Today … was like coming home, after a long trip. That’s what true friendships and love are …. it’s like coming home. I was finally able to meet up with some friends today and it was a good day. Good days have been far and few in between this winter.
I find myself trying so hard to be strong. Sometimes, I feel so alone, going through cancer, trying not to be a burden to anyone … but then you let your guard down and realize who truly has your back.
I try to put a big smile on my face but at times, all I want to do is curl up and die. Just give up. But then I find myself lucky enough to spend a couple of hours surrounded by friends and my smile is genuine. I still want to curl up, but not die. Lately, I have been too weak for much. But today was a good day. A day of genuine connection. I felt a part of something. And sometimes, that is all we need. Today was a day of hope and hugs.
People ask me on the bad days what chemo is like, how I am feeling – and although I consider myself articulate, I have a really difficult time explaining it. It’s difficult to describe the forest from the trees, right? Chemotherapy side effects are worse than cancer, that’s for sure. With cancer, most of the time you’d hardly know it if some doctor didn’t tell you. I mean, I was pretty hard up by the time they found it in me, but sometimes cancer can go all the way to stage IV and you’d never know it.
Chemo, on the other hand, you can never forget that. Not for a second. There’s no ignoring chemotherapy. It invades every cell by the end of it. You spend months marinating in a stew of toxic wastes that are out to kill you. And I don’t think that’s overly-dramatic. You try it sometime and see if I’m not right. The exhaustion, the pain, the numbness, the forgetfulness, the vague feelings, the full yet empty stomach, the nausea… so many things, feelings. The exhaustion never totally leaves me, and I can’t stand very long, and today was not really different, except that I felt okay, accepted, no one made me feel bad. I got to sit like a statue and was surrounded by good friends… making new memories. Embracing life…with grace in my step and hope in my heart. Not giving up – on people, nor myself.