Sneak Attack

I have always had a penchant for words. My parents claim that I began speaking prior to when that milestone was meant to occur and haven’t stopped doing so since. In addition, they also kid that my first word was not in fact a word but a fully formed sentence. And I have no proof otherwise to refute this sentiment, so it must be true. From the moment that I could read on my own, I was enraptured with books. It was so easy to get lost in the fictitious worlds invented by extraordinary people we call authors. There was no greater place to venture than Green Gables on Prince Edward Island or Yorkshire exploring the secret gardens. I wanted to be just like Jo in Little Women or Karana in the Island of Blue Dolphins. I sobbed through Wilson Rawl’s Where the Red Fern Grows and Jack London’s White Fang. I couldn’t wait to bring home a new book and finger through the crisp clean pages or snag a great find at a book sale and take in the smell. I really wish Yankee Candle could find a way to make ‘old book smell’ a new scent. Library enthusiasts and academics everywhere would go wild over it. I remember when I was in fourth grade I was heading to sleep over and packed a novel in my overnight bag and was appalled when I arrived there only to find that no one else had. As a pre-teen my love for reading didn’t change, only my preferences did. I went through an awkward period of reading horror novels written by Richie Tankersly and Christopher Pike. And then there was a short period where I read every Lurlene McDaniel book I could find and was deeply saddened by that particular genre of morbid young adult fiction (little did I know that I would be living one of her stories out 20 years later). As a high schooler and college student, most of what I read was assigned and I found little time for much else unless it was during a vacation. So, I turned to writing down quotes from books, movies, articles, television shows, anything really that struck my fancy. Once I found more time in my busy life to read, I found that I still enjoyed my keepsake of quotes, lyrics, poems, etc. So thus my penchant for words lives on.

On Friday night I was fortunate enough to see Melissa Etheridge play in person in a quaint local theater house. Her lyrics have always spoken to me. And in the middle of her set she talked about her own experience with breast cancer and that that experience had taught her that the only real thing in life that mattered was love. She did an interview with Dateline in 2005 and talked about her life changing diagnosis and how it reset her priorities and there she stood on the stage in 2016 clearly exemplifying that. And there I sat in the audience feeling somehow stronger and sneak attacked at the same time. Unless you have cancer, have had cancer, or are bound to someone in the throws of cancer this may not make much sense to you. Despite my cancer, I go on living my life. I continue to work my full time career as a teacher, assigning and grading things, attending meetings, putting out the fires of overly dramatic adolescents. I come home and find time to play with my energetic furbaby, make dinner, manage some other household things and hopefully have a conversation or two with Josh before bed. I get to go out to dinner with friends on occasion and even take a road trip adventure now again. I run errands and even make it to water aerobics here and there. So despite my cancer, I get to be me. There are even chunks of time where I am able to forget about my cancerous state and other times where it feels like I may drown in it. In my day to day life I cope and go on with my life normally, but then there are these moments that sneak attack you. And there I was at the concert enjoying one of my favorite musicians of all time command the stage and with one utterance – boom. Sneak attacked! It’s like being overwhelmed by emotion, caught in a force of nature that you have no control over. Sometimes it feels like a wave of sadness, a heavy burden, a heartbreaking loss, sheer anger – raw feeling. It had happened to me earlier this week too (it has been occurring more frequently since receiving the news of my latest relapse), where I was sneak attacked by a moment. I had just gotten into bed to settle in for the night when Jax decided he wanted to be super close and weaseled his way in between Josh and I. And I laid there looking at my sweet boy and Josh, and I started to weep. I couldn’t help but think about how blessed I was in that moment and how saddened I was that it may not always be like this. That my cancer could very well get the best of me and how could I ever leave either of them. Sneak attacked! The moments pass and I move on, enjoying every minute, until the next one. I found this gem in my journal and it seems so fitting, “I try to take one day at a time but sometimes several days attack me once” and that is how I feel about these unplanned waves of emotions. So often I find solace in the words of others, especially lyrics. So…

It’s a blur since they told me about it
How the darkness had taken its toll
And they cut into my skin
And they cut into my body
But they will never get a piece of my soul
And now I’m still learning the lesson
To awake when I hear the call
And if you ask me why I am still running
I’ll tell you I run for us all

I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth, for all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run for life

Read more: Melissa Etheridge – I Run For Life Lyrics | MetroLyrics


8 thoughts on “Sneak Attack”

  1. Your comment about getting “sneak attacked” rang true for me last week as well. For I briefly sank to a darker time and could not stop sobbing, which was embarrassing because I was in an airport. Life comes around to smack us upside of the head every now and then to remind us that we are truly blessed no matter how many dark days we have and that living our life is most important. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, the other day I had a sneak attack time at dialysis – the technician put the arterial needle in downward instead of the usual upward and I had an infiltration – oww! I just panicked and had to have oxygen and an icepack on it the whole treatment. It makes me scared and mad when they do things differently and forget that I’m still pretty new at this (9th week) and can’t handle it! I did manage to calm down by watching the funny movie “Snow Buddies”, thank goodness. Boy, I can’t wait to have a transplant! In the meantime, I can ask to have my regular techs or tell them how they usually put my needles in. The key is speaking up for myself. Krista, I’m wishing you have many, many more good days and times you can just enjoy life! Take care, Chris


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