The trauma of cancer does not go away.
I’ve talked about it before and time hasn’t change the deep feelings of grief that I have. Most of us have directly experienced a significant trauma or loss and most of us do the same thing: repeat the traumatic event over and over in our heads trying to make some sense out of it, trying to process it. I am still doing that. I am on repeat in my head, and out loud at times.
I’ve slowed down on writing because lately the same feelings keep bubbling up that I’ve already written about: loss, grief and sadness. I’ve had a body part amputated, lymph nodes removed, my insides fried, endured terrible side effects, and lost my hair. I am a different person physically and emotioanlly than I was three months ago. I have to figure out how to live with this for the rest of my life.
I don’t really want to dwell on my dark thoughts, but I don’t want to hold on to them either. Letting go of them is extremely hard. There are too many “what ifs” to wrap my mind around.
Lately I keep thinking of the future, and what I need to get done to ensure Amelia’s future if I’m not here, if I die from cancer. HER2+ breast cancer is notorious for recurring years down the road in places like your brain, bones, and liver. My dark thoughts tell me it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when, so I need to finish this building, open the business, build another teardrop trailer, re-do the bathroom. The fact is, I could be with Amelia for another 100 years and it still wouldn’t be enough time. She is what grounds me to this world.
I have paranoid moments when a flash of light catches my eye or my vision gets foggy and I think, It’s in my brain. An ache in my right side, It’s in my liver. A creak in my bones, It’s in my spine.
There are no reassurances about anyone’s future, but even more so with cancer. When people say, “You’ll beat this,” they are reassuring themselves, not me. Though nothing is written in stone, I got a glimpse at what my death could look like. I could be going through all of this just to die. And I need to figure out how to live with that.
Agh, I totally feel you.
Two things. One, mind over matter. Who knows if it’s real, who knows if it works, but do what you can to stay positive and focus on the fact that you’re being cured. Trust me, I KNOW how hard that is, but just try to keep it somewhere inside. You’re being cured.
Two, you’re not doing this to die. You’re doing this to live – and if it’s for another month or another 50 years, isn’t every moment worth it? Waking up next to Amelia for one more morning – worth it. Seeing the sun for one more day – worth it. We can only do as much as we can and you’re doing it. And no matter how much time it gives you, that’s your time, time you earned by fighting your ass off.
Maybe it will come back. Or maybe this will all be a tale you tell when you’re 85. Either way, you can’t change it and you’re shaping your future in the most proactive way you can. You should be proud of yourself. I’m proud of you.
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I will not post here my full thoughts or situation, but I am in a lot of pain and many people can’t say why, and treatment is going on on many fronts (including acupuncture!)—but I WILL tell you, when even in my “bad days” I think of you and your strength with your physical current events. Just…so you know. Rock on.
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