We’re camping out at Goldstream Provincial Park near Victoria B.C. As I watch a man walk his very large Beagle/Bassett mix down the path, I turn to Francois and say “See, that would be a good dog to have.”
“You LIKE that dog?”
“Sure, he’s big enough to rough house and play with, but also calm and easy….What kind of dog would you like?”
“I don’t like ANY dog. I don’t want to OWN a dog.”
“Ohhhh…. Come on….. You LIKE dogs…”
“You WANT a dog? OK, don’t worry. If you die I’ll get Delphine a dog.”
“Hey, then, if I have stage III cancer, I get a dog right away!”
I’m really loving this play we have.
But then suddenly Francois becomes a bit over-aware. He flinches and stumbles out apologies. Yeah. OK. I was having fun.
But I still get a dog if I’m stage III. (PPPBBBLLLFFFTTT!!)
So…updates. Hmmmm…. What have I been thinking about?
Naked mole rats.
I started by thinking about wigs and strangers conversing with me about my cancer.
Then I started thinking about eyebrows.
And places that usually itch like Hell if I shave the hair off of them.
And while I seriously believe I’m not going to feel my ‘womanhood’ threatened by losing my breasts or the hair off my head, …I am still afraid of the Naked Mole Rat look. What will it feel like to look at this scarred, completely hairless body?
I associate images of abused pre-pubescent girls, death camp survivors and other, confused, weak, identity stripped, victims.
So who am I going to ‘be’ as I make this journey through chemo? I feel this need to create an image of myself for myself. A sense of who I am, no matter how hairless, scarred or sick I become.
So since I’m camping in a big forest of big trees, I’m thinking I’ll take a tree as my symbol — a place to house my identity as parts of it are shredded by my treatment choices.
A big tree.
A strong tree.
I’ll be that tree that leans off a cliff into the space above the sea. It rarely has any leaves, but can endure the constant onslaught of wind and water. And my family will be able to depend on me for support. I can continue to anchor them, to hold them, even if, for the fall and winter seasons, I cannot shield them.
And the (IS there a correct spelling for this?) HOKINESS of what I’m writing warns me that, just in case this whole tree plan doesn’t really work, I should get a WHOLE bunch of naked mole rat posters and just paste them all over my office door at work.
Vive le MOLE RAT! Long live the mole rat!!
Maybe Francois would be up for investing in a couple of pet Mole Rats….
I imagine they aren’t very cuddly though.
I’d go for the dog. ;-P