Fish out of Water

This picture asks a thousand questions. My best guess, a small child was escorted to the bathroom. Said child held shark toy until perfectly aligned above the toilet. At which point, small child let go, releasing the shark back to the water. Wasn’t it “Nemo” who taught us “all routes lead to the sea?”

One hopes the toy was dropped into a “clean” bowl of water, allowing adult escort of child to fish out the toy. (Pun intended). But then, how does adult convince small child to leave the shark on the rim? And if one goes to the effort of retrieving something from the toilet, wouldn’t the more obvious place of eternal rest be a trash bin? Or…someone before me found this little treasure in the water and retrieved it in case small child returned? Not sure I would be that person, but it’s comforting to imagine a world where such humans exist!

Back to the shark, which not only provided a wonderfully unexpected photo to send to my son who is vocal about his fear of sharks, but it also brought enormous joy from a normally mundane activity.

But how does this track with my current journey?

A few weeks ago, I described being in a state of anxiety and apprehension. My first chemo treatment was right around the corner. I felt like a fish out of water – flailing and unsure how I got here. How does one navigate the terrors of the unknown –  especially unknowns with names that illicit horrific connotations – like emergency surgery, or chemo? But, I’m discovering time marches on, and eventually, the terror inducing moment weaves itself into the fabric of personal history.

I survived my first round of treatments. The days after were not exactly fun, but they are in the review mirror. While I never wanted to say “been there done that” regarding chemo (and five treatments still to go), there is something to be said for a familiarity gained from experience.

Especially the experience of being a fish out of water.

While I’m learning to allow the spectrum of feelings their moment, it helps to remember, regardless of my feelings, time will move me along…through the thing…until it becomes a blip on my linear timeline. My dad used to boil it down to a well-known saying, “This too shall pass.”

Like my little shark friend, at some point, we all find ourselves on the brink of a toilet experience, literal or metaphorical. Chemo is my current toilet experience. However, I would bet a sizable sum my little shark friend is no longer in the same place. And neither am I. Round 2 starts on Monday and yes, I feel a bit anxious, but less so. Cheers to progress!

If you are in a toilet experience, remember my little shark friend. Perhaps the only constant in this life is change. Which means, toilet experiences don’t last forever.

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6 Comments on "Fish out of Water"

  1. Diann Fischer
    23/04/2024 at 10:12 am Permalink

    Your words and strength hit home with me. Thank you for your beautiful writing and laughter too!! Cheers to you!!

  2. Rebecca Qualls
    23/04/2024 at 10:15 am Permalink

    Thank you Diann…here’s to putting toilet experiences in our review mirrors! 🙂

  3. David
    23/04/2024 at 2:52 pm Permalink

    My dearest Rebecca I have, over the last 25 years, read all your posts. While I usually just give you a thumbs up and share it, I have never responded until now. Please know that while this journey is yours alone to make you have a loving loving/supportive family along with numerous friends whom care and love you very much! As your husband I have never known a stronger person than you. You continue to inspire and support me even when walking through hell. Keep writing and finish your next book. I, along with your family and friends will continue to support and love on you! You are amazing!

  4. Rebecca Qualls
    23/04/2024 at 3:17 pm Permalink

    Thank you! What a special comment. Thanks for walking with me and for your support! I love you!

  5. John Michaels
    23/04/2024 at 5:50 pm Permalink

    I needed to read this one as it puts things more into perspective. Oh my! You are a rock star!!!

  6. Rebecca Qualls
    23/04/2024 at 8:32 pm Permalink

    Thanks, John! I think you’re a rock star too!

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