Lately I’ve had the strangest feeling…
I have been angry. I have moments where I can feel the anger bubbling up inside me and I feel like I’m ready to burst. I can feel it as if it were a wave in the ocean pulling me deeper and deeper into its current and away from the pleasant shores. I haven’t allowed myself to really sit in this anger and when I feel it, I try to push it away. I try to redirect it or distract myself in the hopes that if I don’t think about how angry I am, then it will just go away.
Well it hasn’t.
And I haven’t been able to write because I feel like I should be happy. I feel I should be positive and peppy and everything that I tell people I am. But I started this blog because I wanted it to be something that someone who is also experiencing this can relate to and I cannot be true to that without being honest.
So here it is. Raw and uncut.
I feel angry. I feel enraged. Most of all…. I feel betrayed. Betrayed by my own body. Betrayed by my blood. My body is literally trying to kill itself from the inside out and I cannot get over that detail. It frustrates me. It frustrates me that I feel this way and it frustrates me that I am angry. It frustrates me that I feel like I cannot leave my house. I get paranoid that someone will see me and say “oh, she must not be sick. She’s out and about.”
And in these moments of anger, I don’t want to be consoled. I feel like I’ve been trying so hard to stay positive for so long that I have been denying myself my own emotions. Denying myself the catharsis of being enraged. Being so fucking mad that I have cancer and that I feel like everything I was working towards is on hold.
What will I do when I go back to work? When am I going to go back to work? What happens if I do go back and I realize that I cannot catch up to where I was or that I won’t remember how to do things. I’m worried I’ll be tired all the time. And how will I live on my own? I cannot move to Manhattan again. I need to stay close to my doctors. I can’t buy a house… I don’t have the money or the income to do so right now. And maybe I am overwhelming myself and maybe I’m not supposed to have the answers.
I didn’t realize how much of a control freak I was until I got cancer.
I realize that I’m jumping around and that some of this is a bit incoherent. But I feel like a mess in these past few weeks. I feel like I’m going crazy. I know I should “keep a schedule” and all of that but I can’t right now. Because I get so tired my sleeping patterns are all over the place. If I wake up early, I get tired and I nap. If I wake up late, I cannot sleep. I tried waking up early and not napping for the past two weeks and it made me irritable during the day. It feels like I’m not doing enough. I feel like I’m not doing enough. And then I feel like I’m being lazy and I get angry at myself for being lazy and guilty for sleeping so much and putting off the things I want to do. I feel frustrated that I’ve gained the weight that I lost before back and then some and I feel frustrated that I cannot completely dive into something to help me take it off again. I feel ashamed for snapping at my parents and my friends when I feel angry. I feel like my heart aches and I cannot explain why. I feel frustrated that I cannot completely and accurately convey why I am so angry and so hurt and I feel frustrated that I cannot seem to find someone who can completely understand.
I feel alone in this stupid fucking CLL bubble and I feel resentment when I see that it’s easier to talk about the more popular cancers… Breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and everything else in between. And then I feel horrible because everything and everyone is valid in talking about them.
I feel scared. I am afraid of dying. I am afraid of being irrelevant when I die. I have dreams of drowning a lot lately and maybe it’s just me drowning in all my fears. I wake up and gasp for air and I look around grateful that I left Death in my dreams and then I remember that Death is inside my body.
I got a text from my oncologist telling me today that my blood counts are finally closer and closer to being regulated and it made me happy and then suddenly afraid again. What if I am reacting well now and then I bounce right back? What if I don’t qualify for CAR-T therapy or it doesn’t work? What if it does work? What if it works and I’m okay and how will I go back to my life after this?
Who am I after this? Will I still want the same things I wanted? Am I supposed to do a TED talk about my experience and live a much more fascinating life of traveling?
I was beginning to figure out who I was.
And then I got cancer.
And now I have no fucking idea.