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.