Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Honey-Do List

C'mon, you know what I'm talking about.

It's that never-ending list of things to do. Around the house. To the house. A list of things from cleaning out the garage––in my case, for the hundredth-millionth time––to digging holes to buying another gallon or two of paint. The Honey-Do List is not to be confused with The Bucket List. (Although I don't think I'll finish my Honey-Do List before I kick the bucket). The Honey-Do List is really a bunch of little lists that show up on the refrigerator, on the night stand and shredded in your pocket after a spin in the washer machine. (No matter how many times I try to destroy it, another one comes alive :)

When I was trying to manage the side effects from my cancer treatment, I had a list that looked a like a pharmacy order: Roxicet, Percocet, Metoclopramide, Fluconozale, Clindagel, "Magic Mouthwash", and Gel-Kam 0.4%. Not to mention the 6 cans of Jevity that was pumping into my body through my G-tube in my stomach and the I.V. sponges, yards of tape and the boxes of alcohol wipes. Plus the pump, plastic bags and syringes my back pack contained, going every where I went all the time. I had a big list of stuff. I called it my Gotta-Do To Live List. I had 5 Doctors, all telling me things to keep me alive, keep my body battling, keep me writing things down. This was a list I didn't want destroyed in the wash.

I was never much for lists before that. I kept everything in my head. I would remember things. Until the chemo and radiation. It was frying my brain. It was killing the cancer in my body. It was destroying body parts, one by one, checking them off like an internal list. Yeah, let's mess with his stomach. Oh, and while we're at it, let's give his intestines a bad time––how about diarrhea for a few days straight. And while we're at it, we'll take away your saliva so you can't swallow or chew, give you killer headaches and then for laughs that almost never end we'll give you chemo brain that's gonna last for 1, 2, 3 years. We don't know!

So now I keep lists. To-dos at work. Passwords. Birthdays. A list of all the social networks I belong to and the passwords for those. Birthdays. (Oh, I already said that. There it is, chemo brain). Hospital visits and Doctor visits. And lists of the milestones of being alive after all the treatments and surgeries. I never forget where those lists are. Which makes The Honey-Do List sweeter than ever.

If I can only remember where I put it.

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