Patrick Swayze takes the train to the Palace

Remember the first subway scene in Ghost?  Tuesday,  May 3rd.  My 146 pound frame is comprised of twenty three side effects from five wicked injected drugs and on it balances a twenty pound throbbing anvil head protecting a mushy sloshing-around brain that is trying to function through blurred vision.  Chemo is the angry ghost on the train,  knocking me on my ass before I know what hits me.  The train is my civic barreling down 1-75 towards the Canterbury Palace,  (It’s truly surreal that I am operating a motor vehicle) where soon I’ll have to twist my sore- riddled mouth into a smile and function  better than someone on a heroine trip under water.  Can’t take the drugs to combat anything since my brain will just take a bigger dive,  and I’ll probably end up in a compazine coma face down on the bar mats. You guys know me right?  Basically,  I call in dead.  In my normal existence I could barely have made the phone call to call in dead.  At 2:30 pm I still hadn’t spoke a word,  and only managed to get a half a smoothie down. But –  I have cancer.  I’m working through chemo.  Calling in is somehow less acceptable now than it was in the normal world. I have to prove I can do it. In two weeks I will no longer have any income from work except this five hour weekly shift at the Canterbury Palace. This pays for my health insurance premium.  And,  I love my job here.  Mary and Fred Canterbury,  they took me by my hands,  literally,  and gracefully gifted me with the privilege of keeping my position here.  Who wants to go out to eat and see cancer?  They don’t think about that.  The Canterbury is family.  Many of the servers and kitchen have been there 15-20 years.  I feel privileged and blessed for my job there.  I can’t. be. weak. Then there’s Julia. My Tuesday night partner in crime. Pretty much a lifer,  and tough.  We both lack the winer gene and pain is only shown in a closely examined face.  She’s had her own physical crap to get through,  more than her share.  I can’t let her down.  Let me say,  she held me up. And I made it. It really, really,  sucked. But I moved a penny Tuesday night.  And I learned to accept a little help too. And I left feeling proud and blessed.

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