I’m not sure what it is about me, but only the weirdest of the weird ever approach me. It’s been like this for decades. Personally, I think I was pretty cute in my twenties, but I never got hit on by guys…unless they were well over 65. Homeless people randomly sitting on the streets of Oakland will chat it up with me, or they’ll yell at me and tell me I’m too skinny, or (back then) too blonde.
Normal people tend to avoid me while cancering. I am now even more unapproachable with my 5’10” physique and my stark baldness. But if they are brave and they do decide to ask me a question it’s always the very predictable “how are you doing”?
Conversations I have about cancering are almost always by weird people. If you have had a convo with me about cancering, then yes you are weird (I bet you already knew that, too). Weird people often take interest in my missing eyelashes or my new change in hair fashion.
The weirdest one yet happened a couple of weeks ago when a Native American Shaman approached me. Oh excuse me, she wasn’t just a Shaman, she was the world renowned Shaman. Apparently Native American tribes exist all over the world now.
Let me start from the beginning. Mike and I were in the hospital cafeteria getting lunch. This was the day where I was feeling ridiculously ill, but was determined to get my PET scan no matter what. I was sitting at the table with my head down when an older woman sitting near our table began to look at me. She had short gray hair in a “faux hawk” style. She wore southwestern Aztec-looking jewelry. She seemed kind.
Then she began to speak. With her raspy smokers voice she asked me if I was feeling okay. It was very obvious at this point that a) I had cancer and b) I was totally not feeling okay. I told her I was having a rough day. She told me all about how she was the world renowned Native American Shaman and how she’d like to help heal me.
I’m a healing whore, so I said I’d take anything I could get. She stood behind me, put her hands over my eyes and said nothing for 2 minutes. Remember we were in a hospital cafeteria. Then she told me to follow the warmth in my body. When she was done she asked, “Where do you feel the warmth”? I said, “In my diaphragm” (it’s true, I really felt it there). And coincidentally or not, she said, “Ahhh, yes. That’s where I sent all of the healing energy. But only what your body can withstand. You’ll begin to start feeling better and better.”
Then she tried to do it to Mike, but that was a total joke and was going nowhere. So, she told us that her being in the hospital when we were there was more than just a coincidence. “I don’t go on the interweb and I don’t advertise. I only work with people I know, so it was meant to be that I’m here with you today.” Mmm Hmm. I’m sure she wasn’t scouting for sick people in the hospital. Positively sure of it.
You might be wondering what came of her world renowned healing powers. Well, it turns out that my “heated diaphragm” turned into a 103 degree fever and an enlarged spleen. I was put in the ER 3 hours later.
Of course, we all know now that I was having an adverse reaction to one of my chemo drugs – my spleen was enlarged and my bones were “on fire” in my PET scan results. But the joke will forever be on us. It was that Shaman.
Watch out, Shaman. Mike’s gonna kick your ass.