So last Thanksgiving i headed up to my sisters in new Hampshire. I had just learned of my diagnosis and had not told everyone. I remember thinking i should wait until taking Laura back to College to tell her as i did not want to ruin her Thanksgiving. Boy was she pissed. I guess I learned that my kids are not quite as fargile as i think. I stayed a day or two extra at Peggy's and we drank wine Thanksgiving night. We probably split a bottle with Peggy having one glass and me the rest. I woke up with a terrible hangover but of course at the time forgot that it was a hangover and assumed the cancer had moved to my head and stomach overnight. hadn't quite gotten over the shock that sometimes things are the worst imaginable.
This year once again I head to New Hampshire, home of live free or die and the chickens mentioned earlier. No we are not eating them. I like going to Peggy's anyway because it is like my country retreat. But thanksgiving is even better. She invites her whole family, which includes the ex-husband who she has a great relationship with- kind of like that show the new adventures of old christine- and his family. I love Mike's family but they make my family look sane, which is no small feat. So last year I was all philosophical and thankful that I had what I had in that minute, not really sure how transient this life could be.....now this year, i am thankful for being free of cancer, starting out fresh, well as soon as I take care of a few really concrete things that I didn't waste time worrying about when getting rid of cancer was the only thing that was important. Now these little day to day things like old bills and a house that I just can't seem to get rid of have to be dealt with on some level.
Next week i am going to California. Just for a week, or even a little less since it will take half the day to get there- the price I am happy to pay for really cheap airfare- really it is cheaper than staying home. May be time to look for some sort of job before my California nursing license expires. Really, I could commute cross country and work per diem at Mclean while I get set up in a job out there. I had always thought I would stay here until the boob surgery but then I think what the hell, southern california has to be a plastic surgery mecca and I would probably get more stripper-boobs there than in conservative Boston. it is a thought. Of course my original venture to California was because I had nothing much keeping me here in Massachusetts with laura in college and although meghan and Chris are here, they do fine with a mother/mother in law in a far away state. But now Meghan and Chris have bought a house, which was the last thing they had to do before getting pregnant. Of course they will probably take their time with that, and even once it happens, there are still nine months and by the time my little grandchild arrives, i could be all set up in Cally and able to commute to the east coast for long periods of time to impart my wisdom to both parents and child. If they let me near it. Already i am being told I have to stop swearing, because apparently Meghan thinks she can raise a kid who will go through life without ever hearing the word fuck. A kid related to me. I guess it is possible but not likely. However, I do not have a problem refining my dirty mouth, as I intend to interview for jobs at really classy places that celebrities go to in southern california. What's great about having mcleans on my resume is that the rich and famous really do go there for treatment, just not to the part i work at (usually.) But because of patient confidentiality, i can't talk about who my patients are anyway, so who's to say that the patients I can't mention are just your average person on the street or rock stars.
So my point was.....what was my point? oh yes, not having cancer is more complicated than having it. You still have the live life in the moment mentality that you learned when you could die at any time, but with it is the real stuff that you could ignore until you realize that you are most likely going to be around a while. Not that I am complaining. better to have to deal with shit than to have avoided having to deal with it by dying.
So last thanksgiving, scared of having cancer. This thanksgiving, scared of dealing with stuff I have to deal with because I don't have cancer. Yeah. i will take this year's fear over last year's any day. I really have something to be thankful for. Also, I do not have to cook. That is something everyone can be thankful for.