You would think such a visit would be pretty predictable, right? Aha. That is your first mistake. I find my friend’s room and there she is, sitting in a wheelchair. So I sit in the chair facing her, but no sooner do we begin to visit than she says in a halting voice, “Can I, can I kiss you?”
Well, how sweet is that, right? What a doll. “Of course you can,” I say. And I stand up and bend over her so she can peck me on the cheek.
Then, just as I’m leaning over, closer and closer, and cupping her head in my hand, I realize she looks puzzled. So I say, "Wait. What?" Turns out I heard her wrong. What she really said was, “Can I have a tissue?” And now I am two inches from her face, and she's probably wondering what on earth is about to happen. Is Joni going to kiss me? Good grief-- She's the one who should be in a care facility!
Quickly I sit down again, rummage through my purse, and pull out one tissue for now, and one for her nightstand lest we go through this all over again. We visit, we reminisce, we catch up. And for the first time in my life, I find I am grateful for short-term memory loss and I’m hoping she forgets my waay-too-close encounter and that her family members don’t file some kind of restraining order.
This is what happens when your brain has an auto-correct feature that you didn’t even sign up for. And my oncologist wants me to have chemo! That creates chemo brain, you know. And I’ve obviously already got it, and haven’t even had chemo yet! I seriously cannot afford brain fog on any level.
So I’m off to MD Anderson in Texas for a second opinion. I hope it goes, “Oh, y’all are too uptight on the coast. Just have some dumplin’s, honey, and everything’ll be fine.” And hopefully they won’t ask me for a tissue sample.
While we’re waiting for the results of that adventure, you may as well curl up with one of my books. Oh—and don’t forget you can do all your Christmas shopping there, too.