How are you doing?

or, more commonly

How’s Emily doing?

I have completed four rounds of AC chemo and one round of T. I have three T rounds to go. I will get those three rounds on September 24th, October 8th, and October 22nd. It is September 19th. It is really only about a month to go. When I tell people that number, that October 22nd number, invariably some version of “that’s soon!” comes out. It took me four hours to crawl out of the F train stop at Jay Street-Metrotech this morning, a month to walk from Carroll to school last night. My therapist suggested Monday that I might begin to imagine a future. I see a future. I scheduled a talk in Tacoma in January. It’s as real to me as China, or the moon. January.

I visited friends and family in Los Angeles at the end of August and spent last week in Bozeman. Between now and October 22nd I will skip the dinner and drinks parts and watch television at night in hotel rooms in Albany, Lincoln, Las Vegas, and Syracuse. Two plenaries, an invited talk. Union work, a football game. With the exception of my infusion days, I have not missed a day of work. I took the kid to flag football on Sunday and cook his breakfast every morning I’m home. He has started taking spinach with his eggs like me. Anemia is no joke. I look really normal. I want to feel really normal.

I don’t know if it was the two units of human blood they gave me on Monday or the AC leaving my system for Taxol, but my brain feels back, more with me. I don’t feel high all the time. I couldn’t pull up the face of today’s lunch companion, forgot her name on the walk from work to the restaurant. I am transposing words, but they’re my words. Arbitration for organization. They both matter to me. It is not easy to get them in the right place.

 

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