angry and downright mean

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Reading the diary entries concerning my treatment might give you the wrong impression.  It sounds like I’m lying there in bed, propped up by lots of pillows, while Diane gently wipes my beady brow and the kids carry drinks and medication. It sounds cozy; romantic even.  But it’s nothing like that at all!

Instead I’m tired and angry most of the time, and when the fungal infection hits me I’m downright mean.  I talk in a strange cackle and sometimes in a trumpeting cry.  I sound weird and I sound scary.

I pick fights with Diane.  “No,” I say, “the oatmeal isn’t cooked long enough.  You must cook it.  Cook it.  What’s wrong with you woman?”  Scared she runs off and turns on the stove once again.  When she comes back with the steaming bowl, I’m just staring into blank space.  I’m staring and staring until the oatmeal gets stone cold.  “It’s too cold,” I say in my strange cackle, “I can’t eat it.”

As for the kids, I haven’t seen Saga for a couple of weeks.  Maybe she is scared of me too.  (I remember being scared of my own father when he had cancer — I didn’t want to see him like that; I just wanted to run away).

Yrsa peeks in through the door with a cheeky smile.  “Are you dead yet?” she asks.

Then Rima comes in asking me to fix a broken toy.  I gesticulate to her.  “Rima, Rima, I’m sick. There is nothing I can do for you.  Go away!”

The only person who isn’t bothered is Beata.  She sits down on the bed beside me and starts telling me about her day.  Care and compassion come naturally to her.  She simply wants to be with her sick father.  I listen to her talk about homework and friends.  But then I pick a fight with her too.  “Beata,” I say.  “Your hair is too long.  You’re such a beautiful girl, but you need to get a haircut.”  I know this is a sensitive topic, and I know it makes her angry.  She walks off in a huff.

See, what I mean?  There is nothing romantic about going through cancer treatment and I’m an ungrateful, impatient, patient.

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