Dedication & Chapter One, Two, Three of Wits & Tits: An Irreverent Breast Cancer Journey & A Very Odd But Honest Book by Miko Hargett #breastcancer #novelette #freechapters

A little merry Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice gift from me to you ❤

Wits & Tits: A Novelette By Miko Hargett - An irreverent breast cancer journey and a very odd but honest book.
An irreverent breast cancer journey and a very odd but honest book.

Dedication

To You,

Love,

Miko xo

PS: Let me be a rowdy rebel writer. Let me say that there are times when the rules are irrelevant, like times when the heart bleeds invisibly when I will dance upside down or in hell for you like I did for myself. Sometimes we are all we’ve got. I want you to remember that. And I don’t care if I write a run-on sentence or start a paragraph with But. All I care is that you feel me – because to feel is to heal. Boom goes the dynamite. Let me channel our souls and offer a new tune to dance to.

(Blog note: Because of the rule of 3s, I invoke that magic for our soul healing with three chapters written in invisible ink dedicated all the bleeding hearts that ever lived. Please enjoy this soul massage and mind kiss and return to life renewed in some kind of way.) 

Chapter One – Writing Dangerously

 

It won’t be perfect as perfect goes these days. Some kind of flawless skin which means skin without characters unique to itself, you know a cluster of freckles, a mole, a scar. Some kind of perfect blend of rules and spontaneity. No, no, none of those.

 

It will be dangerous and it will be in writing. So if you like, you can put all your perfection into your imagination and make it so in this book.

 

Pardon my meandering mind, let me give you my working definition of writing dangerously.

 

Writing the first draft and then publishing it as is. That, according to Writing With Power by Peter Elbow, is writing dangerously.

 

I have done a lot of dangerous writing in my life, so it seemed fitting to do it now as I close the chapter on the last three years in the mammary lane where I had one focus: getting things off my chest, literally and figuratively.

 

Writing dangerously is truly #nofilters – there must be a strong purpose behind it I think, otherwise it is a lot of thoughts that go around and around. But sometimes that’s the best way to get at an issue, is to go around and around and see it from every side and talk about it.

 

Writing dangerously exposes the author too – unless perhaps the author is very very good at hiding – so good that it does not even look like hiding is happening. But even then it will still expose the subconscious threads to a careful eye.

 

Yet even then, the wonderful mystery of writing and living to me sits in the wisdom that we do not see the world (and all we read in it) as it is, but as we are (Anais Nin).

 

And so this book might mean very different things to different people, but there will be common threads throughout, and this is by design.

 

I hope that throughout this book you enjoy the imperfection, the delicious meals that brought hopeful moments in depressing times, the infectious laughter or amusement at silly things.

 

But at the very least, I hope that this book and its siblings move you – and even if they move you to put it down (the coffee table version that’s coming, that is) I hope that it becomes a good place for something to rest itself on. Like your cup of coffee, or favorite libation.

 

+++

 

To my friends the grammar judges or other not so unruly writers and readers, I once read about the power of mistakes to get someone’s attention because we are trained to see the world a certain way and when something seems off our attention is requested. So I lightened up about actual mistakes and instead care more about the artistic expression of feeling and meaning. I think this was wisdom from the Carnegie brothers.

 

That being said, please forgive me for any mistakes that truly offend, they are most certainly caused by me at this point. The sins as well, I have granted myself forgiveness for those and that was all that was needed to make the forgiveness of others less critical to me – not that it was easy to forgive myself by any means. But it was well worth it and liberating so I wish the same for you in any burdens your heart carries.

 

Chapter Two – An Ill Thrill

 

In the weeks that followed my Mother’s Day weekend cancer diagnosis, I felt like I was no longer contained in my body, no matter what the mirrors said. I walked and walked and walked any chance I got, in the Las Vegas desert heat, without sunblock (because, vitamin D).

 

I could afford to walk and walk. I ate full portions of my favorite foods, Asian and then comfort foods.

 

Like Hainanese Chicken – boiled chicken with flavorful steamed rice and garnished with cucumbers and cilantro. I first ate this dish as a 4-year-old in Singapore – it came wrapped in plastic and plain creme colored paper, folded into a square with a rubber band maybe, and then opened onto the table for a disposable paper plate of sorts.

 

Another favorite I did not split into portions to enjoy some later, was Thai Lad Na, the big white rice noodles with a brown gravy and beef and Chinese broccoli (a leafy green).

 

There was pasta too. I ate it all. I felt better eating it all. I would put on weight that I could lose during chemo.

 

I had recently left my gym manager position to focus on building my personal training brand. Writing as a job or career was not something my mind felt it could do consistently to satisfaction, I was already healing from a mental health battle that it takes years to heal from, and some never do.

 

My first and strongest clients had challenges of their own – Aspergers, a brachial plexus injury, to name a couple notables. At first I was going to keep training them, it would feel good to keep working I thought, keep my mind busy.

 

It was in this spirit that I began to see some kind of resolution in my cancer diagnosis. Eleanor Roosevelt said something about women being like tea bags – you don’t know what they’re really like until they are put in hot water, something like that. So perhaps the water was finally hot enough for me to let my true flavors out.

 

I imagined and discussed things like leading meditation exercises at the park, dancing through the street, while laughing – perhaps there was some hysteria beneath the laughter, but even I couldn’t blame myself for that.

 

But it was not all highs of course. There was the bawling too. But even more than the bawling there were the many moments of feeling formless and disconnected. I would bob, like a cork, up and down and whatever way the ocean of sensation sent me, and if I knew what was best for me, I would surrender to that.

 

There is, of course, that time of decision – what kind of treatment? I didn’t take it for granted that I would do chemo or any of it, but I thought very carefully about it. While I am holistically inclined and have taken many leaps of faith in my life that could have ended very poorly but somehow didn’t, I do believe differently about medicine than many do.

 

It seems impossible to me that an industry filled with human beings, such as the medical industry, could not have many people with big hearts and brilliant minds as well as all the others. If I were honest with myself I would say that there was a big part of me that did not love me very well, and loving kindness was critical to my survival and recovery. I could honestly say that I did not have enough love for myself to take me through the battle alone. But I would see when the time came, what decision I would make. We always make decisions in the moment, the rest is preparing and pondering, really.

 

There were profound moments. The time I meditated on my bed about my strategy. There is an ancient wisdom that says without a vision the people perish. Once I created my vision, it would carry me through.

 

I’d been through the scans – I still confuse them, the PET scans, the CAT scans, the MRI’s. Time to lie down and go to Mikoopolis. “I should get one of these knee pillows for myself,” I thought of the knee support on the scanning beds or whatever you call those long tables for humans who need machines to look inside them.

 

Or there was the time when I went into the scan and asked the technician, “do you ever play the song Radioactive?” He laughed and said no. His son’s name was also Miko. How interesting.

 

Blankets too, please. It’s godawfully cold in those rooms. One time a friend came with me and bless her mother’s heart, I felt better with her there. Mostly I went alone and tried to stay in a good mood.

 

Friends helped me find my “rawr” as I called it. A witchy photoshoot, a tribute to Tank Girl photo shoots. I am the selfie queen after all, but even queens need a little extra help when life challenges them.

 

I pondered all this on my bed with a feeling intention to know my path. I knew there was no escaping it. I knew my path was not spontaneous remission. I knew my path was to experience, endure and document.

 

Then suddenly a thought came to me and I let it transform to words.

 

“Hey Cancer, if I’m dead, you’re dead.”

 

Chapter Three – Back When I Was Wee

 

People say you should let go of the past, but it’s always easier to say that to other people.

 

Like, do you let go of your childhood? Or think of only the great things? To me, this is like forgetting where I came from, which I have done before and it became a stranger than strange experience. Besides, where is the humility in that? We lack a proper humility these days I think. Everything must be so shiny or else let’s not talk about it. Or if we do let us say how very unshiny it is.

 

But this is not how proper problem solving is done, which while I don’t really agree with the idea oftentimes that there are any problems at all (a conversation for another time), if you want to solve a supposed problem, you’d do well to look at all sides. When I say you, I truly mean me of course. Or, as the awkward alternative goes, if one wants to solve a supposed problem, one must look at the problem or it will never be solved, and more likely the problem will solve you. Or me. Or one.

 

I think the general consensus is that cancer is a problem though. Look up all the stats you want but when it is your own body being poisoned, cut and burned to save your life, there’s going to be a different perspective. But still I think we all agree mostly that cancer is not a solution but a problem.

 

If you can imagine it, as I moved closer in time to treatment and procedures that came before treatment, I found myself slowly scooting back inside myself, as if there was some kind of living space toward the back of me that had not been occupied before, not quite like this. Then in the front of me was everything that had bubbled up to the surface by route of experience and intense pressure to respond. Things I thought I had most certainly resolved with my logic before now burned at me as if to say in all capital letters,

 

SPEAK YOUR TRUTH OR DIE.

 

Well, what do you say to that but throw off all your outer clothes and take one long deep dive into waters where there is no clear bottom. Either way it might be the end anyway.

 

But certainly this way, I can say that I took that deep dive and I resolved what needed to be resolved in me – and from this point on would interact with the world and myself very differently.

 

I tried to work but I found that it required a kind of focus that burned hot inside me and that along with the poison working to disrupt the rapidly dividing cells some of which would grow back like my hair and nails and digestive tract perhaps but I’m not sure at this hour, it seems like a lot and it certainly feels like a lot too.

 

It was a relief to find that love of life required me to step outside of the normal course of life so that I might save my life, and that was a strategy I believe Ayn Rand also said in Atlas Shrugged (or was it Unshrugged? I don’t think so). It was a relief because it meant I did love life so much I would not risk it by doing anything less than put one hundred percent focus on understanding what my mind, body and heart needed in order to become a healthier version of my then self.

 

I decided that if I could change anything I would see about doing that willingly, and then if something could not be changed perhaps it was very important that it stay just as it is and slowly I pieced my self back together in a new arrangement.

 

Have you heard that wisdom that says if change is the only constant, then change is the only value (Hugh McLeod)? Very profound.

 

But is change the only constant?  

 

Some people do not get excited when the music changes and we do a different dance. I speak metaphorically of course.

 

This used to concern me but then I realized some of us are ready to do the dance – even when it means turning the stumbles into dances – and others of us are not ready, and this is why some of us are where we are and others of us are in other places.

 

In other words, as the lovely silver lettering on the big black mama’s shirt at the diagnostics lab said “MYOB” – she laughed and said this was to remind herself to mind her own business, a reminder that I took to heart as well because people can bother my sensitive nature so intensely with certain things that suddenly all their deep business became my business because I was determined to get to the root of things.

 

Funny though, the root of things often seemed to come back to me – and so I was delighted when I found at Hobby Lobby a little pendant that said: “Slay your own dragons.” This would remind me. And anyone reading it.

 

But back when I was a wee babe I laughed with my mouth wide open, when I was called a Freckle Fart I dreamed that night my freckles turned into chocolate and I ate them off, and I had no problem challenging someone many times my size until I grew tired of their responses and retreated into my internal attic where I would think up stories to one day write. Or not.

 

I couldn’t help the desire to make a mark on the world with colored pencils or fancy pens and explore the good and the evil in it with some kind of silliness that turned out to be very dangerous at times. Who would think that laughter can be such a power.

 

Well, it can be. I recall an interesting but also disturbing story of my old hero Shirley Temple being presented with the contents of a man’s pants when she was very little. It was the first she had ever seen of such a thing in her life and so she laughed and laughed and he told her to get out. Brilliant.

 

The contents of men’s pants – and women’s pants for that matter – are still very much a feature in today’s world which gives me lots to think about. I was going to say “loads”, but you know, “lots” is better.

 

Personally, I think it is a good childhood where one is taught the parts of the body and is not taught to be ashamed of them. Shame is not one of our highest qualities truly, and it comes with more toxins than many of our other sentiments.

 

Perhaps it was the shame I accumulated through life and the unusual decisions I made, that sent my mitochondria into a kind of energetic frenzy where they just did somersaults until they turned some of us into tumors. A kind of severe disconnection with the natural order of things, but strangely a solution provided by nature, I started to think.

 

It was some book I had read that talked about how cancer is the body trying to isolate the toxins that have been floating around, God I don’t even remember this moment which book it was but I have them all on my Kindle.

 

Seemed pretty clear to me the toxins from my stress were great and I had worked so hard to keep from becoming more toxic but life as a wondering wanderer of sorts made it very difficult even with the best of my attitudes.

 

Back when I was wee, I had a life that was filled with adventure and storytelling. Not many get to travel the world at such a young age. Not many get to see the things I saw, or read the things I read. Not many get to feel the weight of a little one on your own still childish hip, to cook for someone else before eating for yourself, but as long as I was busy and had time to do some kind of playing and speak my mind now and then, I just sat and watched and imagined better stories.

 

I also was homeschooled but in this sense I was so good at teaching myself that eventually I got the job, and at times studied as my younger sister or brother napped. I was privileged enough to be trusted to look after another human being even while I was so little and I took this very seriously. Most of the time.

 

Other times I remember leaving boogers in protest behind the couch. Then one day the boogers had formed a sort of pattern and I thought I should feel bad about it, and I sort of did. Only because it was not a pretty thing to do, and while I didn’t mind being boisterous or “horsing around”, or hanging upside down on the monkey bars, I could see myself feeling bad for bringing more ugliness to this world behind the couch, from my nose. But if only I was not so annoyed by the grown-ups.

Follow Miko Hargett on Amazon to get notified when the book is out –

Besides, Amazon is where there is scheduled to be a flurry of new mind-heart babies – I mean Kindle stories – birthed by Yours Truly.

Copyright Maria Faith Walls

 

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