How do you think I feel?

I hate this. I hate radiation. Every day, five days a week, I lay on a table for fifteen minutes and think about having cancer. And every day, I’m flooded with emotions. I am sad. 

How do I know this is going to keep the cancer from coming back? How do I know that it’s not already in my liver? In my brain? In my lymph nodes? As long as I have to have daily radiation, I’m reminded of all of my fears. 

We opened our new business this week, a restaurant and bakery. So many people are coming in. I don’t know all of them, but they know me, and they know I am being treated for cancer. They know Amelia and I because we owned a bar until recently, and many of them have also been following my blog. My hair is growing back a little, but it’s still obvious that I had chemo. I feel exposed. 

All of the above was written by Amelia. I wanted to know what she thought I was feeling so she wrote it from my perspective. She knows me well enough to be able to write as me. Almost.

I don’t hate radiation, but hate is a word I carelessly use. At my core I just don’t believe in hate.

Radiation sucks. I don’t like it, and yes I think about cancer while I lie on that table listening to some sappy soft rock song piped in. Today it was Time After Time, Tuesday it was Just Breathe, Monday it was Landslide.  -sigh-

Cancer has brought out the sadness in me. I have known sadness too well in my life. Right now, cancer is about loss: body part, hair, any sense of control. Loss, left unchecked, can sometimes turn into sadness, but not always. (I lost my credit card the other day – I was not sad. Pissed off? Yes.)

Yes, I think about cancer recurrence. Aches and pains have a whole new meaning to me now. My neck hurts. Is it in my lymph nodes? My ribs are sore. Is it in my bones? I see a bright spot in my vision. Is it in my brain? Then I forget about it, because we’re busy starting a new business.

There’s yet another level of feelings about cancer when you’re opening a restaurant. We are already fairly well-known in our community, and I’ve been very public about cancer. There are a lot of people that I don’t know who are genuinely concerned about my well-being, asking questions – just being really real and it hits me hard sometimes. I found myself in the restaurant kitchen with tears in my eyes a few times this week. The caring was too much. It shined a light on me that I am not quite ready for.

I feel like I was partially erased during the past seven months. I disappeared from the public view, and now I’m back. And it’s different. I’m different. This is what starting over feels like.






10 responses

  1. Oh, the music. Wth? I think they should let you pick the music. I mean, it is your life, you should get to at least pick the soundtrack.
    On the other part about people and the restaurant: I know when I come in to experience the new awesome venue that you both have created that I will be overjoyed to see you and my first thought will be to want to hug you even though I have never hugged you before, but I will restrain my urge. I will put my love out to you with my smile and the the light from my heart. I have a lot of love for you both with a lot of respect and admiration tossed in too. And just letting you know that is like a hug, right?! XOXOXOXO couldn’t resist the Xs and Os. Have an amazing day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love to you both! Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris. 8 years later and I associate radiation with the music and the feeling of exposure/invasion. Keep on trucking, and huge congrats on the opening! I hope the cancer chapter recedes into faint memory very soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. you’ve done such a great job with this blog – sharing with those who read it what it’s like for you …. it’s been a huge gift for me in helping me understand my sister’s experience with breast cancer…. she chose to stop her chemo 2 months early due to getting blood clots in her lungs and legs – scary but she took control of it and just finished her radiation month – holding breath now – waiting to exhale….thanks so much for being so open and honest – congrats on the opening … hope to make it up tomorrow night to toast you both and the Hive and the future….big love -Barbara

    Liked by 3 people

  4. There are so many layers of loss during this whole cancering experience, and I can totally relate to how uncomfortable it can be to feel the sincere concern of near strangers. Someone told me that I belonged to my community, and it helped me to see that the attention wasn’t even really personal, which helped me relax about it some. (I too was a founder of a popular bakery cafe, and in the public eye of our small town.)
    I wish you well on your path – please remember to take time to rest and heal- restaurant work is never ever done, but usually will wait till the next day.
    warm regards-
    p.s. thanks for following my blog – how did you find it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hope you are starting to feel better. I finished radiation Friday. I felt nothing much in the beginning, but god damn at week 5 the fatigue hit big time. I’m not much of a nap taker but I’ve had to give in to the nap this past week, and hour or so a day. Remember to eat a good amount protein, it helps a lot with healing up the damage the radiation will do. We are sending lots of love and good vibes to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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