The Weighting Room

“Weight/Wait”:

  1. a body’s relative mass, giving rise to a downward force; the heaviness of a person or thing.
  2. attach importance or value to.
  3. stay where one is until something else happens.
  4. I’m impatient and my pants don’t fit anymore

 

It’s been a crazy year. It was a year ago that my niece, Neave, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. A year of intense treatment, of surgeries, of fatigue, of inappropriate humour and of immense love. Thank you to all of you for the support you have shared. Your generosity of spirit causes emotions to run out of my eye sockets.

Neave completed her active chemotherapy and radiation treatment this past April. She started her first day of Grade 4 in May. She was an excited little hobbit to say the least! I must give credit to the children and staff of Immaculate Conception school. We hear a lot of stories about bullying and I think there was a modicum of fear that perhaps Neave might suffer some of those harsh realities at the hands of her peers. However, the student population, and specifically her class and close friends, welcomed her back with open arms as though she was a celebrity on the red carpet of her first film premiere! Thank you all for embodying the values you teach. Her self-esteem is intact because of your kindness.

Unfortunately, as most things go in the world of cancer, the unplanned happened. This past June, Neave broke her femur. Yes, the one she had reconstructed last November. This resulted in the necessity of another 8 hour surgery, which would see her original incision reopened, the removal of the metal plate that runs the length of her femur, the realignment of the various moving parts, a bone graft from her own pelvis, and all of it held in place with 2 new plates and various bits and bobs of hardware. You know, just another day at the office right?!

Her surgery was 3 weeks ago now. She is home and faring well. She will be non-weight bearing again for another 3-4 months. After that it will be a slow introduction to walking, using extreme caution, as we don’t want to go through this endeavour again. In the meantime, please send prayers and healing vibes to her little body. Go for a walk and send signals from your strong bones to hers! ‘Cuz hey, I still believe in magic!

The rest of us are struggling with the fall out of a year spent in a constant state of stress and trauma. They need a new word for this kind of fatigue. Perhaps if we weren’t so tired, we’d invent one. How about “drool on yourself” tired? Or “I forget when I last showered” tired? Or “It’s come to this, I just wore pyjama pants to Walmart” tired? We’ll get through it. But if you happen to know my sister and her husband, if you’re in their circle of support, reach out to them. They still need you.

I wrote a couple of poems recently. One in the dreaded surgical waiting room on the day of Neave’s surgery. The other on July 24th – our one year Cancer-versary. I thought I would share them, because, well, I guess because it helps.

The Weighting Room

This room

This familiar foreign room

A matrix of vinyl chairs

A vortex of complicated lives

Inhale

Hold it

A collective of swollen lungs

Longing for scrubs to appear

Elbow on metal armrest

Quivering chin in hand

Legs cross, uncross, a sign of the cross

A sip too hot

A gulp too cold

A bouncing leg

A comment on the weather

A wait

A pace

A weight

A pace

Too slow, too fast, it’s all happening too slow and too fast

An approaching reflection on the linoleum floor

40 expectant eyeballs, 38 disappointed

Lapel sticker

Hello my name is Visitor

Hello my name is Surgery

Hello my name is Time

Tick

Tock

Hello my name is Fear

Hello my name is Why

Hello my name is Unimportant

Tick

Tock

What’s your story?

I’m sorry for your story

I can’t listen to your story

Stop telling me your story

Please don’t compare our stories

2nd story, 2nd floor, 2nd time

Tick

Tock

A baby carrier

A pre-teen

Seasoned war vets

Freshman families sent to the front lines

No man’s land

An airport departures screen

“Your child’s name here”

In holding

In flight

Operation, Operating, Operative

Landed

Refueling

Boarding, boring

Cabin pressure, rising

Secure your own mask first

Breath….still holding

Silent tears

Rough squares of see-through tissue

Unspoken knowing

Empty strollers

Abandoned stuffies

Hands

Holding

Wiping

Clenching

Love

So much love

Inspiring, heartbreaking love

Begging

Please, dear God please

Doctors be rested

Focus be sharp

No bad days at the office

Our soul is in your hands

Gratitude

Exhaustion

No life outside of this beige

Another scrub cap

Surgeon

Miracle workers

Skilled, skills, social skills

Lacking

Patience

Tick

Tock

Was there a “before”?

Tick

Tock

What will be our “after”?

Tick

Tock

Can’t turn back the clock

Watch, watching

Forever watching

Forever waiting

Today and for the rest of time

Waiting

For health

For relapse

Waiting

Weighting

For lightness

For normal

And

For

The exhale.

 

The Paper Anniversary

A year ago tonight

One year ago this night

A soft, cool, starlit night

A night that woos you into believing in romance

The Big Dipper, Orion’s Belt,

A Milky Way gone murky as new news is revealed.

A revelation that will change everything

Everything is different, forever different

We knew the news

We’ve known this news before

No news is not good news

This news is bad

A year ago tonight

365 days ago began this very night

A soft breeze that hardens the breath

A helpless, hapless call to action

So many moments in a ‘normal’ 365 days mean nothing;

Repetitive moments that lull us into comfortable complacency

Until

Until a night like a year ago tonight

A night that defines you

Changes you

Ends new beginnings

Begins news endings

A year ago tonight

How random,

That a year from that night,

We are here

Living out one of those repetitive moments

A moment of innocuous time

A moment that is neither here nor there

A moment, that in its everyday dullness, will eventually be forgotten

Yet, a year ago tonight

12 months and 1 hour ago this night,

A moment that will forever stand still

One undoable, ever-rippling moment

One moment that prevented clocks from ticking

Time standing still yet moving ferociously ahead

A year ago tonight

One year ago this night,

Life happened.

And so,

One year from this night

365 days from this very night,

What unlived, unimagined, unfathomable moments does life have in store

A year from this year ago tonight?

 

 

2 thoughts on “The Weighting Room

  1. Dearest Meg, That was lovely. I’m so with you and your family with this and sending possitive thoughts every day with lots of love.

    Virus-free. http://www.avg.com

    On Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 7:27 PM, Murphy’s Law – A Documentary Film wrote:

    > Meg Murphy posted: “”Weight/Wait”: a body’s relative mass, giving rise to > a downward force; the heaviness of a person or thing. attach importance or > value to. stay where one is until something else happens. I’m impatient and > my pants don’t fit anymore It’s been” >

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