Early December

Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. He would have been 80. Rest in Peace.

This is always a weird week anyway. Cancerversary. Like unmarried couples who have a hard time choosing a date to commemorate–the day they met, the day they fell in love, the first time they had sex?–I have a hard time pinpointing the highlights of my whirlwind relationship with cancer.

Was it the day the ultrasound technician first detected a mass, shortly before Thanksgiving? Or a few days later when a specialist looked and said it was almost certainly cancer. Or was it this first week in December, when we traveled to the big city of Melbourne and met the surgical team. The surgery, I think was December 4th or 5th, and I think at the body level, these are days that resonate, simply because this is the experience that left a physical scar, and it hurt. Pain is memorable, the memory of it lives in your cells for awhile. I don’t mean scientifically, although maybe that too. And although we always concentrate on the fact that the surgery removed “the cancer,” this included, of course, removing over half my large intestine and (as a bonus), my appendix.

For a few days I’ve had some abdominal discomfort. Bad food choices, or is it also psychological? Do you think that people who have phantom limbs feel them more acutely around the anniversary of their loss?

I want to go research that right now. I am suddenly fascinated by all aspects of phantom limbs, but I cannot, because I need to stay on task and work on screenplays.

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