Proof that Tony Stark has a Heart


In my hand is a small titanium device.  It facilitated the delivery of liquids directly into my heart; chemo drugs, pain killers, contrast solutions, basically anything the doctors wanted to shoot me up with.  For 1 year, 3 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days this device sat underneath my skin attached to the muscle below with three subcutaneous stitches.  It saved my life.  It reminded me of my cancer every single day.  There were times I wanted to rip it out of my chest and others when I thanked the gods that the drugs kicked in immediately.

It was heavier than I expected yet nearly painless to have removed.  The soreness in my chest has faded.  There’s only an occasional sharpness in the skin when I stretch.  I know it was a mere drop in the bucket when compared to my overall existence, but it felt like an entire lifetime unto itself.  This was the last piece, I am now (in my own mind) completely cancer free.  I’m living in a post cancer world.

It’s hard figuring out what that means, if you couldn’t already tell from my recent posts.  Anger, bitterness, relief, and even light amnesia swirl inside me.  Sometimes it feels like a dream, memories tinted with the haze of uncertainty.  Then a vivid experience pops back into my head and I know it was no fucking joke.  There is one thing that keeps tugging at the edges of my mind.  I can no longer live the life I did before.  It’s not an epiphany or a life changing schism just a quiet realization that things cannot continue the way they have been.

Where that takes me is still being determined.  One thing I feel in my very bones is that I have to put words on paper.  It can’t continue as a hobby in the periphery of my life.  There must be a single minded focus applied to what is essentially a much neglected—but core—part of me.  Also, I need to shift gears in my career.  Information technology isn’t going anywhere, it’s just that the projects I gravitate toward are soul sucking endeavors which leave me drained.  It’s time to take the foot off the accelerator and move over into the slower lane.

I’ll keep the fires burning here and I’m going to syphon some of my energy back into the fiction writing.  Writer peeps beware, my pen muscles have atrophied, so I might hit you up to be a gym buddy.  Inertia is a motherfucker, but I will break out of mine and collect the momentum like the sweet, sweet honey that it is.

*fingers crossed*

4 comments… add one
  • Ikam Jun 7, 2013

    Good for you! First of all, so glad to hear you are officially cancer-free, I remember reading your first post about the shocking diagnosis after the new years party and the horrible experience of your chemo treatments. I am really glad you are shifting focus to something that sparks a passion in you and that you do very well. Looking forward to reading more of your stuff. I am also willing to bet your writing muscles haven’t atrophied at all, you just got a chance to step back and gain a different perspective on things, and assess what is most important for you at this point in life. Much love from Miami!

    • Gabriel Novo
      Aug 10, 2013

      Ikam, always good to see you. Breaking through the inertia has proven harder than I thought and even though my writing muscles haven’t atrophied they do feel rusty as hell. I just hope to keep writing stuff you like to read 🙂
      Gabriel Novo´s latest post ..NumbMy Profile

  • Michael Southard Jun 13, 2013

    I am sorry to hear you had suffered like that and very glad you made it through. It’s nice meeting you. Hope we’ll run into each other again sometime at AW. I’ll look at your blog now and again too!
    Michael Southard´s latest post ..All the Help I Need, Part 2My Profile

    • Gabriel Novo
      Aug 10, 2013

      Michael, thanks for swinging by. It’s always great seeing fellow AWers. I read about your medical struggles and I have the same frustrations with insurance, doctors, and the whole damn process. Hopefully things are a little more manageable for you these days.
      Gabriel Novo´s latest post ..6 Months in RemissionMy Profile

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