Monday, April 23, 2018

Facing Facebook

2009 was not a very good year for me or my family.
I started the year, literally started the year, receiving my first 13 hours of chemotherapy in hospital. It didn't initially bother me because I was in a comfy bed with a flat screen television and nurses and aides at my beck and call (they were truly there when I needed them, I wasn't saying that they existed on the holiday just to respond to my whims.)
Still, my body was being filled with poison.
As good as it was supposed to be for me, well, I was being poisoned.
After the treatment, I thought I'd stay in the hospital for a few days to see what would happen. No, my husband insisted I come home immediately because "you never know what can happen in the hospital...germs, diseases (like the skin rotting thing") so I went home. I'd been in the hospital for 9 days.
I thought I was okay, that I wasn't going to undergo the horrors of puking my guts out constantly as so many people (Charlie Dalton, R.I.P.) Back in the early 70s, Charlie had testicular cancer. He was treated somewhere in NYC, Sloan Kettering, I believe, and he puked for days afterwards.
There were homebound kids I taught who had cancer.  They were mostly over their chemo, but they were out of it and really didn't care about what I had to teach them. They all eventually died, bald and sadly left everyone miserable.
The day after I got home, I ended up sitting on the bathroom floor, emptying the contents of my digestive system. Constantly. I don't know where all that stuff came from, but I was in bad shape. Considering I rarely toss my cookies at all, like registering 4 times since I was 9 years old, this was horrifying.
From January 1, 2009 until May 30, 2009, I had chemo. Lost 70 pounds.
The oncologist prescribed some very expensive drug for me to take and once it was in my system, I never found myself on the bathroom floor again.
The chemo stopped the lymphoma. It also probably destroyed some important parts of my body, but I am here and though tired all the time, I'm alive.
I forgot why I started writing this post. I was interrupted twice and my reasons vanished. This is one of the "benefits" of chemotherapy.
But I am alive. I'm working toward 70 and I am alive. I can enjoy the breath of Spring, I can hear the songbirds and the grackles fighting over the feeders in my backyard. I can look at my kids and husband and love them intensely. I can spend time with my friends and they give back to me the strength I need.
Oh, I just remembered why I started this. When I was in my bed, I had the computer, this computer, on all the time. It would ping when I got an email or a message on Facebook and I would rally and find out what was going on in the outside world.
It meant so much to me, to be sort of connected while I was in bed, barely able to move or even sit up.
So, if Facebook shared my personal information with some dark web, I hope somebody enjoyed whatever it was, whatever information they garnered from me. No bank accounts, no social security number, not even my telephone number though they've requested it many times.
Here I am, a woman approaching OLD AGE, who lost her mother recently, whose father was in the Army, whose husband is a Viking, whose daughters are brilliant, who votes regularly.
Eat it raw.

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