Sunday, January 17, 2016

I took the day off to go to the Deep Hypnosis class which seems a bit extravagant considering how up against the wall I feel financially but I have been working my ass off and I thought, maybe the end stuff is equally as therapeutic and necessary as drinking the cups of grayish goo was at the beginning. 

I had signed up for a group meeting Monday nights that would have probably been fantastic. That was called: Life After Cancer Post-Treatment Networking Group. But Monday nights belong to massage and I can make nearly what I make in an entire library shift-if I get a good tip-I can almost make that in 90 minutes of massage so, no. 

Speaking of no, I had been dreading another Ear, Nose and Throat doctor appointment but my neighbor downstairs said her guy was fantastic so okay. I had to wait two weeks but Friday at 1:45, there we were, in Berwyn, sitting next to a flat screen teevee that was blasting out Steve Harvey's Surprise Birthday show. At exactly 2:40, the woman behind the counter called my name. "Miss Farrell?" she said. I got up, ready to go in and she said, we've called your insurance company and we're considered out-of-network for you and you have a TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR DEDUCTIBLE. 

Sad, how this has become the norm, where you shuffle off infuriated and nothing to be done except giving the front desk staff a negative Yelp for eating your afternoon and there had been an additional thing, in that I caught a cold. 

No big thang, right? Yeah well, I didn't want to appear at the new Ear Nose and Throat with sudafedded sinuses, right? So there was that too. 

Oh AND, this week, I did my very first Oncologistified Massage. That was another fearful thing-not that I was worried about working on somebody with Cancer. Nope. Not even a little. 

I was worried that the person might need lymphatic drainage that is not my thing but that massage could not have gone better. It was a giant blab-a-thon and you know all those books I read? Now I have something to contribute! Sores in your mouth from chemo? Have you tried eating watermelon? There's a lecture at the library on Sunday about being positive and the YMCA in Berwyn has an exercise program and have you considered Restorative Yoga? And like that. 

The best part was when I was whining about the cost of my parking spot in the glorious OP and the woman shouts out: BE POSITIVE! and we both cracked up. 


Okay so. To be completely honest(why stop now?)these cancer gathering things make me a wee bit nervous. Never knowing what you're walking into. But! I took the day off, right? So I had to go. 

It was crowded. I couldn't find a chair. But then, yeah there was one-right by the guy with the black turtleneck and the chunky mystical rings and the Mac Book Air-or whatever you call it. So, I went up to the woman sitting next to that space and I said, hey is anyone sitting here? She smiled.

As it turns out, this group has an inside joke that this particular chair is designated The New Person Chair. And what makes that bad(?)is that the New Person has to Go First. 

Guess what? I have no fear of going first. And it was a lovely chair. All the chairs in this room were like heaven's waiting room. Super soft and cushy with giant pillows. 

The guy. Well, I suppose he was exactly what you'd expect? He works with cancer people at a hospital and he's like a master hypnotist or something. Big credentials. He reminded me a little bit of Wizzo from Bozo's Circus. 

He had a stone-it was black-probably had some sort of mystical quality, right? And we were to take the stone, and introduce ourselves and talk about our experiences with saying no. (This episode of Deep Hypnosis was called Avoid Overcaring For Others. I'm looking forward to the third one called: When People Share Their Drama) Then, we were supposed to take the little bottle of hand sanitizer and clean our hands after we passed it on to the next person. 

Don't know if that was cootie-related or energetic. 

I said my name and the brand of cancer and they wanted to know what stage. It was, as if, as a group-they were sorting me out. He said the cancer I had was particularly tied to over caring for others and-I dunno, ya know? That Louise Hay-you have a sore throat-that's because you can't speak up for yourself school of thought. (Hey maybe you couldn't get into the ENT's office because they said they took your insurance and they don't.) I'm not 100% sold on that philosophically. I know it sold a lotta books. 

Then I said I had recently said no to someone in a sort of a huge way and he asked what happened and I said, nothing. And he said, what were you afraid of, and I said, I thought it would qualify me as a terrible person, and you're not, he said and I nodded and then I passed the stone. And performed the hand-sanitizing ritual. 

It was REALLY interesting to be in a group of cancer people. I can't say survivors because a lot of the people were still negotiating. One whole hell of a lot of psychological pain in that room, fer sher. But some smiles and some cool looking people too. 

The introduction/talking part went on for almost an hour and a half-ish, we took a break and then plugged in our ear phones to this appliance connected to his computer. It was playing Simon and Garfunkel and people nodded along. And then the pre-recorded hypnosis session began. 

I love that kinda stuff. It's got all these weird Aboriginal rain stick background subliminal noise things happening and he tells a story about a king and a whole bunch of other stuff and then it was done.

I said thank you and he said, you'll find it will begin almost immediately. No it won't. I said. (To be hilarious.) See? I'm saying no already!

And that was that. 

All going well, we start our Livestrong class on Tuesday. P has located his Chuck Taylors. We're halfway there. 


  1. I recently tried hypnosis and found out I am way too cynical for it to be effective. I did have one session (I tried 3 to give it a fair chance) where I really let go. It was interesting mostly for how refreshed I felt after. Like taking a great nap, without the nap hangover. Thanks for sharing your blog, your stories are mapping out unfamiliar territory and yet I can so relate to them, and not to get to gushy (cause I know you hate that) I am glad to be re-connected if only through chat boxes.

    1. Aww YAY! I think we'll meet again, no? Let's put it on our lists! Dammit.

      I used to listen to these tapes(ooh look I said 'tapes'. I'm an old.)by Bob Griswold from Edina, Minnesota. His catchphrase was: Say to yourself the word: relax.

      I kinda think-anything that's positive, right?

    2. We will definitely see each other again, it is on my list but will never again do winter in Chicago. I learned my lesson when I visited you once before (February). My new/old way to relax is to do improv. I like that it isn't all about me and yet it is.

  2. That's rather depressing about the ENT. I know I used to go there when I had awful Humana-ish insurance many, many moons ago. I'm grateful every day that I have BCBS... and really wish that plural marriage was a thing in Illinois so I could share it with everyone. :-(