Tuesday, September 17, 2013
One Ticket to Crazy Town Please
This is the third attempt at a blog entry in a week and hopefully I can finally write something that makes sense, is worth reading and accurately captures what is happening in my head right now. It is jumbled and messy - thoughts are stop starting all the time. I feel like I am on a one way train to Crazy Town.
I remember feeling similarily the last time I finished treatment - mixed up, directionless, anxious and just abit lost. Finishing treatment is a great thing and from the outside looking in, one would imagine you would feel so relieved and happy to be done with such a horrible thing. But what you don´t know is that when you are categorised as a "patient", you can lean on it like a crutch. People don´t expect as much from you and you are allowed to just be. However when you are done, expectations return and many people think that you are automatically back to normal. But the truth is that you never really get back to any kind of normal ever again because my definition of normal is forever changed. Just living is good enough. It is also scary to lose the routine and comfort that comes with a set plan that you must simply follow through, no questions asked. But then suddenly you are cut loose, to navigate the world again without the safety net that strangely comes with cancer. When you walk out those doors after that last treatment, I compare the feeling to walking straight off a cliff. Freefalling into nowhere and having no clue where you will land. Many fellow patients have echoed this sentiment at the close of their treatments as well so I am not the only soldier in this boat. I guess it is important for the people supporting someone who has battled cancer to remember that things don´t necessarily get easier when things are done and that we actually might require even more support when the cancer curtain closes. I have thoughts that overwhelm me and this suffocating pressure to get my life back to normal now but then my body forces me to remember what it has been through. I think last weekend was a tough love lesson from my own body to tell me to slow the f#c% down. Do I listen? Not always. Like today - something happened when I woke up that threw me into another hysterical tailspin. I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off and my husband was cool as a cucumber. I thought to myself - why can´t I stop sweating the small stuff? I had cancer for god´s sake - this isn´t life or death. And this anger...god where is it coming from? I feel so much of it right now - at people, situations...I wanted to scream at this man who took the last 2 bbq chickens at the shop recently while I stood beside him clearly waiting for the same thing! I wanted to pull out my cancer card and shove it in his face. Of course I am a classy lady and did nothing of the kind but boy did I want to. And now today with this new situation i have to sort out - I just don´t feel like I have the capacity to manage it but I have to and it makes me so mad. Why can´t anything go smoothly I ask - dear universe? (Yes I am playing the victim today so just deal with it) Why can´t you give my husband and I, some kind of a break? So much of our life together has felt like this uphill battle and I can´t help but turn all the blame and anger towards CANCER! I keep thinking that we would never be dealing with this or that if cancer had not come to town, not once but twice. And this poisonous anger seeps its way into all aspects of my life right now. It hardly brings out the best in me so I use my reserve energy to project the image that everything is okay. I do my hair, I put on nice clothes, I do what has to be done in the house to keep it clean, I write a little love note to my daughter in her lunch box and I try to be a good wife. It isn´t like there is an option to simply fall apart but boy do I have the urge to smash a few plates on the wall. Maybe it is part of being a woman and a mother that forces us to dig deep and hang on for dear life. Just because I feel like parts of me are crumbling, it doesn´t mean that my daughter´s hair won´t be brushed and plaited every morning. Just because I want to scream, it doesn´t mean that I can´t kiss my husband goodnight. Just because I feel obsolete sometimes, it doesn´t mean that I can´t be there to support a friend go through her own pain. I have written about this before but I will mention it again and again because it is probably one of the most important lessons I have learned through my cancer experience. Everyone has got their something - some of us cope with our challenges differently so it is essential that those of us that are stronger have a responsibility to be there for those who feel weak. Just because I have had cancer, it doesn´t mean i can´t be a shoulder to cry on for someone else. Life isn´t a competition and it isn´t a contest of who is most miserable or worse off. We just need to be there for one another as much as we can. Life is hard enough don´t you think?