Strange days in Washington, in London, all over the globe. Strangely warm, but there is also a chill over everything. Could this be the prelude to the end of the world? This feels like the first few bars of it. A sixteen year old takes the stage to call out world leaders, who smile and nod and cite her bravery while driving their motorcades over small islands where cars are supposed to be banned.
Young J came home from school the day the Ukraine call transcript was released and read it aloud dramatically, occasionally collapsing into giggles at the way two presidents on the phone sounded, in his words, “just like girls at a sleepover.” Sadly the lightness passed, and the feeling of being stuck persists. The United States that my family chose as its home needs to eventually go back to feeling more like an upgrade than a lateral move. I’m dubious, but hopeful. I’ve been listening to this song by Stereolab a lot.
You don’t play around with freedom
You can’t divide it up like equality
It can’t be bought or bartered for
Nor exchanged for security
Young A reacted to impeachment news by wondering whether we’d start going to marches again. I assured him he’d get the chance. He worried about the noise, so I told him we’d wear earplugs.
In the bigger picture, I am marking one of my many cancerversaries today: it is five years today since I got what was to be my second of four doses of ipilimumab, the immunotherapy that was intended to fight off melanoma that had metastasized to my lungs. Instead, that was my last dose. I developed a serious case of colitis a few days after the infusion (which I later learned can sometimes be indicative of a “complete response” to treatment). Eventually, Dr. P had to call it and suspend further treatment. I got miraculously better by Thanksgiving that year. Even more incredibly, by April 2015, my lungs were officially NED. No trace of tumors anywhere in my lungs, and it has remained so. (My brain tumors had a separate timeline.)
I’m feeling a bit transitional these days. I recently finished a translation job I’d been working on since May, and am waiting on feedback from another one. I haven’t been letting myself write lately, although I feel the urgency to do building in me like steam. I’m trying to make some crucial changes to my diet and lifestyle because it appears that I’m getting to be here for a longer haul than it seemed was the case four or five years ago. It’s easy to make excuses instead of making changes. But the gift of a longer life isn’t something to trifle with. On ne joue pas avec ça.