Cancerland: Country of Vinyl Thrones

It’s not that I want to muse.  Really, I don’t.

I try to watch the television screen that’s held by a mechanical arm as close to my face as I care to bring it.  I try to listen to music through headphones, try to read the paper, try to do the crossword puzzle, try to scribble this and that in my little spiral notebook.  Honestly, I do try to head my mind off, as it were.  (Or is it mind my head off?)

But the process makes it hard not to muse: sitting in a recliner for three, four, five hours,  on the receiving end of a tightly contained cataract a few feet long and a tube wide, the cataract’s source a pouch hanging from one tine of a chrome trident set upright beside the chair, all the while watching the tube twitch at the rate of a hummingbird’s heartbeat — it isn’t Chinese water torture, in that the drops don’t fall on your head, but the business does something to your head anyway.  It is trance-inducing.

So — TV, music, headlines, puzzle and the comings and goings of nurses notwithstanding, I muse.

About, just now, growth.

Growth is wonderful.  It is the essence of life, what we most dearly want.  Think of our kids, think of our nest eggs, think of our self-confidence.  Think of our affection for one another.

Yes, growth is good.

But then think of kudzu, and of cancer.  Think of unstoppable growth that overtakes, chokes, usurps.  Think of those wild jungle vines that spurt and obscure and ultimately  crush even the stone of an abandoned temple, reducing it to dust.

Growth is good, absolutely.  But also sometimes it is bad.

Which is why, back home in the States, we encourage growth, foster it, nurture it.

While here in Cancerland, at 500 drops a minute, we fight it.

Published in: on March 4, 2010 at 1:31 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Good Evening! Hope your day was good.

    Growth is wonderful in the mist of a spring garden.

    I lived in Richmond, Va as well as New Orleans for a period of time. My heart was always at home. My home in the Land of Lincoln. My home where the dirt is as black as coal, soft as flannel and warm as a cup of hot chocolate. After returning home, we were invited to Canerland. While we spent several years in cancerland I worried about my garden.But I learned how to be a better gardener.

    Many things had come and grown off my garden, including bacteria, bugs, birds, bunnies and cancer. If we don’t control them, the entire crops can be ruined. The result of a carefully cultivated garden, can be lost to predators in a short time… Take a look at life, the toxic relationships, substances and emotions that are feeding on our energy and taking away from what we have to give to others.

    Eliminate them and your garden will be splendid.

    Your not discouraging growth, you are encouraging a new spring garden with each drop of nectar the hummingbird sends.


  2. I’m so sorry for the unplanned trip to Cancerland you’ve been forced to take.

    Though its hard to focus, I’m glad you manage to put words on this screen – your writing is fresh and offers an unique perspective – thanks!

  3. My foray into Cancerland was mostly within the small hamlet of Chemoville, where upon a bright blue naugahyde throne I would partake of a delectable array of delicious snacks–before the inevitable nausea would strike. And whilst viewing such uplifting fare as The Price is Right and The View, my fellow travelers were much interested in comparing different parts of their journey–almost as if it were a competition to see who’s suffering would be the greatest.

  4. Hello Peter,
    I would like to share with you the message that I try to convey to my daughter (age49) diagnosed with lung cancer in November of last year.
    Her care consisted of surgery, chemo and radiation.
    Chaos in your life is the “messenger” from your soul. It is the divine guidance that says something needs to change. Pray, listen, and take actions according to what your hear. Also you create with your thoughts so “think”, I am perfect and whole as God in me is perfect and whole
    May God’s healing light and love flow through you now. You are healed mind, body, and soul.
    For me this message comes from the God of the Universe and not the God of religion.

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