A Merry Cancer Christmas!

This Christmas holiday I’m feeling a bit like Scrooge. It’s been a very difficult couple of months and I just can’t quite seem to find my usual holiday spirit. Starting about three weeks ago Jon decided that it was time for him to go back to work and leave me at home to be hovered over, I mean watched, by a caregiver. Four months ago Jon was able to go to work and I’d busy my self watching a string of Netflix shows or, the greatest TV channel ever invented, HGTV. But, now, Jon say’s I can’t be home alone, so despite my opinion I’m being fussed over by Yessica, our caregiver.

Though I still think Jon is being mother hen, I have had some major changes occur. My cancer treatment over the past five years, but mostly the past two years, has taken a toll on me and continues to pile on its nasty side effects even as it shrinks my cancer. Now, according to the doctors, I more resemble a Parkinson’s patient with both resting and moving tremors. And Dr. M thinks many of these conditions won’t ever be improving.

The dogs are happy because food likes to fly off my fork more than it likes to go into my mouth. My kindle has a propensity to hit me face or make a mad dash for the floor. And, my bed shakes like the ones in an hourly motel room. On top of all this, my short-term memory seems to be failing me as evidenced by my rereading of this paragraph a hundred times. Plus, I have a knack for falling, due to the cancer in my cerebellum. My legs are covered with so many bruises that I look like a weird half human / Dalmatian breed. So thank you cancer treatment for your lovely Christmas presents.

With all these changes to the quality of my life, I can’t help feeling like this might be my last Christmas. And I miss my family! I miss our traditions. I wish I could see my father put on the “simpy” crown from his Christmas cracker. Or watch Elgin open the last present since he always seems to win the dice game. I would love to sit next to my mom and sister and play Christmas carols on the piano. But, most of all, I just want to spend another day with them watching everyone happily open their presents and feasting on another of Sara’s famous meals. Alas, this Christmas we will be here in Santiago hosting another orphan’s Christmas party filled with desserts, Christmas crackers (one tradition must live on), and, my favorite holiday game, white elephant gift exchange. Hopefully, this holiday extravaganza will ease my Christmas blues.

 So in the words of the Cratchets family, played formerly by Dad, Ali, and I, Tiny Tim would say, “God Bless us everyone!”



Add Yours
  1. Jane Chesney

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Surely no one who knows you would compare you to the “grasping, scraping, cluutching, covetous old sinner” Ebenezer Scrooge. 😊
    Scrooge finally says “I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.” This you are doing—and with a sense of humor too.
    Merry Christmas, Elizabeth.


  2. Lisa Liang

    Hi Eli, You are an inspiration to all of us… and Val’s favorite history teacher 😘. You have overcome many odds against you, maybe this one too. Please don’t lose heart.
    Happy holidays!


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