Once more…

Once more into the fray…

Into the last good fight I’ll ever know

Live and die on this day…

Live and die on this day…

Joe Carnahan, The Grey

The Grey is a strange and beautiful film about the way people live their lives in the face of their own death. It is full of haunting silences and breathtaking scenes that wrench the viewer from tenderness to brutality in seconds. It defines bravery and grief with raw, poetic beauty. It is an important film, despite Jamie’s (Husband Extraordinaire for those new to my little corner of the internet) profound dislike of the CGI wolves.

Is it possible to live life that way? Can we find moments of beauty in stillness?  Could the choice to get out of bed each morning be the last good fight because each day there is no guarantee we are going to make it to bedtime breathing and in once piece?

I found out today that the medicine (Methotrexate) that has been working so well and has made it possible to begin planning to return to work is also playing merry hob with my liver. No worries. The damn thing still works, but it’s definitely working overtime so, I have to cut back on the stuff that is making a difference. If it isn’t one thing, it’s something else, right?

Here’s the rub. Having a chronic illness means life can go sideways and slantways and longways and backways” (to quote Mr. Willy Wonka) and there are days when all a girl can do is crouch down and hope the glass ceiling doesn’t rip you to shreds when the Wonkavator crashes through on its way to the sky. 

Sometimes the fight is there and it’s all I can do to keep myself in check. I feel better, right? Why can’t I weed a flower bed and clean up a room that’s been chock-a-block full of boxes since we moved in a year ago?  Take it one day at time? Why can’t I take two or three?  Check me out with broken single-serving cocktail bottles held between my fingers as I face down my immune system with its slavering jaws and rolling wild eyes. I’m corned but I’m fierce and if I lose, well, as a good friend once said, “you may lose the fight, but at least the other guy’ll know he’s been somewhere.”

Some days I don’t feel like that scrappy survivor with the Adamantium core. Some days I don’t want to be strong and leap into the fray, howling like a Shieldmaiden. The fray is cold and hard and maddening to the point of lunacy. Here’s the thing, just because all my limbs are attached and my heart is still beating doesn’t mean I made it through unscathed.

I worry sometimes about what will happen to me and to my family because this illness is kicking my ass.

As the character Joanie Stubbs once said in the HBO masterpiece Deadwood, “better lift your skirts and jump.”  

Oh well.

“Once more into the fray.”

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