It has been three years since my last cancer. Through the surgeries, the chemo and the invasive radiation, I plodded along one foot in front of another. And in all those moments, I was slowly being ground down into nothing. And at the same time I felt nothing. I kept my head down and did what was expected of me. I was exhausted. Bald. Drained. Gutted (literally). Nothing left. The daily reminder was a port in my chest waiting for the next infusion of chemicals.
Some would say I was lucky. I didn’t feel lucky. I felt that what I was no longer existed. I was so glad when that year was done. I wouldn’t have to hold on so tightly. I wouldn’t lose any more of me.
Lately I have been thinking about that time. I am no longer numb. I can feel those lost feelings now. My memories make me feel sad. I mourn for the me that was and the time lost forever. Like waking up and realizing the dream was reality. I felt the pain of realizing I had cancer. I felt the pain and loneliness of treatment. I was no longer required to suppress my feelings. It was painful but it was also a relief.
My body also has rheumatoid arthritis. And in spite of my cancers and the complications of one thing or another, it is the one thing that is a constant in my life. Rheumatoid arthritis might not kill me but it certainly makes me live with a pain wracked body. Every joint in my body is affected.
So I suppose it is the RA that dampened my response to the cancers I have had. Having cancer treatment and RA flares at the same time is rough. Suppressing the whole experience was one way of living through it. My cancers are gone for now and I can finally feel relieved. I expect that I have another year or two before another cancer shows up. It may be a repeat, but more likely, it will be a new one. However, in another year or two I will have regained my strength and my mojo. It has taken longer this time. I will be able to handle whatever comes. After all this time I am finally recharging