Each day, I get a little better at remembering to write ’09’ when I’m dating my patient documentation at work. I’m not as certain about whether I have recovered my usual, former realistic optimism, as I like to call it, the outlook I had toward life-before-cancer. Being diagnosed with cancer takes a big bite out of one’s optimism, one’s confidence about facing the future, one’s eagerness to face whatever that future may hold.
There have been & continue to be many days for me when I’ve had one of those “I want my mommy” moments. These are moments when I’m just sick & tired of being sick & tired, when I don’t want to do this grownup stuff anymore, when I wish someone would just tuck me in bed, make me a bowl of tomato soup & a peanut butter sandwich & read me a story.
I’m tired of being responsible, of facing difficulty, of solving problems, of making decisions, of holding myself accountable. When you are faced with a life-threatening disease, you have to deal with a kind of uber-responsibility for your own self-preservation. It’s very difficult for joy & light-heartedness & humor & fun to survive. Difficult, although not impossible. That’s the oddly encouraging & entirely remarkable thing about surviving cancer — just the mere yet monumental journey one makes from feeling that the cancer is bigger than you, to realizing that you are bigger than it. That’s a very powerful thing, once you get past that post-traumatic freaking out that you do once you get over the big hurdles & can let your guard down a little.
I’ve definitely stopped freaking out on a more or less continual basis. But I still have these moments of enormous spiritual weariness, when I look at the road behind me & freak out just a little bit, all over again.
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