NEWS – I Got Sweaty 

One of the annoying things about being a cancer survivor is that friends and relatives, with the best of intentions, express their enduring anxiety about your health, asking, “Are you okay?” and “How do you feel?” and that makes you feel babied and weak and like a special case when you’re trying to be chill and leave it behind and feel normal and deny your own anxiety which, covertly, is probably even greater than theirs. It’s not the kind of thing you want poked at. Today and last night I became winded just getting out of a chair and started to feel the burn (the Jane Fonda burn, not the Bernie bern) in my legs after a block or two of walking. My endurance hasn’t been great since the 12 week hospital stay a year and a half ago but this feels a little different. I went to the IFCC at the Javits Center with Samara this morning and I stood up out of one of the thousands of lovely couches being displayed and walked ten feet over to the booth of a Spanish lighting manufacturer who was showing a beautiful hanging lamp and I was too out of breath to speak (they give out catalogues on thumb drives now!) so the saleslady went into her whole spiel and I was stuck there standing for five minutes at least. After that I needed to sit so I selected a couch (the covering of which seemed unusually durable, perhaps able to stand up to Toshi the cat) and, having seated, I start sweating like I had just done the 100 except that it would be inches, not meters. Sami gets very concerned and keeps asking, “Do I have to take you to the hospital?” and, of course, I’m not going to the hospital because I feel fine, I’m fine, I just need a few minutes. Then, when I’m not looking, she texts Jolean and snitches on me so Jolean calls, concerned, and I’m all “Relax, it’s nothing.” And it’s true. I feel perfectly fine except that I’m perspiring away on a well constructed sofa on the floor of the Javits Center. I’m trying to both triage and ignore what I’m feeling. I truly don’t want to be sick again, I truly, truly don’t. We get a cab, head home, I lie down. Sami’s gone off to work but she wants to stay over tonight. Jolean wants to come down from Tarrytown. I don’t want it, not either. I don’t want the tsimmes. I’ve spoken to the doctor and I’m going in to see him tomorrow at 10:15.  I can take care of this and I’m sure it’ll be nothing. Really – I can take care of this.

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