There is a list.

There’s a list. On a crinkled white page, set on a clip board on the old dresser in the kitchen. My list. One of them. My life is set against lists now. Lists of friends on online groups cheering me on. Lists of food I can have and one’s I can’t. Lists of phone calls, appointments, schedules in diaries, pockets, purses. Sometimes I wake at night and wonder if I’ve forgotten to add the right thing to one of them. Have I forgotten a list, somewhere? Does it need my tending? The kind of tending my old life used to have but now is buried under the changes, under the pages.

I didn’t intend this piece; I don’t intend any piece of writing. Except the lists that hold my new life together, like a paper pattern for a new dress. I hope it fits. It has to fit. People are kind, mostly. Though I see it in their eyes that sometimes they don’t know what to say and they hesitate to tell me of their joy. Don’t hesitate. Please keep telling me. I can’t deny it's hard to hear sometimes. Especially since I often feel like I’m a road to hell. All mapped out with the correct schedules to hopefully get me back to humanity, to life. Who knows really, I don’t, but it’s the road I’m on right now and your love helps.

How many of you know I’m about to become a character from some of my writing? It amuses me, through the tears. The manuscripts of sci fi stories I have writ over the years. I look at my hair, looking far too glorious today. And wonder at how much like an alien I will look with a bald head and my huge eyes. It’s funny. In a hysterical kind of way. It’s not really funny. It’s a necessary part of my journey through this. I wish it wasn’t. If wishes were horses, I would be running free on the prairies. In my heart I am.

Don’t feel bad for me. I’m doing the best I can. It’s just important you all know that the black dog of depression is there with me too as well as your prayers and love. Sometimes he is a hound, sometimes a tiny chihuahua. He is yappy then, like he is not getting enough attention. What to do. I think we all know of this dog now. This last year has shown humanity that there a pack of them out there. I feel relieved that he is no longer my invisible companion. And he does play at times, when he is heard and allowed. That’s a good thing.

And the tears, wow. I remember being a good crier as a child. My childhood. Yeah, I think you get the gist, let’s not open that can. Not right now. Besides my family are here for me and that’s what counts. I can unpick the wounds of trauma and sadness in my therapy. It's safer. Its kinder. We all did the best we could. Anyway, I’ve found tears again, it is like being born again into a faith. It’s become a daily practice. The bathroom is a good place to start if you’re new to this. Sobbing under the running tap. Now I’ve graduated to instant tears everywhere, in random moments. I’m proud of myself. Goodness knows I need some things to feel proud about. Try it. Really. Its helps.

I'm enjoying this. Enjoying being this raw, and honest. Gives me something to do. To be honest between the lists and schedules, my world is lit with your words and presence. So, the least I can do is to favour you with me. The real me. The unedited, unashamed me. I don’t know if there is grace in this for you. I hope that my ongoing journey, shared to you all will keep it real. And don’t worry, I have my hair for at least another month before the chemical purging begins. And my black dog is for today sound asleep. The lists though, they are an entirely different matter!

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Lys Lily Wild

Lys Lily Wild

Journeying through cancer lands and life beyond