The Second Round.

Posted: August 13, 2018 in Postcards from Cancerland., Uncategorized


The chunky bald fighter pulls up his trunks and spits in the metal can, he mentally prepares to enter the ring again. He takes a deep breath and climbs through the ropes. He is careful because he has gotten tangled up in the ropes before. The fighter has discovered new things about himself.  For starters, he has realized that he is a fighter. He has spent much of his life avoiding confrontation. He likes happy, peaceful situations. But, he has realized that sometimes you have to put the gloves on and beat the hell out of the opponent. He listens to his trainer, he takes a deep swig of water and he moves to the center of the ring…

I take my seat in the infusion room.
It’s crazy that this has become familiar.
I recognize the sounds and smells.
I know what to do, where to sit, when to lift my shirt. I have my favorite chairs.
The IV machine clicks and occasionally beeps in a most familiar fashion. It pumps a fluid that looks like milk into my veins.
The room is full of people of all ages.
We all fight. Many of them have become familiar faces. We swap greetings and stories.
I kill time by reading a Star Wars novel.
It is a fun, familiar distraction.
Sometimes that is completely necessary.
The awesome staff is familiar to us now. We are on a first name basis.  A few weeks ago, we didn’t know them, now they are friends who join in the fight.
The building has become familiar to me.  There are three bathrooms. I’ve used them all about two hundred times. Even as I start this round, I have to go every eleven minutes. This requires getting out of the vinyl recliner, unplugging the rolling IV machine and awkwardly dragging it with me.
My movements remind me of my granddaughter. She has been learning to walk the last month. It started out herky jerky, it’s becoming more familiar to her.
She is getting good at it.
We can’t keep up.
I’m learning to walk again.
It’s different, but it’s becoming more familiar.
I’m more familiar with my opponent too.
He is a bully that has hurt far too many families.
He is very uncreative.
He throws the same old familiar punches again and again.
All he knows is hate and hurt.
He is predictable.
He’s going down.
My trainer is more about freedom than familiar.
The only thing predictable thing about Him is His nature…He will always be good, He will always be trustworthy.
Other than that, He is wildly creative.
He infuses me with fresh life.
My trainer makes me strong.
He gives me fresh comfort every day.
He gives me courage.
He gives me creativity.
I refuse to let familiarity numb the fight, I won’t let it lull me into a strange comfortability.
I can’t let my guard down just because I know my way around the ring a little more.
That could result in a sucker punch.
I’m back on the bag.
I’m sent home with the juice box.
The European man bag holding the pumps is once again my constant companion. It will send three separate chemo drugs into my body for the next twenty one hours. It’s like a really messed up sleepover.
I’m sitting here listening to it’s now familiar “kush…kush” noise.
And, just as my brain was getting a little less chemically crazed, I’m on the steroids again.
I’m not sure if that will ever really become familiar.
The second round is here.
I know it’s not here to stay.
So, I loudly shout my battlecry in a very undignified manner…
“HIS joy is my strength!!”
And I rear back my fist…

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