Monday, May 7, 2012


I suppose I could be angry in spite of the good news, but I’m trying to curb my resentments. I’m in good shape… No recurrence of cancerous cells, and the abnormalities found in earlier tests were—gee, what a surprise—caused by the two surgeries themselves. I am somewhat struggling with the fact that all this could have been revealed many weeks ago when the first exam results came in, and with a simple phone call or email from the physician’s office, my mind would have been put to rest. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and it came down to an exchange of emails culminating in an overheated phone call with the doctor who assured me all was well.

When I first came to the States, my parents found Dr. Zeibert, a four-foot-tall woman from the south of France who had been practicing medicine in the Washington area for a decade. She took us in hand, gave us check ups annually, came to our house when someone was too ill to drive to her office. Dr. Zeibert was widowed or divorced, I never found out which, and she had a dislikeable son whom my mother was certain would make a great friend. The full (totally naked) annual physicals at her hand were a source of great embarrassment, (note to parents: make sure the physician dealing with your children is of the same gender as your children) but Dr. Zeibert was quick and efficient. At the time, I was persuaded her son had access to the medical records she kept and knew everything about everyone. I think of her now and then and wonder how she might have fared in this era of impersonal medicine…

So I am well but somehow can’t seem to reboot. My thoughts wander to the bad, the worse and the worst. I am regretting decisions made decades ago whose fulfillments are today’s realities. I am angry at the unfairness of it all, and upset by the realization that I will not accomplish all I wanted to, or even a fraction of it. I am envious of the success of others while troubled by such an emotion. I’m sleeping too much, eating too much, thinking too much, and none of those activities serve me well. And I’m not writing.

That truly concerns me, since writing has been my safe place, the one thing I could do through thick and thin. Right now, it seems pointless.

It will pass. There are still three books out there eager to be sold, and three more that need to be written. Plot and characters beckon. The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. OK. Here I go…

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