What’s ironic is that, even though part of me is coolly and rationally going about my day, the part that cries and clings to an idea of what this month should have been feels much more logical. (I can’t even get started right now on the part that believes this is all some kind of mistake, that tomorrow the doctor’s going to come through the door and sheepishly announce that they accidentally switched Faramir’s chart with someone else’s. He doesn’t have cancer! That would be ridiculous! Then we put our kids through college with the lawsuit, and everybody’s happy). Normal behavior doesn’t feel appropriate in a bizarre situation.
I guess there are many ways to cope, and many ways to love someone. Sometimes, I can love him by buying groceries, faxing stuff to the financial counselor, and setting up the apartment so that he and I will have a place to be normal together, whatever “normal” ends up meaning. Although, now that I think about it, being normal is not something he and I will ever have to worry about.