Last week, I wrote this:

I’ve been feeling better, off and on, for a few days.

I was still pretty bleak last Thursday morning, but I woke up, checked my email and found one of those golden tickets you get every once in a while – a really exciting, respected theatre company asking me to come in at the last minute for a general audition for a TBD musical.

I instantly felt like the opposite of curling into a ball – I felt energy, just a little, but bright green and springy, sprout out of my guts and send little leaves around my heart. A little zing to my brain.

I found myself thinking about being alive and functioning and in another show a year from now.

Read More at The View from the 21st Floor . . .

This is not a cheerful post. This is me dealing. It’s not pretty, but believe me, it helps to put it in words and share it. But I can see how it would be upsetting for people who love me to read. Please know you don’t have to read it. Please know this is me coping – we all have our own ways. I can’t just ignore bad feelings – I have to yank them out of the closet, thrash them out and put them in words.

But then, if you’ve been reading this long you probably already know that.

I’ve been writing less. I have not been feeling the compulsion to write lately. I feel like right now, there is nothing to say that I haven’t already said before.

It’s that part of the old movie I keep thinking of, “The African Queen” where they are paddling up the part of the river that gets so marshy and shallow that they don’t even know for sure if they have lost the river entirely, and every day is a tough slog through murky water, and dear God will they ever reach that lake so they can blow up the German gunboat?

This is so far the best day I’ve had since radioembolization treatment number one.

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Awwww, yeah.

Well, it’s been a week of experiences, hence not much writing for me lately.

Petite post today, but I wanted to keep going and let folks know what’s going on.

Wow – so radio-embolization – that was a trip.

It was kind of sold to me as easier than chemo, and to be fair, by next week, it may be- I feel much better now.

But that knocked me on my can way harder than chemo ever did.  I kept falling asleep as soon as I got home, and didn’t get enough food or water because I just kept sleeping – and then by the end of the next day, the abdominal pain and nausea hit, and I was doubled over again, unable to stand up straight when I went in for my follow up Weds.

My onco and nurse took one look at me and said “She looks dry”  “Yeah, we should admit her at least til we get her fluids up.  We’re gonna see if we can straighten out your bowels and do something about that pain, too.

I was happy to get admitted – I knew I needed to eat or drink, but I couldn’t manage it, and I was scared of what my bowels would do to me next if I did eat – dietary recommendations didn’t seem to make a difference.  There just wasn’t room for anything but swollen liver in my midsection.

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Editor’s Note: Some of our posts on Rational Creatures will be cross-posts from writers’ existing blogs – this is one of those. Erin Myers blogs about her cancer diagnosis, but also anything and everything else. Her writing is full of truth, humor, and sarcasm, and it’s always a treat to read. Here she is. – Chelsea

“Nature, Mr Allnut, is what we are put on this earth to rise above.”

– Katherine Hepburn as Rose Sayers in The African Queen

I am wrestling with what to believe in. When I write, I usually try to find a focus point, but this mess of a post, veering dangerously close to a freshman year dorm room conversation, is a reflection of the churning in my head right now, so here it is.

Those in my life who are religious and believe in a higher power sometimes wonder what comforts there are for those who don’t believe in God.

One comfort is that you can’t take science – or nature – personally. If there’s no God, you never feel betrayed by God. Does a leaf feel betrayed when it falls to the ground to glow red for a few days, then rot? Does a mouse feel betrayed when a snake swallows it? On the other hand, a beaver builds a dam to live in, a bird builds a nest – even animals and maybe plants look at nature and go, yeah, but I can improve on this – I don’t have to just lay here and get et, I can run! I don’t have to starve or freeze to death: I can build a nest.

We like to think that part of what makes us human is that we see how things are and try to make them how they should be – with potentially wondrous or disastrous results – but although our brains give us more power to change things than plants or animals, it’s really just survival, isn’t it? All life does it.

I love the paradox of that line from the African Queen. It’s inspiring to “rise above nature”, but rising above nature IS nature.

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