The Sea-Change

With apologies to African-Americans, whose sad history I do not mean to commandeer, still I am inclined to say that  the abduction to Cancerland is nonetheless very like the Middle Passage, in that abductees arrive much changed, physically and otherwise, are befogged and dazed, and spend the first little while ashore plotting their escape.

We are wizened when we disembark, or bloated, bald or with heads of hair that seem to consist of wisps of smoke hovering above rather than actually growing from our scalps.  Also, we have the blinking disorientation of people who know themselves to be gone from their usual haunts but do not yet have any firm grasp on where they have come to be.

And (though of course I am guessing at this), like all those sea-changed Senegambians and Ghanaians set ashore on Sullivan’s Island, we too try mightily not to panic, to look as if, every appearance to the contrary notwithstanding,  all will shortly be well, and, any minute now (perhaps when we awake) we will understand what has happened and will know how to proceed.

Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You have opened my eyes wider then before. Thank you for you heartfelt words

  2. Thank you for your posts. This will sound selfish but one of my good friends died of liver cancer last September. It happened too fast, too quick. From diagnosis till she died, six weeks total. She never shared with us what it was like…how she felt…she would look at me and say, “everything will be ok…” then she would refuse to see us when she did not feel well…this sounds inappropriate writing you this. I am not sure what I could say to you except your blogs have really touched me and thank you for doing this.

  3. We are now yearly vistors to Cancerland.I pray you will be, as well.

    As far as “knowing how to proceed”, well… I was sent a twitter that explains how we felt and how we live today, after membership.

    It was sent by Mr. Anderson Cooper several weeks after the earthquake and simple said,

    andersoncooper: From ac: when it starts to seem normal you have to shake your head and remember. Nothing is normal. Each day is new. Each struggle unique. 1:19PM Wed, 10 Feb

    Which I take liberty to add, ” and everydays a gift”.

    I will be reading so, you keep writting.


  4. Thank you so much for this post. As Kathleen stated, you have opened my eyes wider than ever on the feelings and the journey many cancer “victims” endour.

  5. Astonishingly, refreshingly, honest, poignant and funny what a gift. Thank you

  6. This is very excellent! It is such an eye-opener as well as funny.

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