A writer I enjoy, jaylake
, is struggling through his second go-round with cancer, and today he wrote this:Luckily, my temperament and lifestyle have equipped me to think in layers without unhealthy compartmentalization, so I am able to recognize that except for the pain in my left and right chest, I feel pretty good, and respond accordingly. Part of the journey of cancer is managing the things that pop into my head, and keeping myself on track.
Now I know that cancer is worse than anything I'm dealing with right now, but reading his posts I know that Jay has hope that he'll get through chemo and life will return to some semblance of normal, even though there will be huge changes for him.
When I lived in MD, and for my first two years in LA I was mostly able to do that. Compartmentalize the bad parts (pain, hormone imbalance, mild depression because of low thyroid levels, etc); treat the issues as needed and get on with my life even when I wasn't happy about the problems, treatments or side effects.
Sometime last fall when my brain began failing I forgot how to do that; how important putting the bad aside and continuing to really live is. Instead I was fighting with myself constantly, trying to hold onto something that is quite likely gone.
I'm still not all the way there, but I'm working on it. I have repeatedly said that "I want my life back". But I have my life, I just have to adjust to the fact that it's not the same and probably never will be. I have to accept that and move forward.
Today is a good day for me. I hurt, but not too much (6/10 atm, not enough to make me throw up, no pain meds yet, although I'll probably take a flexoril later). I have created, printed and mailed holiday cards to my immediate family. I made lunch without injuring myself or needing help. I'm caught up on job applications and now I'm catching up online. T and I will probably go dancing tonight at
And I'll end this post with a link from shadesong
I need to be mindful of these things, these words and ideas. I am not superhuman; there are things I can do that others with my condition can't, but that doesn't make me not disabled, nor does it make me less of a person. I can and will accept these changes, learn how to be happy with all the good things in my life, and acknowledge the bad without letting it take control.