You guys. This cancer stuff–I fear I am hovering just above the edge of something and I don’t like it. I don’t know what it is, where it is going to take me, but it feels ominous.
Surgery seems easy, in hindsight. Healing wounds and binding musculature back together is so straightforward. You feel the pain, you take a painkiller. You know you are one day closer to healing.
This- chemo- feels so different. I feel sick but I can’t put my finger on how I feel sick. It feels real, but also like I could be making the whole thing up, à la Yolanda Hadid’s mysterious Munchausen. Do I feel this terrible or is my mind telling me I should?
For a brief while, chemo seemed almost romantic. Like, ‘look at this glorious mountain of achievement I can stand atop and say I conquered. I will be better than chemo. I will make it my bitch.’
So far, not happening. Nothing glorious about this. I feel shaky, I have a low grade fever, my throat and mouth hurt. My legs are achy, my tastebuds are faulty. The texture of water, as it goes through my mouth and down my throat, feels soft and milky.
This is not the blog post I wanted to write. I want to be your hero. I want to make this look doable. I want to be Queen Grancer who overtakes the silly chemo roadblocks.
But right now all I can think about is time passing. Passing me through this. Squeaking summer away so I am beyond this part. Wishing a beautiful, sunny day to pass me by but begging it to take my children somewhere joyful while we wait.
I signed my baby boy up for full-time daycare today. It feels tragic and I feel defeated. I can’t take care of him the way I should be able to, so I have to give that honor up to a stranger.
I know what you will all say: it is one short stretch of time in their young lives. They may not remember any of this. They will be fine, they will have fun!!
But I will remember. I will always know that I was forced to wave my white flag far earlier than I ever intended to. I am strong, but I am human, too.
My mother in-law lost her 6 year battle to ovarian cancer this January. She had chemo on and off for 5+ years. Every time we spoke, I would ask her how she was feeling and every time she said, ‘I can’t complain.’
I have had 1 round of a light-ish dose of chemo and here I am complaining. This disease is ugly. It not only robs you of your vitality, it robs you of your dignity.
My mother-in-law did not let cancer take her dignity. She was somehow bigger than this. I wish she was here to tell me how to follow her lead, because from where I am standing, composure seems unsustainable.
I am telling you all now, admitting it. I don’t want to do this anymore. What once seemed like a badge of honor I could forever lord over the rest of humanity for having endured, seems like a ball and chain that I can’t carry.
In 6 months time this will be behind me. I will have some of my life back, my kids will have the mother they are going to be denied for the near future. Time will pass, I will soldier on. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Pity party, table for one, please.