cancer survivorship

Welcome to Humility Beach

You know what I used to hate during chemo? Those perky social worker types who would materialize next to my IV stand and try to cheer me up. Their spiel was excruciatingly predictable. Duration: ten minutes, no more. Content: a helpful hint, a sincere smile, an upbeat exit. The helpful hint was always something like, "Did you know ginger tea can help with nausea?" My answer was always something like, "Did you know not having cancer can prevent nausea altogether?" I never said that of course. I just thought it, every single time. 

I never wanted to be a check mark on anybody's clipboard. If all it takes to fix me is a cup of ginger tea, how boring am I? All those meditation apps, mind-body-spirit workshops, soothing sound tracks—all that stuff—I was like, Deliver me from cheesy consolations!

Well, cancer eventually offers a path to humility. I don't mean humiliation. I mean one day you look up and you're not so eager to judge. Ginger tea doesn't seem so trivial. What's more, cancer doesn't seem so monumental. Humiliation makes the path narrower, but humility opens our way to an endless beach where there's room for all of us and nobody's footprints are forever.

I don't know how that beach sounds for you. But courtesy of this clip from YouTube, here's how it sounded for someone else. Is it cheesy to close your eyes and enjoy these waves, knowing that they're advertising some product called Hawaii Ocean Waves White Noise? I'll let you decide. 

As for me, cancer got me to Humility Beach and, to my surprise, I like it here. I'm not judging winners and losers anymore. I'm amazed at all the living creatures I meet, including myself. Come on by. I'll make us a cup of ginger tea.

Attack of the Vitamix

Hey my people.

So, juicing. Antioxidants. Natural goodness. So easy when the Vitamix demonstrator guy does it. All that cancer-fighting nutrition, and no matter what you throw in, it comes out tasting like bananas.

Today I decided to juice my way to Well Again. I dumped in some ice cubes and a tub of raw spinach and jammed on the power. The noise was awesome; the blending, not so much. Just a grayish band of ice and a swirling green mulch. Still leafy. Where was the whirlpool of ice-creamy goodness climbing the sides of the pitcher?

I shoved the plunger down to speed things up.

THWACK ACK ACK ACK ACK! Instant, terrible uproar, like fighter planes strafing my kitchen. I lunged, hit the Off button, lifted the dripping plunger. A chunk of the tip was gone. A green rivulet oozed down where the pitcher met the base. I had cracked the plastic in a long slash starting all the way up at the old spinach-mulch line. 

I cleaned the thing out and made a new blend, which probably contained bits of real blender.  On the plus side, it did taste like bananas.