Sunday, August 23, 2009

grumpy with a side of bitter

So. I'm done with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy isn't quite done with me; my acupuncturist tells me it could be a year before all the effects dissipate. I'm giving it until my hair grows back, then I'm considering that chapter over. The drugs' job accomplished, everything back to normal. Wouldn't that be grand?

Many people feel a kind of despair when their chemotherapy is over, especially those people who don't have another treatment option. There is nothing to do but wait and see and it is easy to see how that can make one feel helpless. I felt differently about chemo all along, never believing, completely, that it would be the cure. Just that it was an important stopgap. So I don't have quite that same feeling. But I do find myself in a strange place. I have more decisions to make about my treatment, and instead of finding that empowering, I'm feeling irritated and fed up with it all. I just want to get on with my life. Without cancer. There's a big part of me that still doesn't feel like this whole cancer ordeal could possibly be real. Despite major surgery, a torso that hardly feels like mine yet, chemotherapy treatments and plenty of writing (and complaining) about it all, I still can't quite believe it. Isn't that true for many of us? Before I got diagnosed with cancer, I thought it couldn't ever happen to me. I was sure I was doing everything right. I would look at cancer patients, even my best friend, and think "yes, but s/he smoked/didn't exercise/ate poorly/fill in the blank and I don't. I won't get cancer." And here I am. And I hate to say it, but you could be here, too. I hope not, fervently and sincerely. For all that my hope is worth. 

I haven't been feeling compelled to write lately, and I've been blaming it on the busy summer schedule. But that is only part of it. I don't want to whine or despair here. But sometimes, it is all that I have. I don't want to do any more research about cancer or try to guess what most likely to make it go away for good. I don't want to worry that every little cough means it is my lungs or every little cramp means it's in my abdomen. I don't want to live with this shadow over me for the rest of my life.  

The post that I meant to write was a good deal different from this. I haven't been keeping anyone except the people I see every day very well posted on how the past couple of months have gone for me. So I was going to do a post of little bits of information. Perhaps there is still time to salvage it? Or maybe not, and I should just have a good night's sleep and hope for a better attitude tomorrow.

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