Don't call on me if you need someone to phone in an emergency or play $25,000 Pyramid. Unlike the affliction where you can't remember who played the mom in Family Ties, regular, useful words like "tent" or "door" or "fugly" have lodged themselves in a part of my brain that is no longer producing enough new cells to keep the flow going.
This is annoying for a person who likes to think she writes. I wish the forgetfulness would settle in other regions of my short- or long-term memory. Like that time I danced for hours with someone I thought I had recently gone on a date with, only to realize it was a different guy. I don't need that one anymore. Or what about when I thought I was ordering "that donut thingy" in the window of a Turkish cafe and was then presented with a plate of shaved, unidentifiable meat that I had to eat in shame. That one can go, too.
Actually, what I'm needing a big break from these days is my bloody self. I've been stuck in a bit of "I'm sick of cancer" ennui recently, and it's not attractive. Sometimes a girl just wants a day where everything doesn't have to have meaning or self-improvement purpose. Like getting teary at my favourite escapist living abroad TV show because shit, man, I'll never get to go there. Or projecting into the future when my daughters could produce or adopt some little sprites and not experiencing the rush of loving kids who didn't come from my immediate womb.
Listen, I know there's a chance I could beat this cell division business for realz, clean up my act and live to be 100 with the help of good living and good drugs. But the reality is, probably not. And I know that any living human could be gunned down, run down or smashed by a falling frozen hunk of airplane toilet sludge at any moment of the day. Life is short. I GET IT! But before cancer, those possibilities were whimsical, not at the front of my brain every single day.
It's even difficult to do unusual things for me, like go to Diner en Blanc, without assigning some kind of bucket list cliche to them instead of just experiencing it.
One thing that's moving me outside the realm of maudlinville is planning our trip in September. We've chosen Italy, because it was the place I would most regret not bringing my kids to if I kicked it in the near future. But beyond that initial morbid thought, the trip is completely impractical, which I love.
I could find out some bad shit from my echocardiogram next week. I could find out some bad shit from my second PET scan in August. I could find out some bad shit if this chemo stops working. It's all entirely possible and a completely idiotic state to be planning an international trip around. But I don't care. I'm done with letting my cells determine my fate.
So we're leaving on September 26 and going to San Gimignano, then Venice, then Rome.
And despite my objections to the cliches of cancer, this one is a bit of a bucket list destination. Besides counting half my self as Italian (sometimes it's the top half, sometimes the bottom), when I was 22, donning Bjork buns and in Venice with my cousin Tasha and her boyfriend (now husband) Dave, I promised myself, sitting in Piazza San Marco, gazing up at the pink lights in the square and hearing three different string quartets playing to the lap of waves in the Grand Canal that I would come again when I was madly in love.