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A new atmosphere on the Planet of The Big C

March 29, 2016
It hit me harder than I expected. The day was cold, indifferent, and overcast. First off, the oncologist was in network of an intra-linking condo-mall-office-park design hosting specialist in every possible body organ. The place wasn’t protected by security guards, there were antibodies roaming the place. I thought before anyone could find their doctor they would either die trying to find the office, or searching for a parking place. The medical profession multiplies and divides faster than cancer cells, and give you the impression someone is making too much money, or there are just too many sick people in the world.

I was dressed in a nice sports jacket, white shirt, jeans, and cool shoes. This is my first vow. Wear nice clothes so people think I work there, instead of being a patient. Establish a presence that’s bigger than the disease.

But then it hit me, several times, pummeled me. I was mugged and pounded by reentering the atmosphere of the oncologist’s office. I was suddenly clenched and choked. Instead of being upbeat, I was tense, agitated, angry—actually a suppressed furious rage was trying to slash out of me, as if I was a mere sausage casing and there was an angry animal being smothers and trying to tesar its way out—my sould was trapped in my flesh again.

I forgot about this.

This was the fight. And cancer sprung upon me. And it was saying, “This is not a joke. You can’t joke your way out of this. That world of yours doesn’t have a chance here. Grow up, who are you kidding. You’ve been lying to yourself. That’s going to help you? Really? Now that’s a joke. You’re in denial This is as real as it gets. This is real.” My insides are tossed from side to side. I’m trying to steady myself.

I still haven’t gotten to the desk yet.

I want to scream.

I take the hits. The atmosphere weighs down on me. The force of gravitas is stronger her, trying to squeeze the life out of me, trying to make me forget me—and it’s getting close, very close to doing this. A force is wrestled me down, and is relentlessly pummeling the life outside from me to squeeze me into the narrow whole of the different world: the World of the Sick where cancer runs free.
I forgot about this.

A courteous and polite nurse hands me some forms, the same damn forms I’ve filled out at three other places.

“Why do I have to fill out these same forms, I’ve been here at Dominican before,” I snapped.

“Well, our office needs them.”

I walk away and sit down opposite and old woman who is thin and wearing a scarf on her bald head. I remember how I sat with chemo patients the last time I had cancer, and how sometimes I was talking to another Chemosabi who was a cancer reoccurrence, and now if someone talked to me, I would be one of those people.

I take off my jacket and place it on a chair near me because I don’t want to wrinkle it. stared at the forms. I couldn’t think clearly to fill some of the information out. I resented even having to write my name. Like I was being forced to take a test that I had passed a long time ago, but couldn’t remember the answers anymore. It wasn’t fair. No, I thought, don’t think that. That’s playing into cancer’s moist cold hands. But if my oncologist did their job, she should have found this tumor before it grew. I did all my follow-ups, I didn’t do anything wrong I— Shuttup, anger is not going to help you, cancer is trying to weaken you. You can’t go there. Okay, okay.

I bow my head, pinch the bridge of my nose, and the cancer tears come again. Yeah, the seat of my soul, the struggle of my soul, perspiring. And I whisper to myself, through this gray haze, his taut atmosphere, clenching my throat from the tumor, and I say to the gray, trying to summon the light, my voice is cracking, “Where are you Fred? Where are you, Fred. Come on Fred, I need you.”

The nurse says, Mr. Reiss, she can see you now.”

I hold my pose and softly say, “I need a minute.”

The unexpectant bell rings. End of round one in my second cancer rematch.

I return in my corner, sitting just like this. All those hits brought me back to the otherness of this world, that for some is a metaphor, but is really a mutation. I sit on my imaginary stool in the neutral corner, regaining my bearings, slowly rearming myself, staring out, looking for the opponent who did this to me, but now all I can see if darkness and within that darkness, I spot an even darker figure, who tried to turn my soul into a shadow. I know what you’re trying to do. We’ve met before. You want me to forget me. You don’t think I see you. But I can hide in a darker place with a brighter light and I will blind you.

“Nurse,” I said. “When I got here, I want to apologize, I’m usually upbeat, but I felt agitated, and I want to apologize if I might have been rude. You do great work and I don;t want to add to the problems of your day. I don’t want to do that.”

“No you were fine.”

“Well, I hope the doctor is better at finding my tumor than I was at trying to find this your office,” I said.

She laughed.

I found a joke. A part of me beyond the pain that could never be beaten out of me,

I unsteadily rise, n feeling heavy after my beating, put my sports jacket back on because I want to make an impression on my oncologist. I feel like I’ve been mugged. I have to shake this off. I’m not a victim. I’m an opponent, dammit. I gotta find that in me again. Accept you got beat in this first round. Well, not beaten, but thre Big C got the drop on me. Not happening again. I have to stay lower to the ground to be upbeat.

I slightly regain my balance, and a focus on this new world, and softly said, “I’m ready.”

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