Thursday, January 12, 2017

There will be tears before lunchtime

Don't let it bring you down
It's only castles burning,
Find someone who's turning
And you will come around.
Neil Young

The following happened in our house one day last week. True story.

I was in our downstairs bedroom/office, so tired I had to take a nap. It was early in the morning which is a time I usually go on our computer to check out Scottish sports team and newspaper sites. Our cat Wolfie usually comes in and sits at my feet, eventually weaving himself around my legs while I pet him.

This is our routine. We both enjoy it on an almost daily basis.

On the day in question, though, I was so tired I had to lay on the bed. Wolfie had come in, no doubt to follow our routine, but I was completely unable to play my part. I started to tell him that, but then I began to cry. Seriously. I felt so bad for letting him down, I just dissolved into tears.

And I couldn't really stop. Wolfie took off for greener pastures, and I sat on the bed longing for sleep to put me out of this particular phase of my misery. It came quickly enough, and when I woke up, I felt less weepy, though I wasn't about to watch Old Yeller or Bambi any time soon.

It certainly doesn't take a genius to know there was more to all this than what appeared on the surface. While I was genuinely sorry to let the cat down, the cat didn't seem to care all that much. It had to do with me, not meeting expectations. And, once that door was opened... holy cats, stuff fell out of there like Fibber McGee's closet.

Now, I realize, that many of my references verge on archaic to many of you. But those of you to whom they do, likely have no problem asking Siri for help, or just looking it up yourself. This is just how I talk and the references that I use. I imagine most of you are happy enough to stick with me at this point. I have been doing it for so long, I think we've weeded out the only casually interested.

So, I sit and take my bearings to try to see what is at the bottom of this.

Well, my eyes are having an issue. They leek some sort of fluid which turns, alternately, gooey and crusty, to to be too insensitive. And, check, they are still doing that.

The skin over my entire body is so dry it causes an itch that is impossible to put to rest. Check. That's still going on.

We've adjusted some of my medications and maybe that plays into it? I doubt it, but you never know.

I'm going to the clinic for my day-long treatment in a couple of days and will try to get some direction as to what to do about all of that.

In the meantime, I need to take a look at what is happening right now. Why is not meeting my cat's expectations, or rather, not meeting what I think my cat's expectations might be, reducing me to tears?

You know what I think it is? When I began my journey through cancer approximately three and a half years ago, I was pretty much full of piss and vinegar. I was able to face things and find solutions. And I shared all of that with you. The issues, the fight, the resolution. Done.

Now, I find myself coming up short a lot. I think that's where I feel I let people down; where I let you down. I am so weary now that I just can't fight every issue that looks me in the eye and demands solution. I am too tired. Too. Tired.

So, this stuff builds up inside my head. And it builds up and builds up and I find myself crying because I am too tired to sit at my desk and share five minutes of time with our cat.

This whole cancer thing is hard. I think it's the type of test that people buy Norton study guides to try to pass. Only, there doesn't seem to be a Norton guide for this. You just have to suck it up, day after day, and solve the questions that are put before you then. Some are multiple choice, some are essay; all are tiring.

Wolfie and I have spent numerous sessions together at our appointed posts; me at the desk searching and typing, him brushing against my feet and through my legs until he's had enough and wanders off to sleep under the bed where he can still keep an eye on me while he takes his nap.

There have been no more tears, but there probably will be. As long as we all take this journey together, tears are inevitable. And you know what? That's just fine with us.

There are a variety of versions of the story that gives this blog its name. The pony is the constant in all of them. A man is on his way to a party when he comes across a young boy shoveling ass over tea kettle at an enormous mountain of manure. The man asks the child if he wouldn't rather go with him to the party than shovel all that poop. The kid says, “No way man. With all that poop... there must be a pony in there somewhere