I am now officially at the “I am sick of this shit and ready for it to be done” point. This is the feeling I remember vividly from February: an absolute surplus of will and energy, all driving at getting me out. Of course, my confinement is only temporal now, with a 2.5 hour hole in the middle of each day. It’s way better than being in the hospital to be sure, and I’m in much better condition than I was then. But I am still sick of being sick. I do not want to “discover” any new symptoms or “explore” new bodily sensations. I am tired of the restrictive diet, the limited hours, the dulling from pain and fatigue and drugs, and the whole sick person routine. I know that when I walk out of the green room on Friday I will not begin healing immediately, but it will still feel good.
As happens in institutional cultures, I have become a kind of fixture in my 7th week of radiation. I have worked out my niche in the ecology of the radiation section. I know the movements of the machine intimately–I have mastered its choreography and even the sequence of noises it emits. I know the best ways in and out, the relative merits of different taxi routes, and the rhythm of the blue line trains. I have my routine in the place down to a science, or maybe it is its own kind of dance in counterpoint to the machine’s. And I’m the informant for new patients. Friday, N the brain cancer patient finished. He’d been before me the whole time since I’d come to the 12:30 slot. Now there are new people in the green room, and I get to tell them about how it is, the virtues of the barcode sticker you can get for the back of your hospital card, etc. Soon, they will take my place.