It’s been quiet here. I know.
I’ve lived my writing life by the adage “Write what you know.” The problem is: I don’t want to talk about what I know.
I’m sick of writing about cancer. I’m sick of writing about grief of all kinds and the struggle to get through it. I’m sick of writing about struggles.
I’d really like to just write something stupid funny and enjoy laughing with you. Most likely at me.
Like about tucking my maxi skirt into my drawers at the cancer center. Or how I’m considering knee beards as a trend to set. I’d like to write about the crazy joy of a new puppy. And I do “know” those things.
But there’s so much more about cancer floating around in my head that I can’t get there without going here, first.
I’m sure this isn’t news, but cancer sucks. My husband has been fighting advanced prostate cancer for almost 5 years. In the past few months he’s had 3 fractures. Fractures hurt. They also: suck. It’s tough to use a walker for your pelvic fracture when you fracture a bone near your clavicle. It’s also tough to roll yourself in a wheel chair when your arm is in a sling. And apparently broke toes just make everything else: worse.
So we’ve been spending a lot of time in the er, at doctors appointments and trying to recover and function from all the above.
We need a cancer vacation. And a “cancer get out of expectations,including your own, free card.” I also think there should be a “cancer card.” You plop it on the counter and get a discount or freebie everywhere you go. I’m not much of a card player, but that one I’d play daily.
I’ve been practicing everything I know to keep myself sane. Periods of denial. Escapism. Self care. Other care. Therapeutic puppy cuddles.
Some days are ok. Today is not one of them. Today is an anxious day. Which: makes me feel guilty cause gee… The bible tells us not to be anxious. When I get anxious, I get angry. I guess I’d rather feel angry, than scared. Anger holds a modicum of imaginary power. (It’s a facade. There is no power or control in anger, it’s a loss of control and an attempt to protect, at least when it’s a cover for anxiety.) Anxious- feels powerless and afraid.
This week is going to be rough.
Today we have to take our 14+ year old beagle to the vet for what may be her last visit. (She has cancer.i know. Seriously. I can’t. Even.) Today we are facing the grief of our sweet fat Sami. Today, we have to walk our kids through the same grief. I feel bad that she’s so sick. I feel bad that while she’s been to all her scheduled yearly visits, there wasn’t anything we could do about her cancer. I feel bad that she’s been in pain and I didn’t want to make the choice to end her pain.
I kind of feel cancer cursed.
Tomorrow is a long day of scans for hubby and Wednesday we meet with the oncologist.
See what I mean? Who wants to talk or write about this stuff? No one. Not me.
Here’s the thing: on my Facebook feed every day, I see other friends having to put doggy family members to sleep. I see other friends struggling with cancer and with loved ones as they go through cancer. I wonder if others feel guilty for their anxiety? I wonder if others feel angry that God may or may not answer our prayers for healing and peace, do others get angry when the answer is “no?” Do others feel guilty over what ifs?
Do others not want to talk about what they know?
I’m guessing: yes.
I’m saying: do it anyway.
Losing a pet is extremely painful.theres no point pretending it’s not.
Getting a frightening diagnosis is horrifying. You’d have to be insane to not be anxious.
Facing a loss causes anxiety, anger, pain, and more pain.
Cancer is exhausting. Caregiving is exhausting. Grief is exhausting. There is only one way out. Through.
I have to write about it, I have to talk about it. I have to feel it. I have to face it.
Chances are there’s something you need to get “through” as well. You can’t escape it via Netflix,or your numb dumb of choice, you can’t pretend it’s not a reality because it will remind you with a sharp slap to the face every time you do. ( saving a fortune on blush. I’m sporting perma pink cheeks from all the slapping around here. (Maybe I’ll invent a cosmetics line based on the human experience… Reality slap blush, the truth hurts lip gloss, blinded by denial mascara, crumbling powdered foundation of fear, eye shadow of anxiety. I’d come up with some happy ones too, but I’m all out of those today, just sayin.)
There are a few other things I also know: God is present even when the answer is no. God hears every angry and fearful word and prayer and understands. God can handle the truth of how I feel. He already knows.
Scripture says we have a high priest who gets us. Our humanity. Our weaknesses. It even says that God delights to show us mercy. It says that his power is perfected in our weakness.
These truths eternally trump cancer, loss, anxiety and anything else we have to go “through.” Eternally. Not necessarily temporally. Today may suck, but there is hope in God’s eternal peace. Eternal healing.
Today my prayer is that we’ll find our way through. We’ll look for the beauty in the pain. That we’ll experience his presence even here. Together. When you don’t even want to talk about it. And neither do I.
And now: because blah. Still don’t want to talk about it. Here: let’s talk about this: cause this has all been happening, too.