Netflix and Chill
The wonders of indolence
Dear Friends —
It’s now the second week of February, which means the “hope your year is off to a fabulous start!” email greetings have subsided.
And if you’re anywhere near the Bay Area, you’re twirling about, enjoying sparkly 70 degree days, gorgeous green hills, and reminding yourself that California taxes may, in fact, be worth it. If you’re anywhere else, you’ll be able to relate to this gem.
This is also the time of year where there may be a reckoning of sorts for all those resolutions you felt so very good about just six weeks ago. Peloton is laying off employees, and who on earth wants to go for a run in the morning when it’s cold, dark, and damp.
For those who want an excuse to sleep in, this is the post for you.
Friends, I rise in the defense of laziness.
Pure, uninterrupted, pathetic, inaction. No progress, no sense of any kind of accomplishment of all. You know that feeling when you’re on a plane and the wifi isn’t really working and you decide to watch “When Harry Met Sally” for the 114th time? That’s what I’m talking about here. Time that goes nowhere. The word “squander” begins to sound downright sexy.
Take a nap for zero reason at all kind of laziness.
There’s a reason I’m pro inaction. As it turns out, just this week I had what I knew would be a nail-biter of a scan. The first complete scan since I paused chemo back in September, a who-knows-what-shenanigans-might-be-in-play kind of scan.
I timed the scan to hear the results real-time with our one our favorites, Dr K, along with my favorite exam room co-pilot, Jacquelline. After 30 minutes of idle small talk about the things that ladies talk about in exam rooms (and wouldn’t you all love to know!) we were feeling brave and ready when Dr. K entered.
The upshot? My abdomen continues to be the picture of health. And any faithful reader here will pause and agree that this is nothing short of a miracle.
But even more faithful readers will know that the story these days is all about my lungs. Dr. K had a few things to say about that.
Princess Leia’s sharp shooters did a nice job obliterating the larger mets a number of weeks ago, but, alas, there’s more growth and activity in my lungs. This wasn’t an appointment to have fully vaccinated hugs and five hives.
HOWEVER, Dr. K stressed that what he was seeing was all quite teeny tiny in the itty bitt department. “What you have here is a series of indolent mets. At some point you’ll want to address them, but there’s no hurry here.”
With her notepad and best executive prowess in hand, Jacquelline began to interrogate. “Can we get a little clarity here? Are you recommending Amy go back into chemo, or continue the pause?”
Dr. K: “Well that’s up to Amy. But I’d be fine either way.”
Jacquelline: “Yes but what is your recommendation?”
Dr. K: “We’re playing the long game here. So chemo should fit into the part of your year that makes the most sense.”
Me: “Back to this word, ‘indolent.’ Can you unpack that a little more?”
Dr K: “Indolent means lazy.”
As Jacquelline continued to litigate and note-take, all I could think about is that my little itty bitties are basically sitting on a couch in my lungs and watching Netflix with a gallon of ice cream. Also they are asking their mom to bring them a drink and maybe fold their laundry. They are delightfully lazy.
I’d love to go on and on about the back and forth and the images on the scan and my CEA that continues to be quite low and all the biology that goes into metastases and cutting edge research and on and on, but what we really need to focus on here is that I now have Lazy Cancer.
My itty bitty cancer likes to get sucked into Twitter bunny holes for hours on end. My so-small-it’s-like-a-hobbit cancer reads her Instagram feed in the dentist’s waiting room instead of the Thing She’s Supposed to Do for Work. My smidge of a cancer sleeps in on a Saturday rather than join some hiking thing she said yes to on Tuesday. My you-can-barely-see-it-on-a-scan cancer curls up on the couch to listen to music from twenty years ago, mainly because she knows it so well, and can’t be bothered to keep up with anything recent.
We need to adore how slow and unproductive she is.
So in solidarity, I say we all give ourselves generous permission to be recklessly lazy in the weeks ahead.
The backyard chore that needs attending? Get to it later. The dinner party you’re hosting? Order take out. The documents for your taxes you need to gather? Get to it in a week or two.
Instead curl up with a novel. Or go for a stroll with no destination in mind. Or watch your favorite film for the 115th time.
Be like Bonnie. Snooze all the time when you’re not playing.
Don’t worry about it. We just learned there’s a beautiful spot in our world for laziness to set up camp. Celebrate it all, and then decide to take another nap.
I’ll look forward to hearing your dispatches from Planet Laziness in the weeks to come. I’ll be there with you, sleeping in when I can, pausing to savor simple sweetness, and celebrating all that’s slow and soulful.
Now if I could just find someone to fold my laundry.