first, frozen two is better than frozen one. change my mind. and the reason i say that is because anytime i hear the word ‘unknown’, i immediately think of elsa belting out ‘into the unknown’ as she yet again, disappears and straight up searches for danger. but anyways. it’s uh, it’s been a while. nearly a month since i last posted about boredom. so much has happened in the last four weeks. honestly, so much has happened in the last ten months of my life. and i am finally having a moment to catch up. less than ninety days into the year of twenty twenty, i began what was the fight of my life. little did i know it wasn’t going to be the only one. honestly, in my whole life, i had never been that sick or that scared or that alone. ever. that experience; lying for days on end in a hospital bed with the unknown thick in the air. that changed me. and for weeks after i entered recovery, i couldn’t sleep or break the trauma cycle. ya know, it’s where your body stays in fight mode. where your brain can’t lower it’s own adrenaline to bring you into a state of calm. where you just actively stay there. fighting. preparing your body for the next round. and i spent hours in virtual calls with a team of therapists, working on ways to desensitize myself. to return to safety. to return to normal. to move out of fight mode. to heal. and man, it took foreverrrrrr. because behind every milestone, was something triggering. and behind every trigger, was a person asking how my microchip was implanted or a news article where the comments were so deeply rooted in conspiracy that i had to take all of the news apps off my phone. and i spent my summer making space for my experience with the virus. i spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to take the next step forward with this new experience looped into the mix. and then it happened all over again. not the virus. but worse. cancer. just weeks before the school year kicked off, virtually of course. just a couple of months before my thirty second birthday. it felt impossible. it felt unfair. it felt massive. and there was no time given to process or think or make a decision. two weeks later, i am sitting in an oncology clinic getting the first round of carcinogenic drugs. alone. because it’s a pandemic. and for the next sixteen weeks, i fought like hell. and let me tell ya, it was so very ugly and it was so very hard and sometimes, it brought me right back to the early months of the year. fighting like hell then. fighting like hell now. and i recently reached a huge milestone. the end of chemotherapy. the end of what i like to call personal hell. and now i am sitting here, staring at quite a few unknowns. having cancer stripped me down to the studs. my job was gracefully handed to a substitute teacher. my doctoral studies were placed in an academic hold. my roles as friend and aunt, sister, wife, daughter and teacher were all halted. because fighting cancer was all my body could do. and towards the end of chemo, my body was slowly reaching the point of no return. i stopped eating. stopping drinking. slept twelve hours a day. and i waved a white flag to my oncology team and the end of chemo arrived. and now, my brain and my body are in a very interesting place. we jumped from knowing exactly what we were doing to staring at all of these unknowns. and i know that worrying about the future or the unknowns or worrying about anything in general is a giant waste of time. but, still here we are. my brain and my body are still in fight mode. actively having a hard time leveling out of the trauma game. because for the last ten months, i have been sicker than i have been in all my years stitched together. i have been fighting for months and i have endured so much pain and sadness in these two fights. i am exhausted from it. and it’s a scary place to be. the unknowns are there. just kinda existing. the only way around them is the next leg of the journey; a ten hour surgery. one that i have to gain strength and stamina to participate in. one that scares the shit out of me. one that brings a different layer of fear and worry and uncertainty. twenty twenty manifested a different part of me. i spent most of the year in an active fighting mode. i spent a lot of that time with my own thoughts and feelings. i have watched it shift my relationships right alongside the shift of my roles. and i am honestly still having a hard time adjusting. because i have spent the last few months as a chemo patient and now, i have been given back a piece of my life that hasn’t been in my hands for quite some time. it’s a lot. to suddenly return to all the things you haven’t been or done or visited in quite some time. to do all of those things again while actively working on healing and managing to keep your brain and body out of the trauma zones. to manifest a person you once were. to find her, buried so deep inside. because being this sick for this long has created a new version. and it’s hard to grab hold of something that once was. this version; the one that’s been fighting the good fight for the last two hundred and some odd days, she’s had to become a little tough. a little bit more resilient. an advocate for her own health, which is absolutely terrifying and liberating all at the same time. as someone who loathes being alone, she’s had to adjust to some of the lonely parts of cancer and treatment. for someone who spends all of their time worrying about others, it was a huge adjustment to be the one being worried about. every aspect of my life shifted; down to the inability to comfortably walk up a flight of stairs or change my own sheets. a loss of independence. a loss of identity. it’s all there. and now, begins the shift back. but there are all these unknowns. staring at me. and the journey ahead feels vast and heavy and never ending. and the unknowns are blocking my view; are holding me here.
i love elsa. she’s fierce and she doesn’t care what other people think and that’s so not me. she seeks out the unknown and has no problem going there alone. and that’s so not me. i have been given a lot to handle this year. i have fought like hell more than once this year. and right now, i am unsure of how to return to who i was. i don’t know how much of that person is left. all i have is this version. the one that’s been a warrior. the one that’s been through hell. the one that holds a lot of the most recent experiences close to the heart. the one that’s slowly exiting a very hard and trauma filled time. the one that misses the way things were. the one who knows that this battle was given to me personally, because it could be won. the one who is trying so very hard to take the next step forward. but also has to make room for what she just went through. and it’s a lot to carry. and it’s a lot to sift through. and it was hard. and it was painful. and it brought the truckload of unknowns that sits before me. and i am rallying. to face them. to put the armor back on. to heal and press on. into the unknowns. but i also need a little time. my brain and body are in overdrive. and i need a little time. to recover. to heal. and then, i will tuck the unknowns into my back pocket and weather the next leg of the storm.
i honestly don’t know how i made it to the other side of sixteen weeks of hell. it took a lot. there were so many days that i wanted to throw in the towel and there were some days that i hope to never relive. this milestone is one that i wouldn’t have been able to see without the immense love and support from my parents, sisters and husband. and my brain and heart couldn’t have done it without the prayers, love and unbelievable amount of support across the globe from all of my friends. thank you all for being my legs when i couldn’t carry on.
to twenty twenty one. and the promise of a brighter year. and to the unknowns. we see you. we hear you. we will tackle you when it’s time.