Hit the Road, Jack

My cancer has left the building.

The surgical eviction of my squatter yesterday has left me euphoric, an emotion that I haven’t felt in weeks. I have crawled to what seems like a tortuous finish line since my diagnosis on October 7, waiting to be free of it. There is no hostess mentality when cancer decides to take up residence. Close the shades, slam the door, lockdown in progress. Call the police.

Oddly, I have wondered along the way how long this pernicious evil has been inside me. I have likely treated it to undeserved trips abroad to England, France, Portugal and Italy. It was lurking in the shadows as I have hugged my loved ones, especially my precious four little grandberries (a charming term that evolved when a former teaching colleague of mine intended to ask me one morning, “How are your grandbabies, Terri?” but it delightfully scrambled into, “How are your grandberries?”).

My laughter has likely rattled it whenever I am with my friends. It has serenely relaxed by the ocean in Cambria. I hope it has anguished as it was forced to pick up some Spanish along the way.

Maybe it was with me over the last year and a half when I lost forty pounds. Too bad it didn’t melt away in the goo.

The existence of this squatter in my life leaves me furious, not because of the months of unpleasant treatment I face ahead, but because it has for now necessarily robbed me of the upcoming holidays with my family, plans that had to be cancelled. I cry when I think of missing the magic of Christmas in England. Mollie says it is only a travel disruption for now. I know, but for me, it is a year’s moment in time that I will not be able to pack away in the memory box of my heart. Little girls are growing up so fast.

With its certain departure from the building for now, I can safeguard the premises. Chemo and radiation are the deadbolts and security systems to come. Frequent medical monitoring in the future is hope. And, the new soundtrack of my life:

Hit the road, Jack, and don’t cha come back
No more no more no more no more
Hit the road, Jack, and don’t cha come back
No more.

[Author’s After Note: this post mysteriously disappeared months after it was posted but it was luckily retrieved from an archive website. Sadly, the accompanying readers’ comments could not be retrieved.]

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