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Music vs Big C –excerpt from Today Cancer, Tomorrow The World

September 22, 2012

I lie in bed under the covers in the middle of the day, wrenched by pain into a fetal position and dealing with drifty mental drug shifts and a sore throat and listen on headphones and go for a counter-infusion to go to what moves me not thinks me What A Feeling by Irene Cara.


First when there’s nothing but a slow glowing dream…


Our cats surround me. Groucho is at my feet. Brooksie is curled alongside me. Bogey is on my head, purring so hard he sounds like a distant airplane. There’s a chemo ring around my brain pan. There are these short coughs that come out of nowhere. I breath in a dry humidity the muggy valley of chemo. Chemo to let me go. Let me go. Every time I try to outrun and escape chemo’s effects it pulls me back. It’s like I’m a wind-up figure being played with by a Chemo The Giant. I run and think I’m free, then Chemo grabs me and pulls me back. I slip out of its grasp and sprint and it wraps around me pulls me back. Chemo is amused by me. Chemo to let me go. Let me go. And where will I go when it does? So much is rolling over me and beading up like mercury. A vapid emptiness is all around me? All I can do is blow it up like a balloon, let it go, and watch it flap away from me into the flat limpness of nothingness. I let the music I love inflate me above the void. Emptiness does not move. And it waits for no one. To some they view you and say, “just think good thoughts,” and the doctors one side they deal with the disease, and the other side—that’s my side—they completely ignore by smacking it with prescription pads instead of solving the cause of the pain within their cure. Come on over here and tell me about it, man, Come on over here. Their eyeballs roll off or roll away. None of them are carrying the emptiness. I can taste the emptiness when I belch a hollow echo. And I spit out the taste of this shit sandwich.

“I’m hurt, kitties. I’m in pain,” I said. “I’m so hurt,”

I wonder how this trial of tears is shaping me, maybe the same way erosion makes a beautiful rock formation.

At least I’m left with the music—yeah, the music.

Well I hear the music

Close my eyes there is rhythm


Then I suddenly discover the touch of a partner dancing with me. It’s the spirit in me that fights the Big C, the spirit that sparked and reflected in my eyes, my pilot light of soul. And I let that spirit lead, and its inspiring energy courses through me and stretches out a grateful smile and improvisational movements. And I almost feel that I’m a puppet finally learning to pull my own strings.

I throw my blankets off. I grab Groucho we dance across the kitchen floor as tears and anger flows back into me. Groucho squirms a little but settles and lets me lead. My smile becomes a clenched fist that’s a kiss of death for cancer.

What a feelin

Bein’s believing


The drive to reach my first beat of health is overpowering, and it’s broiling, knotting, and rising and cresting a building flexibility in me that it only going to get me stronger.

“Thank you, I’m so blessed,” I say and smile.

A gushing relentless drive, burbles forth. These tears, these tears, they keep coming. Cancer tears. They are different than any other tears. They come when you smile, they come when you are hurt, oh how they come, high tide and low tide, water to the vine .They come from seeing friends who help you, they come from the deeper glimpse of the life within us all, that undiscovered spring you’re tapping and a geyser goes off and sprays the shit out of the grayness and mingles it with the light you never knew was inside you and the tears keep on coming in the spray and sprinkle all over your upraised face. I believe I will soon know everyone in the world. Because after being cured by the smoke of chemo’s world of pain no one is a stranger to me anymore.

I see you.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Laureen permalink
    September 22, 2012 7:15 pm

    Very Nice Fred…got my tears flowing again!…Thinking of you, isn’t your scan sometime in the next couple days ? Fingers and toes crossed 🙂

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