Relationships: Cancer Changes Everything

(circa 1998)

Where is my will
Where has my spirit gone
Flown away like a dove
Released and peaceful
Yet I am not pure
All perfection a figment
Always the occupant
Of mortal thoughts
Imperfect premises
Must it be this way
A constant contemplate…

We went from being at peace to declaring war in a matter of days. I absorbed the shock the best way I knew how. By comparing my life to a Shakespearean play full of tragedy and rich with history and possibility, but without the comedy, so then I could attempt to rationalize why this was happening to her… to us. I was emotional, but not a wreck. I broke down along with my heart and forgot how to think, but I still questioned. I felt dull inside for a few seconds, but I was still strong as she clung to me. I was glad the broken pieces and her tears were falling in between us.

For as long as I can remember, no amount of human consolation has ever been enough to dispel the constant worry I’ve had about my loved ones and mortality. I was always on another level. I imagined what must have been going through my girlfriend’s mind. Stage 3, where it’s A or B, only time will tell and we still don’t know. At least not right now. How we went from planning summer vacations and visits to see family to being hit by a train carrying the speed of light… still escapes me. Or maybe it’s me that seeks to escape it, but there’s no escaping cancer. You have to fight to beat it, but the hardest part is not giving up hope. You can’t concede it. I remind myself daily that life isn’t fair, but it’s tough to operate on the same level when you know the threat is there.

I wanted to stop writing altogether because  no words came easy and for once I didn’t want to express my pain and frustration, but that wasn’t working out well. The bottling of any emotion, especially pain, can result in something even more undesirable like depression, or worse. Disdain. It was only bearable when I was alone with my thoughts. Why cancer? Why now? Why her? Why us? But… I had to stop for a moment and seek a higher power. I never lost faith, I started out a devout follower. But I broke free of those chains directing my questions to the higher power. He told me to look within. You see… knowledge of self projects a mirror image so powerful it recognizes everything, but it’s up to us to bring it to light. Do you follow me? It s up to us to dig deeper, and so I dug. It was because as much as we think we know ourselves we’re not all knowing about ourselves or any one thing for that matter. Because we never wanted to know or because we never knew we were supposed to know. Whichever is to blame. I went on a quest to reclaim my spirituality. Before I grew tired of writing about things that required me to reach further into myself because the deeper I got the more I could see clearly for the first time, I recorded my thoughts. I began having to contend with things that were distracting me from the reality of what we were facing; cancer, and overall I was reminded of a younger me; feeling all vulnerable and shit when I got back into the thick of things. Still, I write.

Part One.

Cancer changes everything

The cancer diagnosis gave butterfly kicks
But not the kind you get when
Love flutters in – no
The girl I met on the Las Vegas strip
Was not the same woman that I remembered
Her neck down, bent
No mask covering her head
Just bald and beautiful
Although she doesn’t think she is
Not realizing she is among the best of them
No play pretend
I remember this:
Her sweet nothings to me were like birthday gifts
Another lesson is:
It is not just for men, to cry in private
Private tears aren’t attached to no exclusive nothin’
Try as they might to hide it
Those rivers mean something
And speaking of something
Let me speak of my woman
How surreal our present direction is going
How life can trick
Like some cruel and unusual punishment
Emotional up close yet feeling so distant
When it came to loving you
I eventually threw all my cards in
I used to feel like it was dutiful
But now I know I had no clue about it
How I was made for you
How you’re fighting this fight
Because you were chosen to
After all the weigh ins and chemo treatments
The show goes on for the rest of you
But for us it takes on new meaning

Part Two.

We understand clearly

Now our roles are two fold
How the way I guard my state
Won’t make true lies withhold
Yeah she tried to penetrate
I think I let her and held on
“I take prisoners!” my brain elated
On second thought, I yelled “Oh no!”
Trying to fan my flames
Will only get you smoked
My brain is not fried
I prefer slow roasted
I can’t concentrate on shit
“Is the tumor growing?”
If I wear a thinking cap
“Will it stop my head from exploding?”
Unanswered questions coupled with extreme self-loathing
Pushing me further into my emotions
The boat’s weighed down but not floating
Then a thought creeps silently in
Flashback to x-rays against a bright screen
How we examined searching for light spots that gleemed
My thoughts all over the place
Not concentrating on a single thing
Just two in fact
You and me
and love and peace
Too many things
So I count blessings
Otherwise shit gets too deep




6 Responses to “Relationships: Cancer Changes Everything”
  1. Vanessa says:

    You are such fighters, you and your lady. This was so beautifully written… I felt your pain… your frustration…but most importantly… your LOVE for her…

    Keep loving…keep smiling…keep laughing…keep sharing…keep writing…keep kissing…keep taking pictures…keep her close…keep your hopes high and your prayers present…keep focused ON LOVE & HEALING.

    Sending you both strength and LOVE. xoxo

    • Knowledge says:

      Warmly received are your words… thank you so much V for supporting us through these difficulties. Sending love and strength right back at you. <3

  2. mspachy says:

    This was beautiful. I hate that we are going through this, but if it had to be, I'm so glad that you're here to go through it with me. Your strength is holding me up and keeping me moving forward. We will one day be able to say, remember when?

    I will love you always

  3. Courtney says:

    I know this feeling. It's like your mind has 2 million questions and no answers. There's a part of you that dies when you find out, and all you want to do is give in to this disease. But you can't let it. I'm only 22 and I'm fighting this illness for a second time so please understand that it gets better. Don't be hard headed like me though, make sure you take time out to really rest. I'm praying for you both.

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