Dear Readers: It’s good to be back on the blog after several weeks getting used to the new cancer reality. More about that below. Thanks for sticking with me.


Teens groove around a bonfire: playing guitar, passing joints, kissing. A shy girl grows suddenly bold, runs down the beach, shedding her clothes. She runs into dazzling, moonlit water, calling the drunken boy to follow her. 

Cue theme from the movie, Jaws

Dun dun…

Dun dun…

Dun-dun dun-dun… Dun-dun dun-dun…

A close up and you can see it in her face: how the water thrills her naked skin, makes her feel beautiful and powerful and alive while the familiar music crawls up your spine, taps you in that chilly place where the back of your neck meets the back of your ear. “Bad stuff coming,” its wet breath slurps. “Bad stuff surfacing all around you.” 

Dun dun…

Oh, shit.

Dun dun…

Oh, shit.

Dun-dun dun-dun… Dun-dun dun-dun…

Here it comes! Here it is! Jaws! The Great. White. Shark. 

The Fuckening!

Pause to consult

The Fuckening definition: When your day is going too well… and some shit finally goes down. Ah, there it is, the fuckening.”

My sister, Angela, introduced me to the concept of The Fuckening a month ago, after she found herself one-minute standing on her back porch watching the heaviest summer rainstorm she’d ever seen deluge the backyard of the house she had just about sold—escrow closing in one week. The next minute, she watched as a river formed along the side of the house. Half an hour later, she stood in six inches of water in the house’s basement—which was, according to the real estate sales agreement she signed, supposed to be finished. A dry and usable space. Carpeted in dry carpet; walled in dry dry-wall. 

The peace of knowing the house was essentially sold… the rain beginning to fall… the storm… Dun dun… the flood… Dun dun… The… 

And there I was, that same one month ago, feeling peaceful myself. On another new chemo but with negligible side effects. Able to rise above a little fatigue to spend time with friends, walk a few blocks with Progeny and Rumi, relax on the couch with Dreamboat, watching Jaws for the umpteenth time.

For the fun of it.

But, on the couch, The Fuckening nuzzled between me and Dreamboat. It shivered, as if with delight, and rows of sharp teeth clinked in my subconscious.

Dun dun…

Do you remember what I wrote, around that time, on the health update in my last post?

I had a little scare when I woke up Tuesday morning with pain in my hip and I’m still having that evaluated, though by Thursday, it had mostly faded away—as inexplicably as it arrived. Thank goodness.

I quote myself: “Thank goodness.” 

Watching Jaws, my hip ached…

Dun dun… 

…with the pain that had been away, and returned again.

Dun dun… 

Returned emphatically. By a week after we watched Jaws, I had been from cane to crutch to MRI. The test results…

Dun-dun dun-dun… Dun-dun dun-dun… 

…cancerous lesions on the ball and in the socket of my hip. 

The life results: Inflammation. Nerve pain. More pain. 

But, no worries, the specialists told me. A new round of radiation would clear that up. Get me back on my feet again, literally and figuratively, in a matter of weeks. Except…

Dun dun…

It turns out my hip is broken. The cancer got in there, where there wasn’t room for it, and… craaaaack: More Fuckening—two to three months of me trying to stay off of the hip while the bones try to knit themselves back together. 

So, I sit on the couch, watching more old movies with Dreamboat—American Graffiti—struggling to remember why I ever imagined that the hip pain I woke up with one Tuesday, out of the blue, would not turn out to be more cancer. 

And while I sit there, I feel the clammy skin of the Fuckening nestled beside me. I smell its sea-scummy breath, and hear its little heart beating under mine. It goes…

Dun dun…


Health update: I’m getting around in a wheelchair most of the time now, but I can also walk with a crutch (it’s just very, very painful). My radiation oncologist has finished radiating my hip and moved on to radiating my chest, where certain lymph nodes loom enlarged. I have chemo coming up on Monday as well. It’s a lot of treatment and I feel fairly cranky about it.

What I don’t feel cranky about is all the attention from dear friends and, most of all, the generous, kind, relentless care from my sweet Dreamboat.


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Love love love.

10 thoughts on “THE FUCKENING

  1. Hey, that mook is lucky to have you, cancer and all. I hope he knows how really fortunate he is to have someone as pretty and smart and talented as you are, good-lookin’!

  2. Megan,

    There are no words to convey what I am feeling right now. Just closed my eyes and spent some time visualizing that the radiation is working and that your pain will be lessened.

  3. If ATTENTION is what you need, you got it! Massive doses, without a prescription, at no cost, and the only side effect is comfort to you and Dreamboat from your loving world!

  4. As always, I have lots of feelings that are jamming up my normal loquacious nature. I do know that you can always have as much love and good thoughts as you want from me. I just wish I could provide some cures and magic and sparkly power. Keep up your writing. It really feels like it gives you life and energy. Those are some powerful words.

  5. Here is hoping the radiation and chemo and all the good mojo being sent your way can turn “Dun dun” into “La La Laaaa La” (in your favorite upbeat melody, with guitars and maybe a flute).

    And thank you for continuing to write, even when it is not easy to do so.

  6. Megan: Another gripping piece, Megan. With the background music, you maintain an unrelenting, ominous tempo throughout. You show us the writer’s senses and we experience them firsthand.
    Thank you for such craft and the courage you show telling your story.
    With all our hearts and minds, we’re out here pulling for you as hard as we can.
    Dick G

  7. You are an amazingly gifted writer. And human. Thank you for sharing your journey, especially the hard parts. Sending you a big hug and lots of love.

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