strangely ok.

today, we’re heading off to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. it’s a trip we booked long ago, so there’s no point me staying at home, staring into my hands, screeching WHY ME into my computer. i guess.  

warning: entry contains more poop talk. bowel cancer is gross. it’s not a clean, tidy, neat cancer. it’s not one people like to talk about because, at the core, it’s pretty shit. well, it’s more specifically NOT pretty shit. really ugly, gross, revolting shit.  what i eat, how i eat it, and what happens in its food journey are going to become a depressingly  large part of my life, and there’s no hard feelings if that’s not something you want to read. god, i don’t want to go through it.  i’ll try and keep the details as vague and sanitary (HAH) as possible.  at least it gives me an excuse for pretty much infinite poo jokes. 


i’ve noted that, during the day, i feel ok about it all. years of being convinced i have cancer, means certainty makes things easier. i KNOW where it probably is. i know where some of it is. i know they can treat it. i know what i can do.

some things i can do start straight away.  no red meat, at all. it’s really not the best thing for bowel cancer. ditto for any sort of processed meat. it’s actually carcinogenic. no drinking, whatsoever, until the treatment is over. these are obvious things, but stating them feels powerful. i can do this.  take sedatives at night – enough to stay asleep, enough to stay calm.  use non sedating sedatives during the day. there is no shame in this, at all, and every doctor supports me. i need to be calm.  

weird thing that has happened:

i am scared of pooping. like, freaked out.  this is where it lies. it is… somewhere… lurking in there. near there.  and i have to engage with the cancer, in an abstract way, every day.  this abstractly horrifies me. and abjectly horrifies me. (abject! i can make ABJECT jokes. haven’t been able to do that since art school).  my poop is not some benign careless gross IBS troubled beast anymore. it’s attached to cancer.

another .. not weird, but notable thing: i realised a lot about how i felt about cancer – the word cancer, the idea of being Someone With Cancer.  i realise that it’s one of those things in life that i thought would make you have a massive shift. like home ownership, or virginity, or starting an adult job.  and yet, nothing feels different. something seismic has shifted below the surface – in terms of my own understanding of what has been there for a long long time – and nothing in my own mind has, in terms of a large, ‘i feel different’ sort of way. i feel exactly the same. just integrating the understanding of how my life is about to shift. my life is. i am not. i am the same as i was two weeks ago before i knew i had cancer, and just thought my liver was silly.  or two months ago when i felt sick all the bloody time. or a year ago, when i was getting excited about moving into the apartment we just bought.  i had cancer then too. i probably have had cancer for a long time, given that it’s spread.  nothing is different. i am exactly the same, and i feel exactly the same.  

on the road now.   


About elizabeth

various things.
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One Response to strangely ok.

  1. im sorry you are going through this. i have IBS too and this is a reminder for me to stay on top of it.
    i hope you will be okay and get through this.

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