Archimedes and Me!
by Loraine Ritchey firstname.lastname@example.org
It is most famously attributed to the ancient Greek scholar Archimedes; he reportedly proclaimed, “Eureka!” when he stepped into a bath and noticed that the water level rose – he suddenly understood that the volume of water displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged. This meant that the volume of irregular objects could be calculated with precision, a previously intractable problem. He is said to have been so eager to share his realisation that he leapt out of his bathtub and ran through the streets of Syracuse naked.
Those that know me well , know that I do not suffer fools gladly , I will rush in where angels fear to tread, I have been known to swear ( upon occasion) and will stand my ground and go head to head with anyone. I love to laugh and my humor can be irreverent. Crying is not usually part of my make up .
But in the three months that have passed since I received THAT phone call, I have become a great flaming wuss. I feel like I should carry a “warning label “ plastered on my forehead. Things are progressing, we are half way through the one set of treatments … I hate it …I hate the waiting ..I hate the fact that there is this overwhelming weight that is hanging like some Edgar Allan Poe like creation over my heart…….
“The Pit And The Pendulum,” pen and ink drawing by “Kep”, 1909.
I just want things back to normal….no more chemo…..no more 10 thousand dollar injections…. no more wondering what is going on with cells and nodes …. It seems everything you do or think or cook or buy has this disease intermingled with your thoughts. You pretend all things are normal , go on about your daily routine but the scream is still echoing in your soul.
I can be laughing at something one minute and sobbing my heart out the next, I can be anywhere at any time when my eyes fill with tears and I catch my breath to stop the wracking sobs that I know will come .
Why? When does it stop , will it stop – this feeling of helplessness that no mother should feel when it comes to her child.
All I can think of is Archimedes -like his bathtub -the vessel that is me- is filled to the top with emotions, hope, happiness, anger, passion, sadness, overwhelming fear , love and all it takes it just one more emotional drop in the vessel and the vessel that is me overflows with a tearful release.
Other emotions have lessened – it takes a lot more to get me to care what is going on about me, I have even less patience with posturing, and I am tired of trying. There are days when I think I am so full of fear and trepidation that the sadness that touches my heart can no longer be borne and yet I hold on to the prognosis that is excellent , the chemicals that are apparently working, the bravery of a young couple who should be planning a honeymoon instead of the next chemo appointment and I feel guilt that I am being such a wuss. I shake myself mentally , tell myself to stop it and I start again – get involved in something – plan something – buy something- cook something – write something – anything to stop the welling within
Warning “that woman” is an emotional time bomb – approach with caution !