Life is so weird. Grand pianos from the sky can be just missing your head, and most of us wouldn’t notice. And then there is some universal equalizer in life that smooths down the bad parts if we can simply see it, coming to us at the same time.
With Kathryn, I would have thought the message would have been received with more clarity. It took three car accidents within months, falling down the back steps on ice, all events happening on the left side of her body, to get her to notice that something else was going on there. And it wasn’t pregnancy.
Although the cyst was as big as a baby, the surgery was certainly not the same. Then there was the colon cancer part. This is where the universe presents problems, and then solutions. Kathryn’s friend, me, has sooooo done this colon cancer thing. Here I can help. Colon cancer was the pivotal event in our family (my parents and three girls), and then important in my life, but not the most.
She is going to lose some body parts, for sure. Here is another place where the universe provides: I stitched a womb in a new series of embroideries, and gave it to her two years ago. If she wants one, she has it. Kathryn is my same age, and those parts mean nothing to me, but they do to some.
The cancer lingo is different now then when I had colon cancer. The last woman who did my mammogram called those years of the mid-nineties the “dark ages” of cancer (for my dad, dying in the ’70s, it must have been the Paleolithic). Looking up what docs now call “frank” cancer, meaning that they are sure cancer is present, I would say, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”. And keep thinking that while you do everything medical. Brain shift in whatever age one finds oneself is required. Feed yourself the correct narrative.
And find symbols. Like the stitched womb, for a start. Kathryn will find her own.
Collecting hammered aluminum objects during my chemotherapy and long after, they shielded and comforted. Also had two pairs of purple suede penny loafers during that time; wore them every day and wore them out too, but they stomped over cancer cells.
Do you know the first life affirming thing she did from the hospital bed? She bought a sweet little house! She has it down.