I’m sure I’ll return to my regularly scheduled smile momentarily.
But today was one of those days. One of which days you ask?
One of those days when having cancer is really lonely and hard and no one understands because even friends you have who have had cancer haven’t had YOUR cancer and even if they did, it wasn’t TWO cancers.
I don’t have time to waste on wondering how I got to have this unbelievably shitty luck. Until this actual moment of wondering what you’d be wondering, the thought never crossed my mind.
Maybe only women who have been pregnant will understand this yearning for something you need to resolve an appetite, that your body and seemingly your soul seems to crave but that for the life of you, you just can’t seem to provide.
Today that thing was understanding.
That’s not to say my family and friends aren’t supportive.
My best girlfriends are trying to nudge me out of my rut, reading and responding to my updates. One of them, who had cancer before me, will be with me tomorrow.
My youngest sister is telling me how strong I am and how I’ll get through them and how God is in control.
They all have the right words and are doing the right things.
I’m just beyond comfort right now.
Inside my head I’m clawing the walls, wondering how worthwhile this life is that I’m trying to save. What is so great that I’m giving to the world? I can’t even make a living any more.
Sure I’ve done pretty good things before. But am I coasting on those accomplishments? Do I have more to do?
And if I do when will I ever get to do them?
My mother called me when I was ready to come downstairs at 3 pm, after a day of struggling with both my bone and back pain. She asked me how I was and why she hadn’t heard from me since she came back from work.
Ironically I had been laying there thinking how sad I was that she had to work, and how grateful I was that we even had that option.
That’s not completely true because I was doing several things.
I was also talking to my body, trying to get to know it better. It’s hard to describe the sensation of having a body you knew well, for all its flaws, turn into something else entirely.
Even with the steroids, I haven’t gained much weight, though I feel every pound. But looking like I was pregnant with all my lymph nodes swollen, then being bloated from fluids. Rashes in places people don’t get rashes – who has rashed inside their elbow and on their clavicle?
Aches in places you didn’t know existed. Inside my spine, deep in my legs, the folds of skin between my toes. Whose idea was this?
Twas the night before chemo.
There are no words in existence to convey the amount that I don’t want to go to chemo tomorrow. Then I have to get up and go again on Wednesday.
Then come three weeks of after effects and symptoms. And as soon as I feel well enough, a little like myself?
Biopsy time! And a game show called Let’s Find Out What Kind of Cancer Is In Your Chest.
What do I win?
Cancer or… wait for it? CANCER.
And surgery or chemo or radiation or everything because let’s fuck with Tinu again, she hasn’t had enough.
It’s just a bad day.
It’s just a bad day. I keep telling myself that this is not me, it’s the pain talking. Of course I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t in pain. So what does that mean?
It’s just a bad day. I want to believe that with all my heart. Believe that I’m going to wake up in the morning and my sunshine will be back. And the people I reached out to when I was in pain and didn’t reach back will be back from wherever they went.
It’s just a bad day. And I’d like to think that once I get through this day, and find something funny to watch until I get sleepy, and read one of the dozens of books in this room, and fall asleep, things will be better.
But no matter how I get out of this day, this stupid miserable day?
I have chemo tomorrow.
Someone’s going to punch a needle into the mediport in my chest and I’m going to sit there and hope my reaction to the immunotherapy drug isn’t too harsh. And read books and pretend this doesn’t suck donkey balls.