funny how the circle is a wheel

- Yesterday was sunny, a good day and we changed the cd in the car from a REM compilation, seeing as we'd listened to it all the way through maybe three times, to Gene Clark American Dreams. I love this CD and yesterday it was perfect but today as I was pulling up Elizabeth Street the Full Circle Song comes on and almost immediately I started to lose it. I held back the tears enough to get home but as I turned the car off, the held back tears all came rushing out. What's the matter? Gerard asked.* It's just not fair, I said, it's just not fair. We learnt on Friday afternoon that Mum's lung cancer has returned, with some spots on her brain. She starts chemo this week. Having barely recovered form the last treatment. I thought her initial result was so good that she would have longer, but apparently this is not to be. I'm sad that the cancer has come back so soon, sad that I won't be able to help her out or visit if she goes to hospital like last time. There's no way I can trot out the door and leave Gerard to keep the home fires burning (he nearly gassed the two of us the other day with the oven but that's another story). My life is just not like that any more.

On Saturday I went out bed shopping with Dad and we had lunch at MacDonalds with coke zero and surrounded by families and young people we talked about stuff, about family, about what is happening. And it was nice to be out with Dad, but Sunday, well Sunday was way different. I woke up with an unexplainable headache and lay in bed trying to think it all through and I couldn't. I either had a sensation in my head a bit like pop rocks, you know the kid's popping candy or there was nothing. Nothing but vacant space. Later neighbour friends came for a visit and weeded our vegetable patch and it was good to get an infusion of normal life. We are lucky to have good people around, good people who want to help. Sometimes it feels like there is nothing anyone could do to help, but that's not true. Someone is taking Gerard for a walk as I write as my ankle is still playing up. I put it out there and here it is. And has been all week. And there are other people in our family who can look after Mum. I'm still sad it isn't me. Not that I want there to be a need for looking after, but you know what I mean.

And I do think that two cancers in the family at once is grossly unfair. But what can you do? People say I am handling things well and maybe on the outside I am, but inside it is all pop rocks and vacant space. It helps a bit to write about it, which is guess what brings me back here. I keep thinking that I will write about craft or cooking because believe it or not there is still craft and cooking in my life.

Funny how the circle turns around
First you're up and then you're down again
Though the circle takes what it may give
Each time around it makes it live again

Funny how the circle is a wheel
And it can steal someone who is a friend
Funny how the circle takes your flight
And if it's right, it brings it back again

Funny how the circle turns around
You think you're lost and then you're found again
Though you always look for what you know
Each time around it's something new again

Published by
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

* If you are wondering why he would ask this question, on days he feels well, Gerard doesn't really think he is sick at all, much less that it might be serious. Short term memory issues, a blessing and a frustration sometimes.


librarygirl said...

I remember those feelings when Mum was dying, only months after Dad. It's like nothing else, and I got through it by just living day by day and hour by hour and not looking forward and trying to plan or manage anything except the tasks I had to do that day: hospital, washing, some sort of food on the table. Let others help and do what you can but don't beat yourself up. Love to you xx

Kaviare said...

Now I have 'The Circle Game' stuck in my head. Funny thing, associations. I alternately find that song unbearably sad and so heartening.

I think pop rocks and brain static sounds perfectly reasonable. Sometimes you just have to let the brain turn itself in circles. I wish you didn't have so many circles to navigate at once, is all. And Gerard not knowing he's sick must be suck a turning of the knife sometimes. I am glad you have help and some slivers of normal life.

Felicity said...

Oh Janet - that is every type of shit. I'm so sorry, lovey xxx

Suse said...

Grossly unfair indeed. I'm so sorry Janet. So very sorry.

shadygrey said...

It is so unfair and I'm so sorry to hear the bad news about your mother. My partner had post traumatic amnesia after his accident in 2005 and I know how lonely that you can make you feel, even while understanding that it is probably for the best for him and his healing. It's a hard time, but there is also the love that you feel when your community reaches out to you and supports you. So humbling and so moving. All my best to you. x