as the adrenaline of the last month wears off—and i’m fairly certain that is precisely what i was living on—i’m starting to endure the stages of grief. i tricked myself into thinking i had successfully levitated above this process and gone right to acceptance of my disease. it was bound to happen though.
the past few days, what’s been on repeat in my head is, “this can’t be happening to me. i’m so healthy. this isn’t fair. i have so many exciting things to be doing instead of dealing with cancer. this can’t be happening to me.” cancer cancer cancer…i want to punch a hole in the wall. and then i sit here self-loathing for all those times that i wasn’t there for friend or didn’t do something to the best that i could have. that this is some sick game of payback, karma is a bitch, what goes around comes around. and then the bargaining starts. it’s classic textbook. and it’s my life.
this spiral started when we found out that there is cancer in my lymph nodes, and i’m diagnosed as stage II. yes, it’s not stage III or IV, but it’s not stage 0 or I. yes, i could be a leper on the street without arms and legs (thank you, ann) but i could be disease free going happily forward with my life as planned.
it’s just going to be one of those days. likely adding to the fuel to the fire is a drug rash covering my whole torso, my nails starting to chip, and my hair getting all cut off as planned tonight. it’s the ants that symbolize the elephant.
i continue to be surrounded by all this love and joy and generosity. yet, i feel very alone. i’m the only one who has to ultimately take this journey. i have to get through treatments, losing my identifying characteristics, surgery, lending my body to literal poison, and the mental anguish of possible reoccurrence and facing it all over again.
there’s one song that keeps ringing in my ears and captures exactly how i’m feeling today, better than i’m able to articulate here. it’s beautiful, sad, warm and true.
but, as has been and will continue to be, what keeps me going is all of you. despite how i might feel inside today, i look around and see love and goodness in the world. huge heaps of it. brian and lillian got engaged. mandy became a grandma and meredith an aunt. kristin and chris are sharing their vows as I type this (and connie will soon become a mother-in-law!). and then all the other wonderful things you have been sharing with me, while you cheer me on, support me from the sidelines and even run beside me (and for me—thank you Ohio-ans!). i open your notes very carefully, because you and these notes are a precious gift to me. and you just keep giving, and i’m so thankful for you.
so, not a lot of comic relief today—i’ll save that for mike—but a lot of truth.
happy weekending, loving, and sunshining – tomorrow will be better, i know it.