Nothing is Good and Everything is Precious
by muddy feet mama
Jay is recovering from another lung surgery tonight. I’m not sure why we thought of it as “small” or “good news.” When its not making things painfully clear, cancer turns everything on its head.
Six months ago – when I started this blog, in fact – Jay was fresh from his first lung surgery. That surgery removed a nasty metastasis of his rectal cancer and most of his lower left lobe. Today he had a much smaller mass (tumor? lymph node? – I forgot to ask) removed from his upper right lung. It was a bit too close to a major artery so the surgeon couldn’t scrape a perfect margin… once we recover we have radiation to look forward to. Good news? Bad news? Yes. Sure.
It is so much work having cancer in your life.
I went to the bookstore today during that 2 hour window Jay was to spend in recovery. Thought I’d find him a magazine to flip through… Wanky literary journal? GQ men’s style manual? Urban farm porn? Nah. I stared at the edgy art mags. I can’t remember why those felt precious to me once. I have changed.
There was a time when I thought myself a mover and shaker. I was a rising political star. I was the queen of the scene. Now, I just want to stay with my family. I never want to leave. I want to be invisible, unknown. I have nothing to sell.
I started writing to document our family’s exploration into self-sufficiency – not as an expert but as a willing neophyte. Food is all we talk about; our world revolves around growing it, gleaning it, preserving it and sharing it. I wish we could enjoy this time with lighter hearts. I wish its magic could escape the gloom of our tenuous future.
We work towards our stability as a family, raising and collecting food, bringing a sense of meaning to our kids’ lives through good works and honest labor, but it is weighted very heavily by this extra burden, these cancer cells we have to keep chasing.
It has been raining and warm in Northern California. The garden is splitting its pants. Soon I will turn the fava cover crop into the soil to rebuild the beds, and start another crop for spring harvest. The broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts and kale are lush, the potatoes seem fine. I need to get our garlic in – I probably blew that chance, but I’ll try. And our peas are poking little green fingers out of the ground. Our kids are doing well, especially considering the stress. We’re madly in love.
Nothing is good and everything is precious.