Welcome to the c word

I rarely show the world what is going on inside it is just not my style. I hide pain and constantly worry about worrying other people and how they will feel about how I am feeling. I keep my problems to myself and sometimes even from my closest friends. Well not this time.

I have been on the c word roller-coaster (I'm calling it the c word to go easy on the faint hearted) for over three weeks now and have decided it is a good idea to write down what's happened, happening and going to happen then whoever wants to keep up to date can without being forced to hear about it through emails from me. Because you will all have days where you just can't or don't want to hear about this. I get that it’s ok.

I hope not but you also might meet people or know people who go through something similar and it might just help them in some way to know they are not alone and when they fall apart it is ok because who wouldn’t. When you read this please forgive grammar and spelling etc I have not slept for three days and sorry too if it is up and down that is pretty much how I am doing most days.

- Tuesday 23rd February 2010

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Screaming hangover

So I am just about awake, I know this because my eyes are open. I woke up with a dry seriously ulcerated mouth, a deep consistent rhythm pounding through my head, tinnitus in one ear, aching shoulders and the feeling that I have not slept at all. All the symptoms of a debaucherously good night of drinking right? This is how I wake up every morning now. So you may well think that I have gone on a permanent bender since being diagnosed but no, I just can't get a good nights sleep. It does not matter how much relaxing or sorting or talking or thinking I do throughout the day I still seem to be battling out anxieties in the night and wake up so many times I can't even recall, usually with dead arms from where I have been practising to be a contortionist in my sleep. It absolutely sucks it really really does. How are you supposed to have strength to face the day like this. I don't want to take sleeping pills I just don't, I hate pharmaceuticals drugs. I hear you muttering to yourself that I am going to have to get well used to them but not yet right, I have one more week.

For me another part of cancer that I find a huge struggle is the lack of control. I won't bore you with details but I have a strong need to be in control of my body and my life surely I can't be alone there. It is one of the most vital emotional needs I have. Cancer does not let you have control, the anxiety and adrenalin alone force you to act and cope in a very new unpredictable way and as for the medical and physical side I have to release all my control over my life and body and lay it in a strangers hands to do whatever they think is best and that I find exceptionally hard.

My cat has forced himself on my lap and is purring room shakingly loud but he has positioned himself half on half off so I have no choice but to support him with one hand, I am now one handed typing this could take a while, it appears I am not the only one who likes control. Monty though has healing powers, he doesn't know this but I could feel ready to blow and I only have to watch him sleeping to calm me down immediately it works to the same degree on Phil. If cats were a little more hygienic they should send them into hospitals. I do worry however that emergency surgeries would be delayed with the 'I can't go I have the cat' routine my mum used to do when she wanted someone to make tea for her. My mum must have been gutted when she realised her latest rescued cat is not keen on sitting on laps.

I think the big question of the day is where do you put the anger? Phil and I can't find a good enough answer to this one. It is embarrassing and difficult for me to admit this but I really lost it for the first time the other day. I promised myself if I am going to write this then I won't skip important moments just because they don't show me in a favourable light. I think the frustration, tiredness, anger and anxiety from the past 6 weeks twisted together into some highly explosive emotion that I never knew I had when Phil, as Phil bless him does, did something relatively, how shall we say, irksome. I took myself upstairs and screamed into the duvet so loud the cat hid behind the sofa for an hour and we both half expected the police to turn up checking on us, or at least it felt that loud. Phil who in four years had never heard me scream just said thank you, because he was relieved I had finally just let it out, no more controlling it all just letting him see what was going on under the calm surface of yeah sure I can cope with this. He cried (sorry Phil), I cried and believe it or not I actually felt a whole load better when I could forgive myself for doing it. I realised that everywhere I go I can't, because of my own dignity and tendency to hold it together, let it out when I need to and this is not healthy.
You see you want to scream because everything around carries on like it did before, when your life is so irreversibly changed and it feels totally unfair. You want to scream because you and everyone around you are powerless and you can't stop it or at least slow down what is about to happen and you don't feel ready to face it. You want to scream when your eyes sting, your brain slows down and your back aches because you can't get the sleep that will make this so much easier to deal with. You want to scream because you have cancer and you have no one to blame or be angry at, this unexplained mystery that chose you this year to fuck with.

But I don't feel like this all the time. I laughed last night, a lot. My friends, soon to be parents, Dan and Cat kindly had us round for snacks. cake, wine (not for me though) and trivial pursuit, which I am always on the losing side of so I am convinced that there is a pattern there somewhere, me. Cat with her very prominent bump was making Martha Stewart cupcakes in the kitchen and whilst gently hostessing as she does to ensure everyone has drinks and food and me to my surprise presents which were so so kind and lovely. She had chosen some fab very Brighton vintage style shoes which were amazing but bloody did not fit, I hate you feet, so she went off to get the receipt. I went to thank her feeling bad they were not quite my size and she is there pregnant tum leaning in the bin rifling through it like only Cat would. We burst into laughter, I won't forget her face and how funny she looked. Cat is amazing she sent me tons of distracting emails when I first found out and was the first person to joke with me about cancer in a well timed thoughtful way delivered with genuine kindness. Her husband Dan is the perfect compliment to her hostessing with the Dan charm anyone who meets him never forgets, it draws you in and makes you totally trust every word he says whilst he kicks your arse at Trivial Pursuit with an air of gentle smugness that is nothing but endearing. Bryony braved my driving to join us and rescued Cat and I in the kitchen just as we had managed to get a yolk in the egg whites and were making an emergency plan of baking action. What can I say, thanks for being wonderful and taking care of me...and sending me home with cakes. Love love love.

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