Brain, Brain, Go Away, Come Again Another Day (preferably when I don’t have to get up in 4 hours)
In about 5 hours, I’ll be getting ready to see the Radiation Specialist in Hershey. This is why I am awake right now, in spite of the percocet (which I took because I really was in pain – I think I overdid it the last couple of days and my incision hurts, even though it is mostly healed – I probably should not have spent this morning doing laundry). There’s a wicked rain pelting my window and the wind is howling outside – something about my window makes it louder than normal. I’m tired as hell, but as soon as I lie down, my mind starts racing. Since my surgery, everything has seemed so surreal – like I know what is happening and what is next, but at the same time I am so detached from it all. I know what’s coming, or at least I have some grim expectations. Yet none of it seems real. I know I am going to come out of the other side of this and be okay, but it is still all very unsettling.
Then there is a whole other side of me that is seeing the dark humor in this battle with the monster. Like how I’d like to get eyes tattooed on the back of my head once my hair falls out. Of course that can’t happen because getting a tattoo in the middle of chemo is kinda dangerous, you know, all the infection risk and everything. And that part of me that wants to scream at people who post on facebook how their new year sucks because they got a flat tire and they had a fight with their boyfriend. All I want to do is post “right, your life sucks, I got diagnosed with cancer on the second day of the new year, but clearly your little drama is far more devastating.” I guess that’s kinda passive aggressive. I’m struggling with all these crazy feelings. And I am waiting for the air to smell sweeter and the colors to be more intense, and to be crazy enthusiastic about every minute of every day because I have a new appreciation for life. That’s not happening and then I spin into psychoanalysis of what the hell is wrong with me that I don’t feel compelled to spend every minute of every day engaged in some meaningful activity. This whole thing sucks in ways I can’t even begin to describe and yet, it isn’t depressing, not in the way that that whole life-sucking black cloud that circles ’round me from time to time is. And there is a ton of second guessing going on. Like should I get a second opinion? Is chemo the best option? Do I really need it, and then I swing the other way like maybe I need more tests to make sure there isn’t cancer somewhere else, and maybe it started in my shoulder or breast and they just haven’t found that yet. AND then there is the “oh my dog, everything that I have ever not wanted to happen to me has happened, and I don’t want to end up with colon cancer and colostomy like my mother, but then if I think that wouldn’t be so bad, am I really just asking the universe to give me colon cancer?” Sounds psychotic, right? I know. It’s maddening.
Sometimes I am numb. Sometimes I am at the verge of tears and don’t even know why. Then there’s a part of me that seems to think I should start putting things in order, and the other part of me that says that is just acting like this is gonna get worse instead of better. I wish I knew what was normal. And at the risk of hurting the feelings of some of you gentle readers, I wish people would go back to treating me the way they did before I told them I have cancer. Sometimes it feels like people don’t know how to act around me any more, and what’s worse, is that once chemo starts and I start to look like someone who has cancer, that people are going to treat me even more differently. It’s strange that I feel like I am causing my friends stress by telling them about my diagnosis. And I hate that some of my friends won’t say the c-word, and will use “condition” “diagnosis” “problem” instead of saying cancer like the word itself have some sort of magical powers. And when I use the c-word, I hate how the mood changes. It’s tough enough being scared and unsure without having to worry about the people you love.
You start to think about all the thing you didn’t do. A lot. And you wonder if it matters if they get done now, and what will happen if you don’t do them, and things take a turn for the worse. And perhaps most scary of all right now is what will happen to Andy if something does happen to me. I feel like I will be leaving him alone in the world. And even as I am typing this, I am thinking, great, now people will tell me to be positive and to think of the best outcome. This is what I do most of the time, but I think I’d have a bigger problem if I didn’t also realize that there are also other outcomes that I need to consider. Consider, not dwell on. Honestly, I really do believe that I am going to get through this and will be fine, and etc., etc. But there are times, like 4:09 am the day of my visit to the Radiation Specialist when I am sorta terrified, and wish that this was all a bad dream I am going to wake up from.
So my faithful readers, this blog is sometimes going to be as painful for you to read as it is for me to write, but I need to share it, and I need to talk about the cancer that was growing inside of me. I need to use the word cancer because I am going to take the power out of that word until it’s the equivalent of the gas and bloating to me (which I might add are frequent guests in my body now, which is a good thing because it means those parts of my body which were jostled and tossed about during the tunneling to my uterus during surgery are working). I promise there will always be some part of me that is going to joke about my body rebelling against me, but there is always a part of me that understands that I am going to have a struggle ahead of me. I am not going to use words like battle or fight, or survive, because that implies that I could come out of this on the losing side, and I don’t accept that. I’m going to deal, because deal is all I can do. I don’t have power over what happens, I only have power over the way I react to it. And since my hormones and mental state are going to be in flux over the months ahead, so I may not always react the way most people consider appropriate.
And speaking of appropriate reactions, if you love me and care about me, and know me well, please please please, don’t start patting my arm, giving me gentle caring looks, or hugging me if we have not exchanged those in the past. I am not a damn puppy with a thorn in my paw. (and those of you who have known me longest, know that whole hugging takes me a while to get used to, and not because I don’t like hugs, I do, it’s just a personal space thing). And I am not going to stop being obsessed with the creepier side of life. And I will continue to be fascinated with cemeteries and photographing statuary within them. You should also know, if you don’t already, that should death find me, there will be no services, there will be none of that stupid casket and viewing crap, and I would like a green burial. Under a rock. No wait, there will probably be bugs under the rock. Have me tossed in the ocean. I’d rather be fish food than bug food. Not that it makes any difference because my body will be just like a giant empty hermit crab shell. And I’ll have crept off to a new one. Hopefully one shaped like a squirrel or sea otter.
If you want to make me feel better, treat me the same way you always have. Laugh with me. Tease me. Ignore me. Just carry on as usual. You can make me brownies if you have to do something more, but not with chocolate chips in them, just gooey brownies I can spread peanut butter on, because I can’t make a brownie to save my life. Not even now. And know that I will ask for help if and when I need it.
I feel better now, maybe I can get a few hours of sleep before I have to get ready for the Dr. I get to see the lovely Mariah tomorrow and get to have some cute baby therapy. She’s so beautiful. I need more babies in my life. I certainly do not need any cats. Ta ta for now chicas and chicos, I am going to try and post this with out throwing this laptop across the room and then hit the pillow and dream of Apple Powerbooks.
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