Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Voices in my head

It is 4:50 am and I can't sleep. Several reasons for that. I am sleeping on the couch, not all that comfortable, my brain is very loud with chatter about all sorts of stuff and I am back to having hot flushes courtesy of the hormone therapy.

Why am I on the couch?

My mum arrived from interstate last night and she is sleeping in my bed. I did start out on the very swish inflatable mattress that she bought me, however I woke soon after with a sinking feeling and my hip pressed into the cold floor - it seems it has a leak and deflated itself. So I moved to the couch.

Why is my brain chattering?

Waiting for the results of the test to determine whether I have chemo is proving to be quite hard. I think I am most anxious about the possibility that the results wont be definitive one way or the other and then we will be back to weighing up benefits vs (whatever the opposite of that is) and  having to decide.

For me there will be emotional fall-out whether I do I don't have to have chemo. But I won't delve into my weird psyche around that until I have an answer one way or the other. 
(ah the anticipation of another post to keep you all coming back)

The other voice talking loudly in my head is "what am I supposed to do with this cancer experience"

I got an email the other day from my old manager who is also now a good friend and she wrote

“A little more than 6 weeks on and sometimes people forget that your life has been changed forever and nothing is as it was. “

6 weeks on and my physical wounds are healing really well and to the outside world, and to many of those in my inside world, I don’t look any different.

Am I different? I struggle with that.

I was in fact driving along yesterday trying to work out why I can't get my head around this cancer thing and no surprises, but what I realised was that I can't because I don’t want to. I wish it would all just go away and I could go back to where I was before. And I was quite happy there.

I don’t think I needed something to give me a kick up the arse to make me stop and see what I had, appreciate what was important and value the people I love. I was actually doing a pretty good job at all of that.

Seems cancer doesn’t follow one of those predictable Hollywood scripts – the one where the bastard who has spent all her* life accumulating material things, shitting on her co-workers, taking her friends and family for granted and then BAM she gets diagnosed with cancer and after she has recovered from her gruelling treatment (where of course she still looks glamorous through it all)
she suddenly sees, with great clarity, the folly of her ways and makes peace with everyone and lives happily ever after in a state of zenful bliss.

Reality is, most of us who get cancer are just plodding along, doing the best we can, being the good enough parent, partner, friend, co-worker.

OK I can’t speak for the entire cancer population but I can speak for myself.

When I was diagnosed the first time, my life had found a new balance. S had just started school, N was at pre-school, I was working 3 days a week, going to the gym, training for a half marathon, fit and healthy.

Fast forward 15 years and here I was getting ready to enter into the next life stage with S about to turn 21, studying interstate, N about to finish high school, a challenging job in a great team and sharing it all with an amazing partner.

 This all presupposes that cancer is somehow sent to us to teach us a lesson. And I am  sure that that is not the case.

But I’m not all that sure where I am heading with this ( it is after all 5:45 am and I have been up most of the night) but I do feel that there is this kind of weight of expectation that I should use this cancer thing to
make some changes, bring forward some decisions and re-think what it is I want for myself.

Or maybe that is just the pressure I place on myself. (OK for those of you who know me well you are probably all nodding your heads and going D'OH)

Perhaps I need to take my own advice when I wrote in the Now What...? books and that is that it is OK to come out of this whole thing still being the same, faults and all. (I wonder if you need to reference something when you are quoting your own work?)

So where does that leave me and you, my loyal readers?

Not sure. But I do know that I will have to find the leak in the mattress so it will stay inflated all night and I can get some sleep. And some meditation ( and perhaps some medication) to help me quieten my chattering mind.

In the meantime I am going to focus on today - a very special day. N is graduating from high school. Not sure who is more excited - him or me. I am very proud of him - school hasn't always been the easiest place for him to be and he has had some tough stuff to deal with. But he has had a great final year and has surprised many (not his mum) with how he as finished up. 

So here we are - the sun is up, I am wide awake and finally the loudest voice in my head can shut up - I have written another blog post!

I am as always

P xx
* in the interest of equality the bastard is  a she in this movie

1 comment:

  1. I have so many things to say.
    Firstly, I have never had an inflatable mattress that survived it's first use, they are completely useless.
    Secondly, you are a darling girl to sleep on the couch for your mum.
    Thirdly, cancer has a lot of mythologising around it and that irritates me a lot. People talk about 'battling' cancer, being a cancer 'victim' or 'survivor' and, whilst I don't mean to diminish how hard it is to deal with cancer treatment, I HATE this. Actually having cancer must feel a bit like being hit with a stick and then the weight of expectation that you deal with it valiantly and not complain must be awful. Love from me.
    Fourthly, I hope that your mama is keeping you busy and that the waiting period is over soon.
    Best wishes to N! Look at you with 2 kids who've finished school, you are streets ahead of me darling.