It’s another chemo week and this one is a stark contrast to last time. I’m able to stay awake all day, eat and drink pretty normally and I even went to the gym today and walked 30 minutes on a treadmill. I want to feel relief, reassurance that chemo weeks don’t have to flatten me, but instead my body is tight with fear and anxiety. I remember the suffering and I don’t want to do it again.
I have the ability to grit my way through discomfort and pain and fear and uncertainty. And I think I do it by ignoring all the screaming inside me, silencing it so I can do the awful things I have to do. It’s when it is time to face them again that the traumatic feelings flood me.
Every night that I am hooked up to the chemo pump I get in bed and spend time thanking the pump and imagining the chemo flowing through my body destroying cancer cells. Lately it has been impossible for me to engage in this meditation and I realized last night that it is because I am afraid. I am afraid of the pain in this body and my mind is protecting itself from sinking in and experiencing it. There was no pain in my body last night, but the memory is there and touching it hurts just as much.
I know I have to feel these feelings eventually. I want to. What I keep forgetting is that of course it will be hard to process these experiences and it is okay that I need time to do so. I feel ashamed of my fear, lazy that I don’t jump right in and contribute to my current abilities. So I guess for the next week I will keep reminding myself that it is okay to heal and try to be brave enough to do so.