It had to happen at some point, the pressure of the disease cannot be ignored forever. I finally felt the impacts of the last 5 months and cancer may have won out over my resilience for a few days. When I began the journey through this phase of my life I promised myself that I wouldn’t let cancer win, mentally or physically. Overall I believe I am a positive person and I wanted to ensure I could keep that positive outlook regardless of having to go to war with cancer. Each day has been a new battle and living day to day has helped reset my attitude and approach if I have a rough one. For some reason, this past week there were too many additional forces for me to reset my approach and the one day battle turned into a several day onslaught of emotion and frustration which didn’t want to end.
I have made it to Sunday sitting at one of my favorite spots (answer again!) feeling like the battle has finally ended. Looking back at the week I can find some humor in how I was so hard on myself and cancer. I was literally mad at cancer and the fact that my mind feels trapped inside a body that cannot deliver to my expectations. I drive hard and in this state I can only push to a certain point. My new normal which I described a couple weeks back has seemingly become more real in a greater context.
Last weekend I had one of my best friends in town to stay with me following chemo and while I loved her being here it highlighted the fact that I couldn’t enjoy our time together like I wanted. I know she never thought twice of needing to stay in the house and sit around all the while my mind was screaming to get out and enjoy the weather in the city. This visit was then followed by a full week at work where I felt like I just wasn’t where I wanted to be in the time frame I had set for myself. I kept comparing my days and my output to that of myself prior to treatment which is neither productive or uplifting. No matter which way I turned I hit walls of disappointment and frustration. I found myself sharing these feelings in multiple conversations with co-workers and friends as it consumed my mind. Trying to plan for the upcoming months was hampered by my inability to plan and the uncertainty of how I would be feeling on a certain day, I let the unknown take hold of me and in turn I wasn’t the person I wanted to be.
By the time Friday hit I had no ammo left and figured the best way to achieve survival was to bunker down. I spoke with a couple of friends and shed a few tears after jumping on my bike to see if I could ride away the frustration. By the end of the evening I was in a better place knowing that each and every one of us is fighting a battle. Your battle may be with work, love, loss or something else completely different. I forgot for awhile that I was fighting through life’s battles before cancer came along and through them all I have survived and am better equipped for the next one. I forgave myself for allowing myself to be defeated and wiped the slate clean to start this week anew.
I am over halfway through my chemo treatments with only 2 more to go. The toughest part of the race, the miles in the middle, are nearly through and I am getting myself ready for mile 8, the point of no return. My daily battles won’t stop and I will have to dig deep on occasion over the upcoming months, knowing I made it through this past week with a few scars allows my mind to settle. I can still choose to start my days fresh and be kind to others as they fight through their own battle.