Seven Suzy’s for Seven Days of Stage IV Cancer

Bizarro Suzy

Bizarro Suzy finds this absurd.  And the absurdity is delightful.    She laughs at Suzy’s surprising reactions and is amazed at what finds herself planning, doing and thinking in this period of surreal.  
Quotes from Bizarro Suzy:
 “The worst thing about the CAT scan was seeing that roll of fat around my middle!  It’s a white greasy tire!”  
“I’m going to be soooo popular!  I’ll be able to give people unsolicited advice.  I’ll be like some sort of oracle reporting from the edge of death.”
“I met three people today who would all make good spouses for Francois.  I’m feeling much lighter.”
“Won’t we all have a good laugh when I come back ALIVE to the 30th Lewis and Clark anniversary?  Imagine the laugh we’ll share then!”

Spouse Suzy

I don’t think anybody can be as close to my emotional journey as Francois.  Francois delights in Bizarro Suzy (and adds his own share of bizarre.)  He cries with sad Suzy.  He gives angry Suzy just the right balance of kindness and space.   He shares with reflective Suzy, honestly, authentically and courageously.  He trusts warrior Suzy.    And he knows all the other Suzys.  He lets them come and go as they wish, he welcomes them and holds them, loves them and releases them.

Angry Suzy

Angry Suzy is quiet.  She is a thin lining of irritation and frustration, a mirror shadow, stealing light here and concentrating it over there.  Angry Suzy is pretty sure there isn’t anything the Stage IV cancer is going to teach her that she couldn’t have learned on her own.  She was doing pretty damn well.

Maman Suzy

The night she and Francois informed Paul (9) and Delphine (14) the cancer had come back, a chasm suddenly opened up in the earth and pulled them away.  Maman Suzy watches her children on the other ledge.  Their path and their pain will be the greatest of all.  I can think of nothing more frightening or painful than the prospect of losing your mother, especially as a child.    When I told them, they sobbed — and yet, I could not embrace them.  My touch burned them. I am the source of their pain.  
Maman Suzy is not the comforting blanket.  She is the protector and the builder.  She creates an infrastructure of people around them to support them and seeks ways to help them shore up their emotional foundation.

Sad Suzy

Sad Suzy cries, and the crying makes her happy.   She smiles through tears and internally tears in laughter.
She is gratitude and loss and heart and connection and friends and family and sunny clear skies.  She floats in and out, spreads wide and then glides away in the breeze.  She harmonizes, tearing when you present an emotion that resonates in the particular minute at that particular moment.  And she collects your tears, laughter, anger, compassion — she fills her resevoir with love.

Warrior Suzy

Warrior Suzy just does what has to be done.  She isn’t bothered by pain or fear.  She researches it.  She schedules it — chemo, injections, whatever.  She walks, swims,and bikes.  She eats oh so carefully.  She channels the light and prepares a multi-front attack.  But she’s not the boss this time around.

Reflective Suzy

No words needed here.

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