I hate this…

March 17, 2020
  • December 15, 2020
  • Living with Cancer Blog

By Ian Robinson

It’s a small world after all … and I fucking hate it.

How’s that for setting a tone?

Guess who isn’t handling this whole Covid19-voluntary-quarantine thing particularly well?

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Like a lot of you, I have one of them pesky cancers that isn’t going to go away. I’m a Stage IV. And that means that compared to B.C. — Before Cancer — my daily experience is smaller than it used to be. A lot smaller. Honey-I-Shrunk-Your-Life smaller.

But I adjusted, I did.

Some would even say I thrived.

After cancer ripped through my skeleton and left me with the structural integrity of a wet Triscuit, I went from being an extremely physical guy who, summers, put more miles on his mountain bike than on his car. I’d been working out at the same gym for so long I had forged relationships with trainers and other regulars. I worked … dear Lord how I worked. And loved it. Hated the stooges in tailor-made suits who descended from Olympus (Read: Corporate) every now and then to wreak havoc upon everything decent and good and effective in newspapering, but I never stopped loving the work and (most) of the people I worked with.

One of the reasons I managed to thrive, even after diagnosis and treatment and all that crap, is because of my relationships with other people. A lot of that happened after I found my way to Wellspring.

Wellspring saved me.

Wellspring gave me a place to go and fun creative and intellectual work to do once I got there. Barb let me clomp around in her Healthy Steps class like an unchained water buffalo on Ecstasy. Liam’s Exercise For Creaky Sickies (I don’t think that was the official name, but you get my drift) helped me recover some of my body’s strength.

And then there are the art and journaling classes with Kathie and that merry band of loons I hang with there. Cheryl and Linda and Chris and Sandy and Bob and so many fun others. One of the last creative journaling classes I went to, I paused in the doorway, just watching them with each other. And when somebody noticed me staring at them and said, “What?” I made some forgettable joke and joined them.

I mean, how do you tell a group of people that you were walking into a room to hang out with them and you had to take a moment because you were so filled with happiness and affection that if you took one more step, you were afraid you’d burst into tears? They were just so god-damned beautiful together, you see. So … easy with one another. So much laughter and intimate camaraderie that I wanted to take a mental snap-shot just so I would always remember it. And so I did.

My time on the planet is a lot shorter than I had imagined it would be and I was adjusting. Had adjusted. I wasn’t kicking cancer’s ass … but I was kicking ass at having cancer, if that makes any sense.

And this fucking virus came along.

And now I’m at home in my den writing this.

I’m not all alone. I’m married. Got a son living at home. There’s no shortage of conversation … but damn it, I need more! I want more! Since I got diagnosed, if there was a motto I lived by it was this: More!

More travel, more experiences, more foie gras, more love, more friends, more happiness, more tears. A friend told me I had become adept in discovering the sublime joy in the ordinary.

And now another disease — one I don’t even have — has taken away the new normal I worked so hard to create.

I know. I know. Isolation is keeping me from getting a disease that could kill me mean, not clean. I’m a grown-up. I get that isolating ourselves is an act of love for people we’ve never even met. That we are keeping each other alive. I get it. Life isn’t fair.

But there’s a part of me, the non-grown-up part of me — and those who know me are aware that my inner child is mostly outer — that’s screaming, “It’s not fair!”

So I write this to connect with my brothers and sisters at Wellspring. And I correspond with friends far and near. And I try to use social media in a way that doesn’t heighten anxiety but still keeps me in touch with people I like. (Facebook.) And strangers I like. (That’d be Twitter.) And people whose lives I envy. (Instagram). And hot women in little clothing. (Also Instagram.)

I write, I paint, I practice what I learned from my one Wellspring guitar lesson before they were cancelled. (Everybody: I been through the desert on a horse with no name/It felt good to be out of the rain… Only two chords in that sucker.)

But it’s not enough.

It’s not More!

I guess what I’m saying is that while it seems churlish for us to bitch about Covid19, I think it’s only human.

So peeps.

What’s getting you through these long days and long nights?

You can comment here or email me at ianthesunguy@gmail.com Or catch me on Twitter @IanRobinsonyyc Stay safe people. And remember, #fuckcancer

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