Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I am filled with longing - a yearning deep in my belly that feels white hot and sends tentacles of desire through me, making me shake with need.

But this time, I'm not talking about sex.

I am deep into my job hunt, and having some beautiful progress.  Part of that progress is within myself: I'm determining what exactly it is I want.  I know the "general" job description I'm looking for, but we all know that the devil is in the details, and I want to get it right.  This won't be my final job, but it's a big leap, and I want that leap to put me on my true path, and not be some meandering deviation.

I've found an organization that I long to be a part of.  I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but it came up in conversation during one of my networking coffees, and it hit me like a thunderbolt.  I am meant to be there, and to make it my life's work.

What if, in addition to growing professionally and making an impact on the world, supporting myself and my daughter, and doing work that is interesting to me....

What if I could save my own life, and my daughter's?

There is a job opening at a local cancer research center, and I think that it's perfect for me.  Perfect.  To say that I would show up for work with passion is to understate it: I would have the opportunity to spend my life's work contributing to ending cancer, and the idea fills me with joy and energy and a kind of delirium.  I WANT THIS.

I want to go to work every day knowing that I'm doing my part to save Katherine.  To look into her beautiful blue eyes and think that maybe I can save her from what I have had to do.

As I type this, my right "breast" is bleeding.  I'm okay, and it's not a big deal, but I had to have my tattoos re-done, and the right one isn't healed yet, and part of the scab came off, and I woke up with bloody pajamas as a result.  In terms of what I've done for cancer treatment, this is NOTHING, but it's still not okay.  I miss having real breasts, with actual nipples on them.  I try not to be resentful that I rely on tattoos to give the illusion of nipples and areolas.  I try not to be bothered when I have to deal with the leftovers of cancer.  When I go running on my long distance runs, I have to be aware of tingling sensations in my left arm, where I get lymphedema, because I know that intense exercise can bring on another episode.  (I'm the only one on the trail running with my left arm over my head sometimes, and I can assure you that it is harder to run that way.)  I went on yet another first date yesterday, and thought how, if it ever came to that level (doubtful) I would have to explain to the handsome man in front of me that my body is covered with scars and that my breasts are just allusions to the real thing.

But that's not the important stuff.

The important stuff, is that I nearly didn't get a chance to sit here complaining about my strange body.  I nearly lost it all, and my daughter would have lived a life where nobody reminded her to do her homework and she would watch TV for hours every day, because that's how her dad is.

The important stuff is that though I have made it this far, there are no guarantees that, at any moment, the other shoe can drop.  How do single working moms get through chemo?! 

What would Katherine do without me?  She is entering adolescence, and we have conversations about being kind to boys (even the ones you don't like), and about work ethic, and about taking care of our bodies, and giving back (she is trying to get a volunteer position at an animal shelter).  She needs me to cheer for her at her gymnastics tournament.  She needs me to make her dinner, to take her shopping for her Halloween costume, to take her to the pumpkin patch, to invite her friends over for a sleepover to make chocolate chip pancakes.  Don't tell me that she doesn't, because she does.  She deserves all that, and I need to be here for it.

And I need to be here.  There are stories yet unwritten, literally and metaphorically.  I need to know what it's like to finish a half marathon (I'll find out in less than two weeks), and maybe a full marathon.  I need to throw pennies in a Roman fountain, to hike the Alps, to lie on a white sand beach in the sun.  I've never surfed, and I need to do that.  I need to know what it is like to love and be loved in the way that I know I am capable.  I want to wake up with my lovers lips against my neck, in a tangle of sheets.

I want all that, and cancer tried to take it all away from me.  It still might take it from me.

And it might go after my daughter, with her perfect, beautiful, healthy body.  Her long, lean body that doesn't have a single scar, with her gorgeous streaky blonde hair that touches her waist.  It is unbearable - UNBEARABLE - to think that her body could contain the string of DNA that would throw her into hell.

I can't just stand there and watch that happen.  I need to do something.

I want this job.  I want to spend my life's work eliminating cancer, for myself, my girl, and the whole world.

Nobody is more passionate about this than I am.

Please send out good wishes, prayers, light - whatever you call it, I gratefully accept it.  I want this job, and I feel like I'm in good position to get it. 

I long for it.

1 comment:

  1. I always look forward to your blogs and I am rooting for you and sending you prayers and good energy-stay the course. I agree with the above post too, not into dating right now wither just focusing on me and in love with crossfit. maybe if I met a guy who crossfits ;)