Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 44

Metastatic

BREAST CANCER

MBC Parasite

I

BY RU T H A R NOL D

t's always there. Sometimes a whisper. Sometimes a touch. Sometimes a
loud din that is hard to hear beyond. A hum. A bright overpowering visual.
A darkening of my perspective so that it is hard to distinguish figures. But,
always there.
I survey my body from my mind. Sometimes I touch and push on
the area where I believe it to be. Is it worse? Is it the same? Is it better? Is the
medicine even real? Are the scans? Do they matter? Do I?
It lives underneath the laughter, the silence. When I speak, when I am mute.
It causes me to be mute at times. It takes me away from other events that really
matter. Events of joy, grief, celebration, mourning. I'm not fully there. My constant companion communicates with me and when I request it to stop, it takes
more of me away so I try to ignore. I laugh beyond and I mourn in spite of.
I can't get upset about a person's behavior. I am alive. So that is why I am not
upset at this slight, this unkind word that I have heard about. I am not fully
with all of you. My unwelcome passenger sometimes overwhelms your words
and laughter and demands my attention when social problems arise. I am not
completely a part of them and now can't fully understand.
I used to. I remember that girl. She laughed too loudly. She cried readily
but recovered and then felt better for it. That was a girl traveling without this
unwelcome passenger. She didn't have the distractions, the unknown inside of
her trying to take her down. She didn't know. She was free. Her body was hers.
I don't tell people. I worry they will think me crazy. Over reactive. Self-consumed. Socially inept. Strange. Different. Other. Scary. So I feel and hear my
parasite and ignore as best I can. But so persistent. Relentless. Humming and
then a louder din. I'm never sure how it will present but I know it will. In some
form that is not within my power to manage.
The topics are counter to the outside world. They are dark. Death. Defeat.
Pain. Loss. Death. Fear. Uncertainty. Blurs. Voids. Death.
People are laughing. So I will laugh. They are talking. So I will try to listen.
They are looking at their phones and laughing. So I ask to see. I don't know

Last time they took the parasite.
This time, it has to stay. And it
wants all of me. It has teeth and it
bares them when I least expect it.

44

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
DECEMBER 2020

what it is. But they laugh. So I laugh. I laugh
harder because they like it when I laugh.
They laugh at me laughing. When do I stop
laughing? Are they laughing at the phone
image or at me? I'm not sure. I'll smile. I'll
chuckle. I will de-escalate slowly so that it's
not discernible.
The hum is here. I hear it. I feel it. It's on
my right side. It's in my liver. Has it moved?
Is it bigger? Has it gone to other areas? Don't
fear. They'll see. They'll think you're crazy.
They won't like you.
What time is it? What else is there to do?
Schedule? Yes, schedule. What's next?
The hum is louder. It is trying to take me
down. It is trying to make me fall into the
pit. I see the pit. I've been there. I got out but
I don't know how. Maybe this time I wouldn't
get out. It would hold me. I would become one
with the pit. Don't look. Try to walk away. Try
to run. It's behind me. I made it. This time.
I am inside myself. You are not with me.
You can't be. You say you want to join me
but I know you don't. I don't want you to.
I don't wish you to understand this. Yet it
keeps me a stranger because you don't and
can't. It has made me strange. I know it. I
feel it. I see you seeing me with my parasite.
Like me you ignore. But I see that when you
ignore, you succeed. It's my parasite. So I
don't. I have to allow it. Last time they took
the parasite. This time, it has to stay. And it
wants all of me. It has teeth and it bares them
when I least expect it.
I tried to be nice to my passenger. That's
when I first went into the pit. When I am
nice to my passenger, it shows me the pit
and laughs. Anger doesn't work. That only
takes me to endless paths that lead nowhere.
Not as scary as the pit but isolating. I am not
with people when I am on the nowhere paths.
Indifference is the best. It brings me to
the world beyond my parasitic passenger.
The problem with indifference is you can't
try for it. If you try to be indifferent you go
to a path or a pit. Indifference has to just
happen. When you notice it, it's no longer
indifference. It's a goal but a goal I can't work
toward. I have to hope that it just happens and
somehow not notice it too much when it does.
I want to be there, not here. But I am both
and not fully there. I usually am not. I'm sorry. It is who I have become. I am me with my
parasite. All the time. I want to worry about
what you worry about. I can't fully. I used to.
Remember? l


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Elephants And Tea - December 2020

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Contents
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 1
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 3
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 4
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