Yesterday was a good day. Today has been, too. For the most part. Mom and dad left yesterday morning, and while I was sad to see them go, I was grateful they dropped everything to come take care of me. They were the love, care, and distraction I needed. They took a bit of pressure off of Jim, too. These cood swings don’t affect just me. Jim’s living with someone who’s fine one minute and off the rails the next. And he’s got nowhere to go. He’ll definitely have nowhere to go after 8:30 tomorrow morning. That’s when I get my COVID test, required before any surgery. From then until several days after my lumpectomy on September 8 we’re here, at home. No more daily walks. Self-isolation means exactly that.
That’s OK. I’ve got projects. I’ve got propagated basil and asters and mums to plant. Pictures to hang. Brochures (so many brochures) to organize. Stories to tell.
Those stories are a big part of why yesterday was good. I hit publish on my piece about Eagle Ridge in Galena, and I received word that the Midwest Road Trip Adventures book, with my chapter on Illinois and contribution to South Dakota, is available for pre-order. I was in Galena at the end of July. Drove around Illinois at the beginning of the same month. I think it was this year. Maybe it was all a dream and I’m suddenly writing fiction.
I’m doing so much better that I’m almost embarrassed by my angst of two days ago. Not really, but it seems oh so dramatic. Woe is me is an uncomfortable and alien emotion.
I stocked up at the grocery store today. More fruits. More vegetables. Peppers. Whole wheat tortillas, flaxseed wraps, and multi-grain, thinly-sliced bread. Oatmeal. Ginger. Onions. Garlic. My weapons of choice in this battle for my body. Tonight we’re having a local butchershop pork tenderloin prepared in the sous vide with oregano from my garden and sliced garlic. The side dishes are brown rice with tomatoes and green chiles, and green beans amandine, made with olive oil instead of butter. Pre-health-concerns-Me would have made a mushroom cream sauce and mashed potatoes, heavy on the butter and milk, to go with that pork, which might have been breaded. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But what we’re going to have sounds better. It’s more complex and flavorful. Primarily, it won’t kill me.
I had such high hopes for my fiftieth birthday year. We’re all dealing with this pre-March fantasy land of a bright and shiny 2020 that’s been destroyed by a global pandemic and our national atrocity. Now, in addition to trying not to catch a viral disease that has been politicized to the point where thousands have died who shouldn’t have, I also have to lower my blood pressure, lower my cholesterol, lower my glucose levels, and lose
fifty-eight forty-seven pounds. It’s bad enough dealing with people who think they’re more important than anyone else (I’m looking at you, mask-refusers); now I have to deal with cells inside my own body with the same god-complex.
But I know, despite the Chernobyl-esque carnival that is our reality, complete with barkers and swindlers and the evil “othering” of anyone not like Leave It to Beaver, that there is a helluvalotta good in this world. There’s a helluvalotta good in my world. I’m overcome with gratitude for the support that’s been heaped on me like somebody dumped a Rose Parade’s worth of petals over my head. (Maybe an exaggeration, but not by much.) The fortuity of finding out I have cancer at the earliest, best moment I could have, out of sheer good timing, is a gift. A pure gift.
Whether I’ve earned it or not, I’m going to.
Today was a good day. So was yesterday. Will tomorrow be, too? Maybe. Maybe not. I’ll let you know.
(And keep your fingers crossed I’m COVID-free, please!)
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