Can’t spell catalog, or is it catalogue? Spelling was never a problem but today I have no idea so I guess. I remember to turn my phone on at 2 pm. It rings. “Did you see the golden globes last night?” My conversation runs aground as Maryland patiently waits for me to remember the names of 2 of the famous actresses that weren’t wearing any make up. I know them, I can see them in my mind. The names never come. Maryland gently moves on and we talk about immediate things.
“How’s the book going?” she asks. After 25 minutes of conversation, I ask, “Did you hear about Cliven Bundy’s case today?” Before I finish the sentence, I realize we already spent 5 minutes talking about it.
While I type this, It comes again. What was that word? Cliven Bundy got ____, what? “I know that word, I’ve been using it all day. My inner voice yells back, scolding the stubborn neurons that still refuse to fire. Panic, anger and frustration pulse through my consciousness.
I dance around the word fueling the fire with as many available words my creative mind can conjure: Bundy got released, excused, pardoned, let go out of jail, not blamed? No. Close, but not it. It doesn’t come. God bless google. The word I was looking for was “dismissed,” Specifically, Cliven Bundy was “dismissed with prejudice,” by Judge Navarro today.
Friends who are not on chemo tell me, they too, are having trouble remembering. This does not comfort me. I think, “Why aren’t you doing something about it? How can you be so passive about your mind being stolen from you?” I feel like I’m paying out hush money to the mafia under lords. But the payment isn’t in money, its in brain cells.
I thank God for a lot of things. By golly ts good to be here. It’s good to be able to close a car door, pick up a mug of tea and put my shoes on without fear of breaking bones. It’s good to be alive one more day. Yes, I am grateful.
But as I start another round of chemo, I wrestle down my resistance and submit. I take it, but am left to wonder how many memories, words and mental skills will I lose this round?
Living with end-stage Cancer.
~ Anne Carlson ~