Approaching The End of January

Kage Baker: the second anniversary of her death will strike in two days time. Whenever it gets quiet in my mind, I can feel the shock wave moving towards me – not as bad as last year, but still a disharmonic in the voice of the world. The last week of January, as I told a good friend earlier today, is not my favourite week of the turning year.

The next day, February 1st, I’ll be off to the doctor’s office to get the final report on my surgery. The pathology lab – which last week yelled at my poor little surgeon for trying to hurry the report along – will have finally, reluctantly yielded my reports. I can find out whether or not all the cancer was evicted, and whether or not I will have to have chemotherapy.

What is almost certain, though, even before I see that report, is that I have won a lottery Kage did not. I’m going to live. I already know that the majority of the cancerous cells were actually apprehended during my biopsy; the larger surgery was mostly backup and precaution. The odds are better than 85% that this particular demon will never trouble me again.

On the one hand, I am relieved and pleased. I have things to do, places to go, and many, many loving people who depend on me for this and that. I don’t want to disappoint anyone, and right now my chances of fulfilling the promise of my days-to-come seems good.

On the other hand … why me? I don’t wonder why I got cancer so much as why I have lived through it so far. Kage had so much to give the world, and was so eager to do it – frail as she was, she marched gaily into the fray and fought to her last breath. And it wasn’t enough.

Me, I just tread grimly on. I’m not the spirit of fire and the Upper Airs that Kage was, but I do seem to be considerably less destructible. It feels unfair to me.

What is bothering me tonight is survivor’s guilt, of course. There is no cure for that; all one can do is continue to move forward and do one’s best to fulfill one’s duty. Which I am doing. I don’t need reassurance or validation – I know I fought as hard as I could for Kage, and am resolutely doing the same now, for me. I can say, with honesty and self-awareness: I am adequate.

It will have to do.