Carry That Weight
After finding out I had cancer last summer, a lot of people told me that getting through treatment, while physically challenging, was actually the easy part. Many former cancer patients informed me that the hard part came after treatment. When there is no more end goal in mind and medical schedule to focus on. But rather, being thrust back into the real world after having just gone through a traumatic ordeal, and pretending like you’re happy to be back at it.
It wasn’t my intention to disappear from the blog for a couple weeks. But these days, writing is a lot more forced. The only reason to update was for all of you reading out there, and I felt I had little to benefit from it.
That’s not to say there’s been nothing to blog about. I’m still in the kitchen cooking up a storm and experimenting with new recipes. I’ve even made up a few of my own. I got my first infection since starting chemo – a tooth infection. I’m on penicillin right now and the excruciating pain in my lower-right wisdom tooth has thankfully subsided. I’m getting my wisdom teeth out next month. I would have done it sooner, but you’re not allowed to go to the dentist when on chemo.
I’ve heard from a lot of fellow cancer patients and their caretakers. People who have gone through the crazy roller coaster ride that is cancer. We share war stories and tell each other we’re doing the best we can. It helps, a lot. And keeps me coming back to blog in case I can reach another fellow patient out there.
Many months back, I said it was hard to go through an illness under a microscope, and I stand by that. Although I was quite vocal about my experience both on the blog and with the local media, I really just did it because I wanted people to know that cancer is not a death sentence. No matter what it looked like from the outside, I was not a poor sickly bald girl to look down upon. I was living with cancer, with my personality and sense of humour intact. Cancer takes a lot of things, but it doesn’t take away a person’s spirit.
As time goes on, I find myself wanting more and more privacy. I am still trying to deal with what I went through, and I just can’t yet bring myself to share it with such a large audience. I really don’t think there is a right or wrong way to go through cancer. But I also can’t sit here and blog about cookies and cupcakes like nothing ever happened.
The past two weeks since finding out that I am done with treatment have been both fantastic and terrifying. I was a rock while going through treatment and hardly ever shed a tear. Now I’m kind of an emotional mess and find myself getting set off by the slightest things. It’s like my body was in ‘fight mode’ for seven months and only now can I loosen my grip and take off the brave face I was putting on.
I’m writing this because I didn’t just want to disappear without an explanation. Despite the hardships, there are good things happening too. I’m going back to work. Eight hours a day, five days a week. It’s going to take every ounce of energy I have for a while. When I do find energy between working hours, I don’t want to spend it doing more typing at a computer. I want to be putting in face time with other people, reading books, knitting, or cooking. In my list of life priorities, blogging unfortunately has fallen to the bottom.
This is by no means a ‘goodbye forever’ post, but a ‘see you soon.’ See you when I get a better handle on things or if I have something in particular to share. If you don’t want to have to constantly check back, I encourage you to sign up for email subscription at the top of the page. That way when I post again it will go straight to your inbox. You can also RSS or join my Facebook page where I put up posts. I’m still on Twitter all the time and posting a gross amount of pictures of Buster on Instagram (as BalanceSusan).
So… see you soon. And don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!