OK, so here it is folks. Something that I’m not “supposed to say” as one who lives with cancer. Oh and who made up that rule? Me of course.
Time is so precious. I get it! But sometimes things get in the way of you appreciating time– like treatment-induced diabetes and hypoglycemia and eye doctor appointments where they actually put a wire speculum on your eye to keep it open for a shot that hopefully stops abnormal blood vessels from growing– and to try and push yourself against that time and struggle is just too much.
I’m on auto-pilot. The days are a little bit of a blur. I don’t feel quite like myself and I’m not doing much about it.
There, I said it. The hours, minutes, seconds that are so precious when living with an incurable disease have begun to run into each other like a sentence that makes no sense. Perfect because cancer makes no sense.
It’s been over 3 weeks since I heard from my doctor that he doesn’t think my current treatment is working; if it seems like things are moving like molasses-slow it’s because they are. Usually I would have had a plan by now. But my doctor went on vacation (uh, can he do that? I have cancer), and now I’ve been waiting to see another doctor for a different kind of consult (got to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. It’s too huge of a decision to make without doing your homework). And believe me, we’re on the ball. But I guess if they’re in no rush, this means that I’m not about to croak any day, so I take this as a good sign?
It gives me so much time to think about the croaking thing. To think about the choices that I have to make– so grateful that there are choices, but we never really know if we’re picking the “right” thing or not. Nobody can tell us, nothing is a guarantee. We rely on the “one day at a time” and “listening to our intuition” and “doing the best research that we can,” and we give it up to g-d and the universe and pray that these decisions result in more time. More time to find a cure. More life. More love.
Here’s the truth: I’m just going through the motions. Not when it comes to figuring out the next steps of my treatment plan, but just rolling through the days that entail work and cleaning the house and catching up on emails. When my alarm goes off at 7 in the morning I think about how much money I would pay to be able to stay in bed until I’m good and ready to get up. When I’m at work it’s usually a nice distraction from the rest of the world, though some days it’s harder than others to help others. When I rest my head on the pillow at the end of the day I sometimes feel so relieved that I don’t have to talk or write or type or listen or do anything. I just want to close my eyes and not have to do anything. Did I mention that I love doing nothing right now?
Life feels so exhausting right now.
I long to get back to the me who feels in her own body, who feels grounded and filled to the brim with hope and possibility. I long to feel like myself; I can’t put that exactly into words, I’ll just know it when I feel it again.
And, for the first time maybe ever, I let myself release and give in to the universe without any guilt (or as little guilt as I’ve ever felt). I wish that I was taking better care of myself; wish that I hadn’t eaten that (frozen) left-over birthday cake weeks after my birthday, wish that I could move my body even in slow-motion on the arc trainer in my basement, wish that I could sleep more. But I let it go. I stop resisting. This is how it is right now; cake and couch and getting up at 7am M-F. “Let go,” I tell myself when I am rewarded with sleep (or even just with my nice comfy warm bed). I’m not letting go of hope or action and I’m not giving up, I’m just trying to bathe myself in compassion, for all that I have and am going through.
This may actually be what my body and mind need right now: Stop the soul-searching, just be, watch Real Housewives and put off paying the bills and put off even writing because you’re too much in your own head. Don’t do much of what you don’t want to do, because so much time during the week is taken up with doctor’s appointments and needles and tests and too much thinking.
I’m going through the motions all while trying to quiet the commotion in my brain.
These are the thoughts of a cancer patient.