So the story goes that you’re supposed to come out a stronger and wiser person after cancer because you’ve made it through the turbulence that is your own Hell. I want to beat the shit out of the person that started that rumor. You do come back stronger and wiser, but in charred pieces. Pieces you no longer recognize and have to put back together on your own. My soul crushed and cracked the way it does when you step on a wasp on the ground.
This past year has been cathartic, to say the least. Now that I’m passed my initial diagnosis, the chemotherapy, dressing up for chemo and radiation, I am still shell shocked. As I sit here typing away my emotions in digital form, I cannot comprehend what has just happened to me in the past year. I’m still trying to make sense of it all. I will be trying to make sense of this, probably, for the rest of my life. It’s strange that I am so overwhelmed by intimidation because I have always been an intimidating presence, but now, I’m just crushed like that wasp. I don’t know how many breakdowns are ok before I start feeling like a burden to family and friends.
I have met cancer patients and survivors and I practiced on how to be silent and listened. What I was able to hear is the fact that no cancer stories are ever really the same and there is no right or wrong way to deal with cancer. It’s just a constant effort to find a balance between blame and responsibility.
With that being said, though I have been praised for my bravery, I also understand I made many mistakes along the way. It’s written all over my blog. There were many explosions, dramatic posts, angry posts, even childish ones, and very personal and uncomfortable posts. I wasn’t telling a story, I was talking about my feelings, which is something I realized I haven’t done in years. And I did it in a very public platform. When I started this blog, I just wanted to write stories, not become it.
I think I hid behind the wigs and the dresses because I didn’t want to lose myself. I’m not the same woman I was a year ago, six months ago, a week ago, and some days, hours ago. In fact, I don’t know who I am anymore. Wearing red lipstick is the only thing that remains of my old self.
I didn’t expect to become as hypersensitive as I am now. Everything hurts; a wrong word, a missed call, failed plans, misunderstanding of all shapes and forms. I don’t have confidence in anything anymore; not with myself, my relationships with people, and I’m often confused as to what my life has been like the last ten months. I often don’t remember and then I question myself whether I’m avoiding my own issues. Maybe it was overly ambitious of me to expect myself to be wiser and stronger soon as I had the surgery, then I feel stupid for someone that has been often seen as so smart.