Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Roar of the Greasepaint,
Smell of the Crowd

A little over a month ago, I saw the above play with some friends done by a community theatre. It was a fun afternoon that occurred back when I wasn't getting around too well so it was a welcome change of pace, but I can't say it was the best play I ever saw. As we were leaving the theatre, the producer was telling us how we'd be thinking about the play tomorrow. Well, I'm now thinking about the play and I think it is a good analogy for how I feel right now.

So, here is a brief synopsis- The play is a social commentary set in the post industrial revolution England demonstrating how the working class can't get ahead because of the rules set and constantly changed by the ruling classes. In the play Sir (representing the ruling class) plays the game of life with Cocky (representing the working class). Sir makes Cocky march around through the squares of the game board at his direction- so many steps forward so many steps backwards so that Cocky never really gets anywhere and has no real control over his life or circumstances. Whenever it looks like Cocky will make advanceemnts Sir changes the rules to knock him backward again. Not exactly the scintillating material one would expect from a musical, but this week I feel a little like Cocky to cancer's Sir. Here's why-

I had my first surgery six months ago and then spent the subsequent 6-8 weeks on crutches using a cane etc. During that time I also learned that I had cancer- take 10 steps back. Just when I started walking again and somewhat able to do things (5 steps forward) Sir (ie. surgery #2, a week in the hospital and lots of pain) kicked me back to the starting point. However, within a week I was taking laps (albeit slow) around the hospital ward on crutches, 2 steps forward. Then Sir, laughing sedistically sent me packing backwards again with surgery #3, a week of bedrest, more pain, and a month in the wheelchair etc, 15 steps back. Two and a half months later, I finally started walking unassisted again (10 steps forward) just before Sir's next obstacle in the form of radiation which has been slowly pushing me back squares as my foot has become increasingly burned and tender from radiation's side effects. Then on Monday, Sir (in the form of my radiation doc, subsequently confirmed by my surgeon) came around a knocked me back a few steps short of the starting point again by declaring that I need to be as close to non-weightbearing as I can tolerate once again in order to reduce the inflammation running rampant in poor lefty. So, my crutches have come back out of the closet. The sight of them induced tearful sobs of protest from me, but I can't deny that I am really in too much pain to keep walking. So, here I am knocked back to crutches again. Crutches which were once a victory over wheelchair, now feel like a painful sentence. However, unlike Cocky I will get through this and once again my determination and inner strength will get me to the finish line, this is just a major bump in the road, a detour, a little side trip, but I still have my eyes on the prize and I will get there. I promise- even if i have to keep repeating that promise to myself over and over again like a mantra of strength.


Anonymous said...

I love your post. Is it OK if I link to it from my cancer movies
section? I don't think it's too much of a reach because the story had
meaning for you because of your cancer.

So sorry about the poor abused foot. When I had radiation to my chest,
things were going along swimmingly and I was thinking it was a big
piece of nothing, and then in the final couple of weeks the skin on my
chest just desolved. Just deteriorated. But as I
recall it healed up pretty quickly.


Anonymous said...

Lisa -

You will get there, you will. Sounds like they have not delayed radiation of slowed it down - good. And another week or so, the abuse will stop, lefty can begin to heal again.

We will celebrate in NY in 3 1/2 weeks. Hang in there.


Anonymous said...

Oh honey...: /



Anonymous said...

I was just catching up on your blog for the last two months in reverse order. It was ironic reading your most recent post and how sad you are about the crutches and then going back to where I had left off when you were so excited to be back on them again and out of the wheel chair. Your strength and optomism continues to inspire me. I was thinking of what you can do with the crutches when you are done. My first thought was a bon fire, but I think that you would more appreciate hand carrying them to Nicaragua next time you go for someone else to use!

Love ya! V-L

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