Today has been a thankfully appointment free day – other than my psychologist tonight, which is never a big deal. i have been doing mental health therapy for so long that i’ve come to find it soothing, rather than anxiety provoking.
i even have had a nice day. it’s rainy and grey. i have spoken to friends, and saw a beautiful person for lunch, and have two more beautiful visitors this afternoon. i can slowly recap after a long, hard week – knowing this week will be a lot more quiet – only an MRI, and day surgery – and the week after, even gentler, and filled with my long awaited visit to melbourne.
i get to see Dom, i get to see Lachlan, i get to see Eliza. there are a lot of other people i would love to see while i’m there, and i hope i can – dear friends i have known for years – people i know have my arms, figuratively, around me. but i need to see these three people, with a desperation it’s hard to explain. once i have seen them, chemo will be a next step, a movement forward, because i have done something i need to do. i can be excited about the birth of a new tiny person to two of the most incredible people i’ve ever met. i can share time with a woman who saved my life in a dark, dark time, and hear about her life, all the bits that are consumed from mine with cancer. i can see normal things. i can see living. i can see people and they’re young and alive. (smiths reference. i have tried to keep the number of them down). i can see them with my own eyes, and i can just be with them. and it is strange how much i want that, crave it. and how i know i will feel instantly better as soon as i see their faces.
there is, of course, also still sadness and heartache. another friend, one of those close to my heart, is very ill, and going to hospital for an illness that should be viewed as seriously as the cancer i am facing. as i question the use of brave and strong, i think of them with her. but that is not the key with her – the key is that she DOES it. she faces the darkness and the terror of illness, and she just does what she needs to be done, as hard as that is. she keeps going. not fighting, no battle, no attack. just… going. moving. even when it’s sluggish, and hard to breathe and hard to move, and when her illness takes her body to darker places. i am very far away from her, and sadly, getting to her state is just no option for me in the time between chemo starting and now. and this breaks my heart a bit. i want to hold her hand and drink tea with her and knit by her side. but we need to trust doctors, again, we need to trust the bodies will to heal, and to keep going, to keep doing. i wish there was something i could keep doing. i am thinking of a small meaningful thing and everything feels meaningless. and yet i know how much those small things mean to me. they make me cry and they make me feel safe.
both the cats are sleeping with one paw over their faces. they are curled up next to me, with a stuffed toy liver next to me. my little toy liver to me celebrates that, despite the huge number of tumours, and the risk to my life from the cancer, it’s still working! it’s a little hero. i love my body, now, in a complicated way. and i don’t mean ‘i love how i look’ – i mean i love my stomach. i love my brain, and my tongue, and my small intestine and my joints in my ribcage that spasm in pain. for all the pain and terror, this is my body, and it is doing its best against the deal it’s been handed. that’s pretty amazing right?
i am dealing with the second opinion process still. i know it’s actually a vital part of a serious medical problem – especially in the case of advanced cancer in someone who is 30 – ages changes a lot of things – but for some reason it makes me nervous, and scared of hurting people’s feelings. other people are one of the hardest things – i bawled for an hour or so last night because my cancer is hurting other people. it impacts like a ripple in water out further and further. this is how i stopped myself from taking my own life -the image of the rippled waves of suffering my decision would bring. and this is no different than if i had taken my life – no more or less a ‘choice’ but something that happens – and it breaks my heart to see people i love going through this with me. and i know it’s an essential, and beautiful part of being human – the love we provide those we love, when they need it most – the pain and sadness we feel as we watch them feel pain and sadness. but being the point at which it starts? being the cancer spreading in peoples’ lives that otherwise were continuing on with their plans and their thoughts and their ideas of each other? it’s shocking and makes me want to cry and apologise. i apologise a lot. about everything. i feel bad about this, as much for everyone around me as for myself. perhaps more so. if it was someone i loved facing this, i would beg that it would be taken from them, and given to me. save them. save them. it is me though now. and that’s really fucking weird and hard.