Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Ghosts of Chemo Past


So you know what my last Christmas was like. 

This year, it's better. Taking time off work to sort myself out. 

There's loads of strenuous physical activity, which feels good. Cleaning out closets, reorganizing everything for maximum efficiency, and feng shu-ing the living shit out of everything I come in contact with. Donating literal trunk loads of household items to charity. Mike finds the most incredible things on the street and we donate those too. Some of the biggest items sold there have been from Mike's keen eye for street treasure. 

Nailing down that at-home transcription work, paying bills, trying to figure a way out of this debt. Hating feeling so physically disconnected from spirit and body. For fleeting moments feeling a hint of my former kick-ass self but always losing it. Changing the part in my hair, putting on Pinterest-worthy makeup for no reason at all. 

And...the cooking. Rich, decadent, small portions but all excellent. 

Eggs baked in avocado, with broiled buttered rib eye steaks. Deviled egg shooters. Roasted pork loin wrapped in thick bacon slices, with roasted potatoes, cooked low and slow. 15 bean soup. Homemade protein bars. Creamy tomato soup from scratch. Dirty Alfredo. 

I'm trying to conjure magic everywhere.  It cannot be done without potions.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Channeling Al Pacino

In one of the Godfather sequels, Al Pacino has a great line that is something like "Just when I think I'm out....they PULL ME BACK IN!"  

So goes my career in the law field. 

I have a gig, part-time, as a receptionist. It's one of the best jobs ever - easy, no-stress, lots of smiling and chatting up clients, counsel, visitors. I refill the candy jar and straighten the magazines. I polish the reception area and keep it tidy. Sometimes, if I'm bored, I will take to Pinteresting and Ebaying, and playing Christmas music. What a splendid, amazing, beneficial change from my former career of unending terror. 

That is, until I agree to work till the end of the year in the back office. 

Ugh. I've been here before....stress, deadlines, attitudes from a plethora of individuals. Dealing with huge insurance companies, many other lawyers and doctors.

I hate it. 

I hate too, that the reason I'm there is because someone else got let go. Someone I really like, that has been through a hell of a lot of horror this past year. Boxing up her things makes me feel sick, and traitorous, even though she would bear me absolutely no ill will.

So, maybe it's easy to understand my absolute disinterest and reluctance to perform like my former show-dog self. What's funny is...I could if I wanted to. It's there, inside me, that ability. But to unleash it fully would mean my own ruin. There is not enough money in that building to convince me to take it on.

Yes, I know, I'm such an asshole!  After all, it's not like this is anything useful to society, or worthy, or anything to be truly proud of.

Here's the deal - after cancer, you will know what you want to do and what you have no desire to spend time doing. Me, I'd rather be doing my PIYO, redecorating my house, napping with the kitties and the Mikester, or enjoying the weather.

So, January comes around -- unlike Al, I'm OUT.

Infomercial of Pain

I've been vaguely threatening you all with my promises to get fit and lose weight. Sure, Tamoxifen and chemo-induced menopause are partly to blame. Truly, though, it's bad management. I have a pretty good idea too, that if I were working out and eating right, consistently and well, all of my chunk would melt away. 

You as a body owner, just can't keep letting every nefarious thing into your temple and thinking there will be no bad endings. Sugar, white flour, processed food are just bad for business.

Another result of allowing SHIT into your temple is a lack of solid, uninterrupted sleep. What to do late at night, when one is wide awake and waiting for the Tums to kick in?  

Infomercials!

HSN and QVC are great, what with their flirty, fluttery, body-friendly clothing. I already have way too much of those acetate wonders and I fucking refuse to go up yet another size. A few nights ago PIYO was on, slinging their program.  PIYO is a branch of Beachbody, and is an acronym for Pilates/Yoga. The instructor is fit but not overly muscled, perky and pretty. She seems filled with a joy that I have a hazy recollection of during my workout-years. She says that the beauty of the workouts is that ANYONE, ANY SIZE and ANY AGE can do them, and shows before and after results with real ladies. The transformations are amazing, but not overly-sensational. They appear to be real. 

I foment excitement over a few days, then sign up for PIYO on the Beachbody site. This morning, I did my first workout, "Sweat".  

Chalene, the instructor, is refreshing and awe-inspiring in her fitness and grace. She's encouraging without being an asshole (Yes I see you Jillian Michaels), yelling (ditto) or being overly dancy. There is gentle, easy to follow, non-bouncy movement and lots of stretching. Still, the bitch means business. Mikey comes out during the last 15 minutes of it, and only utters sleepy, "Damn woman", "Whoooa!" before dragging his ass back to bed. He's impressed.

I learn that the rest of the program is only available on DVD, even though streaming is available for Sweat. Fine then, thanks to Ebay, it's on the way. 

Already the pain is setting in...that fine, dull, happy muscle ache that has not visited my temple for years. It's nice to see it again. So instead of hurrying along its visit and not enjoying the painful, awkward moments, I decide to welcome it with open arms, and even invite it in for a much longer stay. We have forgotten each other.