It may not seem like it’s been that long since treatment to your fine readers, but by this time, I had begun treatment over seventeen months ago and after all that time, I still had the Port-a-Cath (from which to draw blood) in my chest, you know, just in case. I had wondered for how long I would keep this third nipple, but the time had come where they deemed it ready for removal. This was a huge milestone for me. This symbolic moment told me that they were confident that I wouldn’t need the Port-A-Cath any longer.
Sure, I was nowhere near the five-year confidence threshold, but nevertheless, it was a cause for celebration. In an effort to commemorate such a moment, I wanted to get the removal on film. The procedure was to be conducted during an in-office visit and so, I knew the sterilization process wasn’t drastic enough to prohibit a camera.
Worst-case scenario, that would be a great term to describe my spending habits. See, I was always terrible with money (See: Chapter 14), but I had never expected to have to fight with the Government for money until maybe age sixty-five. You know, when Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except Death and Taxes” he sure as hell didn’t know about the horrors of Supplemental Security Income (or SSI). When I first fell ill, I was informed that I was able to apply for SSI payments during my hospitalization due to my inability to work.
The whole “nearly dying” thing really awoke me from my slumber. I had been too content in enjoying my life, so much so that I almost forgot to fear my myriad near run-ins with the Grim Reaper! The good news was that this “anxiety attack” was an error; I wasn’t really dying and so, I was able to mentally separate that event from a real flight-or-fight worthy response. My senses had been restored and I could now resume my normal life.
Oh, that’s right, I still had to work at MBNA making calls dutifully but never pushing people past their point of rational thought. I carefully laid out the terms of the credit card I was selling at the time and never lied to the customers (like I had heard some other people doing). It kept my conscience – and the money I earned there – clean.
By the end of February, Mary Jane and I were in a committed relationship. I would smoke a few times a week at minimum, even though I never expected Tony to offer, but when he would offer, you best believe I accepted. I was, however, one of those guys who would tend to hover around to prompt such an invitation.
The first semester propelled time faster than ever expected and soon it was already Thanksgiving. This particular Thanksgiving, however, was a reboot for I was finally able to experience it again with my family. I couldn’t believe it had been a year since I underwent one of the single loneliest days of my entire life. I had been fortunate enough to spend this past year with so many loved ones. And since my parents’ divorce, Travis and I were also lucky enough to have two of each holiday. First, we went to my Mom’s side at my Grandparents’ place.
As it turns out, the plates did indeed still belong to the Cadillac. For whatever reason, Dad hadn’t changed them over. He did have the insurance though, so I knew I could at least contest that. But what about that stupid “transportation?” Ugh, this sucked more than anything has ever sucked before.
Instead of worrying about the impending court hearing, I tried to focus my attention on more pressing matters– My first classes of college, my camerawork, staying warm, and our upcoming Halloween Party.
The summer had been a blast. Besides work, I’ve been living it up as much as humanly possible: hanging with my friends and preparing for my career path. I was actually looking forward to finally starting school.
We spent a night at Mitch’s family’s camp and plenty of days at his house playing Pool and shooting the shit.Read More »
June 25th was twenty-one days away, but the entire month of June had always been a celebration of another year of life for me and now; that celebration was more apropos than ever.
We started the month off strong by attending the Senior Class play at the High School. It had only been a year since I partook in our own Senior play, Club Tango. I played an Italian character named Guido (I know, I know: not racist at all).
Nevertheless, Club Tango was an interesting experience. Only the year before that play, I had uttered the casual declaration that I wanted to make movies. Had it not been for that life-altering decision, I would have not auditioned for the Drama Club’s production.
My favorite time of the year was almost upon us: Summer. There was nothing quite like a Maine summer: breezy sunshine, endless things to do, and breathtaking views. I wondered yet again if I would have made it to this point without treatment. Yes, it was a morbid way to envision such a serene two/ two and a half months. But it’s hard not to think of alternate timelines, even with my health fully intact.
And my hair had finally awoken from its chemo-induced slumber. I’ll admit I was a little worried; for a while, the little hair I had left had grown into a spiral, very similar to the cliché spiral pattern that would hypnotize cartoon characters.
My attitude had forever been altered for the better, even as I returned to work. Sure, I still despised the job– I mean, who likes trying to get people into debt? Yet I had this sense of comfort in it all. I was alive; so the simple fact I could feelanything at all – even if it was disapproval of the company’s practices – was reassuring, to say the least.