the last few days have been thick with emotions. it feels like a lot of my blog posts start that way but i am starting to realize that my life is just a really emotional place to be. and if i am being honest with you and even myself, a lot of this emotional stuff simply comes from having high expectations of my life after battling cancer. and i know, i know- cancer and my journey and everything that has happened in the last two years feels like all my brain can spell out. and right now, the expectations of life after cancer; welllll, they aren’t hitting like i thought they would. and don’t get me wrong- it’s a pleasure to be here. for sure. but it also feels kinda lame that the hard work and pure hell of cancer led to a pretty lame medical existence afterwards. and today was supposed to be the end of it all. the end of this messy, uncomfortable and ugly hell that started with an infectious virus and led to this snowball of events- cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy treatments, losing my hair & shaving my head. becoming malnourished and entering home hydration treatments. which meant delivering hydration through my port, by myself. saying goodbye to the body i had been in for years and entering a hospital alone to have my breasts amputated. waking up alone. entering survivorship alone. with my surgeon standing over me. learning to look up in the mirror after being open at my eighteen inch surgical incision for nearly sixteen weeks. to now. the day of a planned revision. to hopefully take some of the pain away. to erase some of the horrific memories that come with the jagged lines and poorly healed pockets.
but yet, it’s been delayed. and not because of my surgeon. because of me. and my post cancer body. we aren’t getting along. we aren’t understanding each other. recently, i spent a good chunk of time on the phone with a friend; someone who battled cancer at a young age. someone who has been pivotal in where i am now. i met her in march of last year. i was about six weeks into surgery recovery and could not make it through the day without crying. my husband was back at work and it was just me; unable to lift a laundry basket, bald, on long term disability and angry with the universe. update: still a little angry at the universe. but anyways, this friend and i met when the days of survivorship were early and every single day felt endless. i remember sobbing on the phone the first time we spoke. i didn’t even really know her that well. let alone well enough to have snot running down my face as i sobbed into the phone. and she graciously helped me navigate those early moments. where i felt trapped. in this weird space in my identity. where i looked and felt like a breast cancer patient but the world was looking for me to make my next move. and the next move had to be outside of that space. hell, even the disability agent was calling every week. but i couldn’t find my place. everything felt big and overwhelming. and so this week, things began to feel big and overwhelming. and it pushed me back into those moments where everything about surviving cancer felt immense. unbelievably difficult. impossible. lonely. messy and filled with doubt as well as fear. i remember crying every single day. after having beat stage two breast cancer. i still cried every single day. so this mountain of triggering emotions as well as six doctor visits and poor numbers coming in on the bloodwork; i leaned into that same friend. because i knew that she could meet me where i currently am. which is this place where i am still in a heated argument with the universe. a place where this still feels unfair. a place where i feel like i continue to fail this body and this body continues to fail me. and right now, there’s a lot going on. and i have not been super open about it. probably because there’s a lot of shame happening. but also because i hate telling the same thing over and over again. but also because i feel like everyone is looking at me, and silently asking me to be less. that my story and what happens to me are too massive. too attention seeking. too dramatic. but the reality is- it’s just bad luck. and when i went to appointment one this week, things felt rather manageable. and appointment two didn’t bring me to my knees in sobs either. but last night at quarter after five; i found myself in overwhelmed mode. because, today was appointment three and next week is the big appointment. number four. and each day that comes with more waiting while battling symptoms and side effects and a terrible rash- i begin to fall into these wicked cycles of triggers and post traumatic stress. and maybe it’s just easier to spit it out. hi. my name is alix and right now, i am going through a lot. more specifically- i am going through my fourth recurrence scare in eighteen, almost nineteen months. and this one- well, this one is a little bigger than the ones before. and i will spare you the webmd doctor google details. but there’s just a lot happening. and if you’re reading this and this is the first time you’re hearing it- i really am sorry. sometimes the last thing i wanna put in a text is- “hey. how’s your week going? oh mine? just casually trying to rule out cancer. nothing major.” it makes me feel like i wanna be the star of the show. when in reality- i would love for the universe to cast somebody else! but there’s no point in wishing the universe would pick on someone it’s own size. so, here we are. feeling like i did two years ago. surrounded by appointments, figuring out how to manage my stress, my anxiety, my roles in life, my career and my sanity- all while trying to respect the boundaries of a body that was so graciously gifted to me by a team of surgeons just eighteen months ago. and i guess, i am just modifying my expectations as i go. which is literally so annoying and quite honestly- just as exhausting as the rest of all this. it’s becoming a regular thing. for things to rarely go by according to the plan. so here i am. just hoping i can accept the fate. change the expectation. begin to expect less. narrow down the window of disappointment.
recognize that this shit is just how the universe works. and that i sometimes have to expect that it’s all gonna go wrong. and someday, it’ll all go right.