How I'm Really Doing.
I’ve been getting quite a few people asking how I’m doing, and I wanted to put things honestly. While I have managed to get through the last few months with fairly ~okay~ mental health, I’m definitely not always great. As I’m writing this, I’m finishing one of my worst mental health days since the first few weeks of my diagnosis. Sometimes things are just hard. Sometimes it’s impossible not to ruminate, not to feel incredibly alone. Cancer fucking sucks. I’m trying really hard to be okay most of the time, but if I’m honest, I’m devastated in more ways than one. At least, today I was. Maybe tomorrow will be different.
Today I felt lonely. I felt like no one actually cared about me, and everyone was either afraid to talk to me because they didn’t want to bother me (wrong, I would love to be bothered) or they think I’m annoying and depressing. Logically, I know that’s not true. I have a drawer of cards, countless wonderful care packages and text messages to contradict that; but sometimes these negative feelings creep in and don’t go away despite any logic.
On a day like today, it’s not just feelings of loneliness. It was one of those days where one bad feeling becomes a magnet for every bad feeling you could possibly have. Feeling lonely brought me waves of grief, anxiety and fear as well.
I was supposed to move out of my room in San Francisco to Chicago on July 26. My parents were going to fly out, help me pack up my things, and road trip back while hitting a few national parks along the way. I was going to start business school in September. I was going to get my own apartment; hopefully soon after I would adopt a cat. I was so excited for all of these things. All I want in the world right now is to be in an apartment of my own, snuggling a cat and studying for an impossibly difficult accounting class. I still need to mourn the fact that that just isn’t the way things went. I haven’t given myself a chance to mourn the version of me from three months ago. The girl who believed in her body and trusted her health because why wouldn’t she?
Cancer is never going to be smooth sailing all the way through. Sometimes it feels like there are a thousand things I need to mourn or process, and I feel like I’ll never get through any of it. People fighting cancer are sometimes called “cancer thrivers”, and there are a lot of days where I can’t understand why. Am I thriving? Absolutely goddamn not. Am I inspiring and strong? No, I feel like a baby a lot of the time these days. I welcome these terms a lot of the time because it’s something to aspire to. I would love to be inspiring. I do feel strong sometimes (at least, I’m way stronger than I used to be). I want to thrive. But also… these are sugar coated concepts. They are, more often than not, a pipe dream.
The reality of cancer is different than what people sometimes want to make it. Breast cancer is not all pink ribbons and cute fake tits. It’s also a lot of shitty, shitty things (pardon my French). Maybe tomorrow I’ll be more inspiring 😉