Let me praise you like I should

This one’s for my body.

The biggest thing that gets me down right now is the fact that my body is turning into a chemical experimentation lab. I’ve spent my life living pretty cleanly — eating very little junk food, barely drinking, not smoking, doing no drugs. So the fact that I’m spending a month getting injected and dosed and drugged and fucked up in a billion different ways makes me so. Amazingly. Goddamned. Angry.

I love you, body! No matter how normal you are with your childbirth pudge that never went away, I’ve spent 38 years figuring out how to be with you. I know your migraine triggers, and I know how to keep you hydrated. I know what kind of alcohol you can deal with (rice-based, agave-based) and not. I know how to keep from overdoing it on a hot day. I know how much to push you exercising, and I know that yoga always, always makes your hands and feet stop swelling.

I know how much pain you can take, which is a ton, because you made it through natural childbirth. I know your weatherwise neck ache and your still-healing shoulder that hurts to lie on. I know how much fun you had in ballet and modern dance classes, moving and pushing the boundaries of what you could do, sweating like a waterfall and jumping so high it felt like flying.

I know how much you feel the stoke when you skate!

And because of that, when I got depressed today, I got off my ass and did some yoga. It reminded you that even though I’m about to get injected with some goddamned fucking radiation tomorrow, I still love you. And somehow, even though this feels like the worst possible thing to do to you and is a shitty way to spend a month, you’re going to come out the other side surviving it…

And body, you’ll keep dancing.

We’ve come a long long way together,
Through the hard times and the good,
I have to celebrate you [body],
I have to praise you like I should…

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6 Comments

  1. Christi

     /  October 24, 2011

    Ohh, so beautiful. You are inspirational.

    Reply
  2. Not that anything I’ve been through compares- but with my regular infusion for crohns, and many many years on every drug known to man for mental health, I do feel/relate to that ‘anger’ you mention. It truly is frustrating beyond belief to feel at the mercy of something else etc… But, I think there is room to embrace the ‘hope’ and hopefully healing that it provides. If it means one more day/month/year with your beautiful family- it is worth every potentially gruelling (sp?) side-effect.

    Reply
    • Obviously, we hope that it allows you to move on from all of this and live a long and otherwise productive life… and I’m sure it will. If anyone can kick cancer’s ass, its you.

      Reply
  3. Here’s a thing I really admire about you. Years ago you wrote about giving birth, and I felt like, for the first time ever in the world of seeing and reading depictions of birth, I had a sense of what it’s like. And now, on the opposite end of things, you’re writing about what it’s like to have cancer, and even though I can’t imagine … because of the evocative way you’re writing, I feel like I can.

    Reply
  4. I love this video … because these dancers look like normal, everyday, imperfect-looking people who are just happy to be dancing. And screw what everyone else thinks. You go, body, with your bad self. One of the things about taking care of yourself for so long is that you’re as prepared as you can be for the suck that comes next.

    Reply
  5. Irja

     /  October 24, 2011

    You are amazing! Love.

    Reply

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