During treatment I just had to get through it. Shopping therapy was part of getting through it. I told myself, if I get to the other end in one piece, I will have the luxury of paying bills, doing my taxes etc... So now I'm at the other end, and all of a sudden the bills have landed!
So while I'm navel gazing about life, death and everything in between, the inane reality of living has hit home. And it's nice.
Yesterday I tried to go to the cinema but felt really tired after an hour. Harry Potter is way too harrowing for someone who has only been out of hospital for 2.5 weeks. It's only been 2.5 weeks, but it seems so much longer for some reason.
The mind has an amazing way of protecting itself from trauma, or maybe being on steroids and anti anxiety medication has.
A few days ago I had a phone conversation with someone who was the partner of a cancer survivor. I probably should have waited before I had that conversation because she hasn't really worked through the trauma of their journey and is still quite anxious about the future.
I don't know what it's like for the support person because I've only been the sick person. I suppose it is quite scary for them to lose someone they love, but I admit I've not really thought too much about how my partner has been coping because I know of people, especially men, move on after the death of their partners. My anxiety is more around my son - I just can't die on him. I just can't.
I listened to Lance Armstrong's second book last night to calm myself down after having an anxiety attack at the cinema. It's weird because part of me is still me - the one that would have been indignant that the usherette wouldn't let my partner bring in some food from outside for me, but part of me is the post cancer me and I really couldn't care less.
I drew strength from Lance Armstrong after a 21 year old kid I met in hospital told me about Livestrong. I read his biography and his description of chemo (chapter 6) was pretty close to my experience with chemo. The way he dealt with his diagnosis was the way I did.
Imagine the pressure on the guy to survive.
I don't think about relapse. Why should I if my doctors aren't expecting me to? I don't think about the side effects. Each person's different and I believe the human mind and body can regenerate. But I do have to confront my fear of dying. Maybe I've always had that fear but it's been abstract.
I'm beginning to accept that it just happened and even if it didn't just happened and I caused it, there's no point in berating myself because it's happened. I can't turn back the clock.
I'm beginning to understand the idea of losing one's innocence when you get diagnosed young. I know I'm closer in age to my 50 year old friend than my 18 year old friend, but I really feel closer to 18 years old. I've never felt my age. I've always felt a lot younger. But at the same time, I couldn't imagine what getting diagnosed 10 years earlier at 24 years old would be like. I had the luxury of thinking I was invincible for 33 years. It's what young people should feel.
I have another psych visit in the new year. It's less than 2 weeks away. I'm just going to blahhhhhhh blog until then.
I have a great support co-ordinator from the Cancer Council, I might give her a call. And the Cancer Council sponsored a few counselling sessions. The phone counselling was a bit bullshit - I ended up finding out more about the woman on the other end and her daughter's abusive relationships.
I know that I'm grieving the loss of my fertility. I already have my son, but I really thought right now I'd be pregnant and not a cancer survivor, so I have to mourn the loss of that.
The irony is now that I feel completely fucked physically, things couldn't be more positive in my career - something I thought I cared about and wanted to make some leaps and bounds in. Although with the bills I have, maybe it's not such a bad thing that people are calling me again with proposals etc... I just can't be arsed with that aspect of my life, but the longer I survive, the longer I'll have to deal with it because it'll be part of the new normal.
The weather is really bad today. It's grey and raining, but I'm still going to jump into the ocean. I feel less stressed when I go in for a little bit. I really really hate being couped up at home, even though I have a nice home.
It's nice having a place to mind dump. I kept a blog during my cancer treatment to keep people updated, but I just didn't want to be so out there once treatment finished.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.