Wednesday, October 14, 2009

People Are Nice

Yesterday had its ups and downs. The downs were literal and involved falling flat on my face after missing a curb while walking home from a meeting on campus. The spectacle I made of myself naturally had a ton of witnesses, including a person I like and respect. Her kindness in the situation cushioned it a great deal, though I could have lived without being observed conducting myself so ignominiously. A ton of other people also observed this klutziness, and all offered help. People are nice. Luckily, Michael was not far away and was able to come pick me up. My dignity was dented, my knees and shoulders got a pretty good knock, and the knees and palms lost some skin. There won’t be any lasting damage, except that, upon reflection, it evoked all the falling down I did in the years when the tumor was growing. It took several hours for me to realize that part of the jolt of the situation was the back-of-my-head worry that it’s starting all over again. Brought out into the light of day, it’s as silly as it sounds, but there it is. The demons lurk.

The ups were great: a meeting with a colleague I don’t see often enough was interesting, exciting, and just plain pleasant. There are so many wonderful people around. Ironically, one of the topics we’d discussed, interwoven with the work we’re trying to plan on a project we have underway, is the effect of major medical events and the alienation that people often feel after the fact. Chemo brain, cancer diagnoses (and treatment), etc. often leave people with a sense of alienation from their former selves, according to my colleague who works in those areas. It was an interesting perspective and helped me feel more “normal” in my continuing campaign to re-inhabit my former life.

Both before and after the pavement rendezvous, many of the to-do items got crossed off and progress generally achieved.

Sigmund’s observation yesterday about the slip/typo with deadlines/deadliness was apt and reminded me of this wonderful typo Andrew Sullivan posted the other day. Cheers.


  1. Typos can be wonderful:

    Letter from a friend of a friend about their departure for Canada to help found a "green" community--

    "...we hoped into our Prius..."

  2. Another great typo, in this case about the role of vitamin D in "delivering the lead to the systemic circulation for execration in the bile".