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Neil Crone’s Journal

Neil Crone’s Journal

Neil Crone is an actor and writer and a national spokesperson for the CCAC. A Second City veteran improvisor, host and stand up comic, Neil also loves to write poems and stories for "big and little kids".

Neil has written a journal of his experience with colorectal cancer.


There’s No Place Like Home

There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home. You got that right Dorothy. When you’re sick or recovering or just plain worn out, you can’t beat your own place. It’s amazing how comforting just being around your own stuff is. It’s like you are once again surrounded by a thousand little talismans, all beaming their healing power into you. Things that under normal circumstances might be an annoyance, the thrum of the dryer, the rhythmic swish and swash of the dishwasher, even the sound of the dogs nails click, click, clicking across the hardwood, are now comforting, perhaps even hypnotic suggestions that all will soon be well. Even if you’re thrashing about in bed, unable to sleep, there is a certain comfort in knowing that at least you are wide awake in your own bed. Even throwing up is always more tolerable in your own toilet.

During my early days back, when I was spending most of my time on the couch in the front room, the nicest sound of the day came around 3 PM. I would hear the door to the family room open and slam closed followed hard by my children’s happy, energetic voices shouting ’Hello, we’re home!’ At first their mother tried to shush them, to let their father sleep, but I vetoed that. Their voices and their laughter and light birdlike chatter, floating in from the kitchen was a more potent healer than a thousand antibiotics.

I am the most fortunate man in the world too in that I have a wife who apparently, was born to heal people. From the moment my illness was diagnosed, an engine inside my wife began to rev. A little Jewish two- stroke, built over two millennia ago, that runs like a top. This thing cranks out nurturing and kindness by the ladle-full. From dawn to dusk I can hear my wife and her little Jewish engine in the kitchen, pouring love and healing and hope into muffin tins and juice glasses and casserole dishes. Cancer cells are leaping out of my body like rats from a sinking ship. My wife is pissed at them and they know it. Only the stupid and proud are still hanging around now and she has something special planned for them. Who would’ve thought I’d ever feel badly for some sorry-assed cancer cells?

The only person at home who is somewhat indifferent to my situation is, of course, the dog. The dog who will not get up from his place in front of the woodstove when I need to shuffle past. The dog whose only concern was that I might develop Alzheimer’s and forget where his leash is kept. The dog with his own baggage. He looks at me with a certain amount of disdain, as I lie on the couch. I know what he is thinking. He is thinking that if it weren’t for me, he would have that couch to himself and he is thinking if I am so sick how come I don’t have one of those funnel collars around my head so I will not lick myself. Yes, Dorothy, there is indeed no place like home.

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