Weekly Update #6

It’s been a week since my visit to MD Anderson revealed so much good news. I can feel the joy from everyone around me, but I’m feeling unmoved by it. Part of it is that while I am so happy to have years and years ahead of me, they’re going to be years and years in this pattern of chemo every other week and a scan every few months. I want so badly to be positive, but I’m not excited about the treatment plan that I have for the foreseeable future. I know that I should appreciate that I defy every statistic, but right now I’m sad to be the one who ended up in this situation.

As I have been struggling in the weeks before and after my scan, I’ve noticed that I’ve been avoiding my self-care. I am not talking self-care like treating myself to a new tube of lipstick. I am talking self-care like getting outside for a walk and drinking enough water and slowing down and dealing with my swirl of emotions. I have been actively leaning away from it towards goals. Goals like reading a certain number of books in a year or knitting a sweater by an arbitrary deadline. I like goals. I am a planner and a high achiever. Goals makes me feel good, I like working towards something. And it is hard for me to admit that I can’t have as many goals as I would like. It feels like I must be doing great if I have time to dream about getting things done – I said so just a few weeks ago. And these goals aren’t bad, they are all hobbies that bring me joy. But when they’re used as a distraction rather than a comfort I know I’m off balance and need to readjust.

I guess I am upset about that, too. I want to be able to frivolously try to finish a sweater by Rhinebeck, not leave hours a day available for the sitting and feeling that I have to do. I think I am onto the right start with my emotions. It’s time for some more anger and frustration and disappointment. I like to be serenely accepting always, but that’s not realistic. I get to feel about the news of the past few months and it’s time to do so.

4 thoughts on “Weekly Update #6

  1. I’m SO SO SO delighted to hear the good news, but can only imagine the roller coaster of emotions you are on. Self care is of the utmost importance. Take the time to allow yourself to feel all of the feelings – they are important to acknowledge and embrace, and then send off if they are not helpful to you. xoxoxoxox – K

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  2. We don’t know each other – I only “know” you from Ravelry and IG like so many others, but I had to reach out and tell you how greatly this post reasonates with me. I have been struggling with chronic pain for the past 4 years, with no “end” in sight. It’s a far cry from your struggles with cancer, but I can relate to so much in this post, and others of your as well. I, too, find that the self-care becomes something I avoid. It is a full time job just to take care of myself, and I go through so many phases where I just don’t want to. I know those things help, but I just want to be “normal” and do what I want each day, not just the things I should do for my health. And productivity? Forget what I used to get done, make, accomplish. Instead each day is different from the last and my body only lets me do so much.

    Anyway, I’m just trying to say thank you for saying the things I am often not brave enough to acknowledge, even to myself, let alone others. I have found that chronic illness has been so isolating, but shared feeling like yours help, even just a little. Thank you for your honesty and bravery to share. And no, you don’t have to be a “perfect cancer patient”!

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    • I really appreciate all of this, Faye. I agree with you that chronic illness is so isolating. I am able to share, and I am finding it therapeutic. I’ll be thinking of you and hoping that you have far more good days than bad.

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