One of the things cancer seems to do is make you less…think-y. I know that’s not exactly a word, but it is what I feel sometimes. You are more willing to try things you hadn’t before, because, well you could die anyway why be afraid of it. We’re going to Disneyland sometime in the near future and I plan to get on a roller coaster that flips for the very first time. Why? Because I am no longer afraid I might fall out of the seat and die. I have nothing to lose. I am more gutsy and willing to do things that are slightly crazier, even if I do draw the line at illegal things and completely retarded things (no garbage can lid sleds in traffic for me, folks!)
Today, I allowed the cancer, the Ativan and my desire to have a dear friend back lead me to one of the more thoughtless moves in my life. I called it divine intervention when a car accident routed me past my friend Belle’s house. She and I had been close, almost sister like according to her. In fact, she had been in my wedding and wanted to be the maid-of-honor; that is how close we were. She had slept over at times, we planned trips together…heck, I swear I have a hundred pictures of us just being dorks and having fun. Malika, who was my designated driver post-chemo today, thought it was a brilliant idea to finally get some kind of closure with Belle, who I have been missing terribly for the last few months. Belle was good at making me laugh and when I look at wedding photographs I see her and wonder what happened, why she stopped talking to the entire group of us despite giving us excuses like being busy and disappearing. She has that habit, after all; she would let us know she was busy and see us after her semester was done at school…and then she would follow through only one time out of about ten. Reliability wasn’t her thing, so we never assumed that she stopped talking to us because she didn’t want to be friends. We (the entire group of us that know and hang out with Belle) really just believe she was in her pattern of hiding under a rock and would turn up eventually.
We were sorely mistaken.
After not hearing from Belle since last year (a text that said “I’m on my way; will be 20 late) and never again, I was concerned and wanted to make sure she hadn’t been in some tragic accident. As I said, we were rerouted right past her house and I thought, with Malika’s gentle prodding, “Why the hell not?” We arrived at her house to find no one home and some Christmas lights on. I figured, after two minutes, that no one was home and started to pen a letter telling her that the group of us were very concerned about her, missed her and hoped she would at least let us know once and for all why she wasn’t speaking to anyone anymore. If she didn’t want to be friends, we just needed her to say so because otherwise we assumed she was just busy and doing her living under the rock thing where she’d turn up when things slowed down like always.
Enter her mother.
Apparently, her mom and brother had been home at the time…sort of. The brother was home and the mom had been out for a walk. As I finished writing the letter and was getting ready to hand it to the brother, when her mom appeared. She said, “What’s going on?”
“We were just stopping by to see Belle and make sure she was okay. She’s stopped talking to everyone and we’ve been really worried because the last we heard she would call when things slowed down…”
And this is where things got interesting. Her mother lit into us and said the entire group of us was stalkers. How dare we not allow her daughter not speak to us; she has that right. They’ve saved all the texts we sent (like the 10 over the course of a year wishing her a happy birthday and asking if she was okay or wanted to get lunch?) If we called or texted ever again, she’d take it to the police and have us all arrested for stalking (because apparently calling and texting the woman that had been so close she was in your wedding party is now stalking…even if no one ever told you they didn’t want anything to do with you and weren’t just too busy to talk!) She demanded we all stop contacting her that instant. I said fine and stood up to leave when she said I could leave the letter I wrote. Clearly, I thought she was freaking insane at this point (did she not just threaten to have me arrested?!) and didn’t leave the letter. I apologized for wasting her time.
But those crazy people, they don’t just let things drop. She got into Malika’s face for a text she wrote telling Belle that she was a crappy person for not even caring about any of her old friends; friends that were still silly enough to check in on her despite the abandonment. Malika didn’t seem fazed; she told her mother she honestly believed Belle was a shitty person.
We started to leave without another word when the mother called out, “Oh, I see you got sprung out of the hospital. How is that cancer doing?”
That is when I realized that she was accusing me of faking cancer for sympathy! Clearly, I have to be faking the two MRIs, two CT scans, the PET scan, two biopsies and all the symptoms because I have Munchausen syndrome and am doing this to myself. I am that in need of people doting over me and whatever….(insert rolling of eyes)
I was so shocked, and probably still a little affected by the IV ativan, so I didn’t have time to respond before Malika told me to just get in the car because clearly this is where Belle got her histrionics. I dropped into the car, shocked, while the still clearly crazy mother ran into the street to get Malika’s license plate number. It was about two or three miles before it kicked in that the woman had insulted me and I had wished I had flashed her my port-a-cath site so I could be like “Would you like to see where they dump toxins into me three times a month?” Then again, I’m also really glad I didn’t react because I left being the better person. And I found the closure I needed to let that person go from my life finally. It hurts to look at wedding pictures and know that woman will never be a part of my life again, but in the long run it is much healthier not to be in that kind of relationship.
For the record, still not a stalker. The worst part is, however, I now wonder how acceptable it is to contact friends and be worried if they aren’t responding. At what point should I take the message and just drop it, even if they were people I considered family? Should I even bother contacting anyone or just let them come to me from now on? (Oh how that would play into her psychotic belief that I am just out for attention!)
To top off this fun afternoon, I came home to relax and Malika noticed that there is part of my ceiling paint that appears to be bubbling. I thought it was a shadow from the lamp being right below the plaque hanging on the wall. After a little monkey act of me climbing on the couch, I found the paint is slightly damp and bubbled quite a bit. I wouldn’t be surprised if the exceedingly cold patch contains more than a little mold as it has been growing during the rains of the last few weeks (according to the fine tuned visual skills of Malika who sees it more from her angle than I do). Of course, the front office is closed, but I did call and play my cancer card when alerting them to the potential of mold growing in my wall.
Can tomorrow be better, please?