Saturday, March 9, 2013

time warp

time is slippery, isn't it?

our oldest daughter, born in 1989, went to treatment with me the other day.

she's 23, on spring break from grad school.  

she asked, can i go with you?

i said do you want to?

she said sure.

i said ok.  come on.  it'll be a radiation field trip.

when she was much younger, before any kind of school, we'd go on post office field trips.  grocery store field trips.  paint store field trips.

so much learning.

when we arrived at the hospital, after saying our hello's, she said here.  let me hold your things while you change.

such a big girl.

i said okay.

an older woman moving slowly with her walker had just come from  treatment, her husband had been waiting, hannah sat near him, i could hear them chatting.

the older woman went into a dressing room to change from her gown to her street clothes, i did the reverse.

when i came out, the woman had changed, and her husband was helping her select a knitted cap and scarf donated for the patients in treatment.  he  took such care picking the perfect set for her.

it was so damn tender i started to cry just a little.

i was kind of failing at holding up, yet she was the one with the walker.  and my own daughter was holding my things.

(ssshhh... don't tell the godfather.  he'd asked me a couple times prior, will you be ok?  i answered i think so.  yeah.  why wouldn't i be?)

 but really, the thing was, i'd just gotten used to being a person with a cancer diagnosis, then i had to up and adjust to being a cancer patient, and now i was having to figure it out all over again, adjusting to the curve of being a cancer patient in treatment.

some field trip coordinator i was.

i should fire myself.

hannah saw my teetering, said mom.  you're not in their story.

i said i know.  but it's just so damn sad.  she's already using a walker.  isn't that enough?

anyway, our team arrived, they noticed i was wiping a couple of tears. i'm sure they'd seen this kind of thing before.

but still.

talk about pathetic.

i should be embarrassed even saying it here.  

but then, where would the truth be? 

  hannah told them, she's not crying about this, it's that other couple she was getting involved in.

(who died and made her hall monitor?)

but really, of course it was both.


i asked our techs, can hannah come back?  and they said yes.

i said look hannah. here's that metal door i was telling you about.  can you believe how thick it is?

 she said yeah. but i don't think she was as amazed as i was.

perhaps it was because she was on the 'other side.'

or maybe she was just better at playing it cool.

or maybe she was simply just cooler.


when we got around to the radiation 'suite', i said and here's dumbo, pointing out the massive grey metal radiation elephant in the room.

and i said and can you see all the spider eyes?

red laser beams.

so. stinkin'. sci. fi.

she was so cool.

yeah.  yeah.   and yeah.

is what she said when i pointed out all the field trip highlights.

after they got me rigged up, they all had to 'step out.'

i knew what this meant.

they'd leave, and close that massive f*cking door again, leaving me trapped on the wrong side.

but i was playing it cool by then.

even though i was strapped on that rolling gurney.

so really, what choice did i have?

zoom. and another.

dumbo moved.

laser eyes beamed.

i stayed still.

then it was over.

when they returned, i asked hannah, what did you do when i was back there?  

she said oh, we went in a little room, but we could see you on lots of little tv screens.

but it was weird.

bc i know all this is really supposed to be 'futuristic' stuff, but it looks so 80s to me.

and i said oh no.

oh gurl no.

you say 80s.

i say atomic.  like the 50s.

maybe even 40s.

either way, we meant the same thing.

it had an old days, futuristic smithsonian bent to it all.

only her old days aren't as old as mine.

ain't life grand.

xx katy

1 comment:

  1. Lets - do - the - time - warp - agaaaaain! Funny, the varying perspectives on how long ago things were or weren't. Sweet observation of the couple!


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virginia, United States