On Facebook, I like to post conversation I have with A, S, and AJ. Usually, it’s pretty entertaining, at least to me. Today, A texted me he would be late tonight (considering it’s 10:00 pm as I write this and I have yet to see him, he’s late). I texted back I was just shocked by news that he would be late. We texted back and forth a little more and ended with me telling him to be careful and I’ll see him when I see him. At least a couple days a week, I get a “Going to be late tonight” text. This is part of our new normal. Honestly, I’m ok with it most of the time because it does give me some alone time once the kids are in bed. Some nights, I’m not ok with it. I’m tired. The kids are driving me crazy. I have stuff to do. But, I deal with it.
I have to.
During radiation when I was miserable and dealing with terrible burns, I told a coworker (and a dear friend for many years) I didn’t want to do anymore treatments. I was tired. I was burned. I was in pain. I couldn’t see past how I felt in that moment. She could, though, and she told me, “I know you don’t want to. But, you have to.”
“I have to” has become one of my internal mantras.
My scumbag brain: I don’t want to call the doctor to schedule an echocardiogram. It might reveal something’s wrong.
My rational brain: I have to. I already have stuff wrong. The last time I avoided calling a doctor worked out real well. Pick up your cell phone and dial the doctor’s office.
My scumbag brain: Let’s think about aaaalllllllllll the absurd reasons why my left shoulder hurts instead of seeing a physical therapist.
My rational brain: How ’bout no to thinking about stupid stuff? I have to make an appointment for my shoulder.
My scumbag brain: This is too much. I’m having to ask for a lot of help.
My rational brain: I have to ask for help. Shut up.
Basically, when I have down time, sometimes my brain uses that time to be a scumbag. I fight against it everyday because having cancer is a mind game. It really is. If I’m certain of anything I’ve been through or learned in the last nine months, it’s that this is one big mind game. (Duh, L…people have been telling you that since Day One of this cancer coaster.)
Pretty much everything is out of my control when it comes to this cancer coaster. I can’t control whether the cancer comes back. I can’t control what the tests might or might not show. I can’t control any of it. I know this.
I’ve been working really hard over the last month to find peace in something everyday, to let go of what I can’t control, to stop worrying about the burdens of others, to feel happiness. I’m winning the fight more days than not, which surprises me.
On Saturday, A and I went shopping for AJ, whose birthday is quickly approaching, and while we were walking around one of the stores, A stopped and told me I seemed really tense, and I was. I don’t know why. I had no reason to be tense. I just was, and it’s things like that I have to stop.
I have to.
It’s just hard, though.