I’m sitting on the back deck of some friends’ house a few towns north of Oakland where I’m doing cat-care this week and into the next. The sun is out in force, I can see the Bay and smell the breeze coming off it, and generally it’s a lovely day to bask in being outdoors. Lately a number of people have asked if I’d watch over their houses and/or pets for which I’m grateful as hell: there’s nothing like having the equivalent of a well-appointed B&B to stay in for days or weeks following this very wet winter when I felt that my own dwelling was just too small and isolated.
Days like this I feel like one of the luckiest people in the East Bay. It’s like a vacation with all the comforts of home close to hand: the office, familiar shopping places, most of my friends. I figure this is the closest to a real trip I’m going to get for months to come, and while I do miss traveling I try not to think about that any more than I do everything else out of my reach during this period of recovery that’s stretching on and on.
I try not to think too much either about the illness that brought it about, and often do a pretty good job of it. Like how until a few days ago I forgot to get labs in prep for my upcoming oncology checkup. They’re done now though, thankfully with little last-minute hassle, and the morning after tomorrow I head into the ABCCC with the hope that it’ll once again prove a short visit with no need to come back for another three months. Or maybe longer. Remission, baby: there’s nothing like that too.
Yesterday I skipped the March For Science in favor of staying in and resting, San Francisco being just too far for how I felt. Now I’m seeing pictures from marches all over the country and the one that stays with me is a woman’s sign reading Cancer survivor supporting medical research. I wish I’d thought of that; even if I have quibbles with using the S word – at only two years in I don’t necessarily feel I’ve yet survived much of anything – it’s good to give credit where it’s due. I suspect though I’ll have plenty of chances to walk with my own sign before the next four years are up.
Thinking that far into the future (while carefully not contemplating the reasons marching is needed) is itself evidence of how lucky I am. I’m alive, where twenty years ago the treatment available might not have sufficed. I’m in good enough condition that I can trust myself with others’ living quarters and animals. And I’m right where I want to be, Oakland and its surrounds, during what all things considered is a very good time to be here. Science is on my side, so are my friends and so ultimately is time. Most of all I’m lucky just to have a day like this.
(Republished from my personal Facebook account)