Of Fake Mice and Fatigue.

Posted: September 12, 2018 in Postcards from Cancerland.


It was the big grand  re-opening at the retail store where I worked. There was going to be free popcorn, and snow cones, and BIG sales.
The details of what happened next are a little fuzzy, But, here is what I vaguely remember..,
They needed someone to dress up in a costume to entertain the kiddos and hand out shiny blue balloons. Somehow I got volunteered, probably because I was the closest in size to the kids.
It was spring time in Oklahoma, which means an explosion of pollen and ragweed and hay fever. I had taken an allergy pill before work. It had kicked in and I was feeling drowsy and dopier than normal. So, I was already moving and thinking in slow motion.
So I dressed up in the big threadbare costume, it was a cheap ripoff of America’s favorite mouse.
The costume smelled like sweat, mildew, and a used diaper wrapped in old cheese.
It was…awesome.
The eye holes lined up with the top of my forehead so I couldn’t actually see. Also, the head kept spinning around creating nightmares for small children and interesting aromatherapy for me.
I tried to trudge around in the big awkward foam shoes, I kept stumbling and, at one point, almost knocked over the popcorn machine.
I tried to wave and do a little happy dance.
Kids were pulling my tail and hanging onto my legs.
Some teenagers thought it would be hilarious to kick me in the backside, and push me.
I learned giant rodents get no respect.
Since, I was supposed to be an animated character, I was expected to be animated.
That was hard.
Lethargy kicked in pretty fast.
Trying to function as a fake mouse drug me down.
I was worn out.
I was carrying the weight of the mouse on my shoulders, and I was heavily medicated.
After about a half hour, I was was done.
AND NOW, flash forward to today: a couple of days after my third week of chemo, I feel like I’m wearing that nasty costume again.
I’m wearing something smelly that I didn’t ask for, and I’m on drugs while I do it.
AND, some belly bully is trying to kick my butt and pull my tail.
My hands and feet are heavy, and my head feels like a forty eight pound canned ham as it spins around.
Lethargy kicks in pretty fast.
It can leave a person a little sluggish.
It’s hard to live animated.
I’m tired.
…sorry, I dozed off there.
It shouldn’t be surprising, it happens.
It’s a side effect.
Besides, I’m too sleepy to be surprised.
This is the slow motion portion of the fight.
I keep slugging even when I’m sluggish.
I will just avoid heavy machinery and horseshoe games.
I think I’m going to take a nap, I’m just hoping I don’t dream about giant rodents…

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