Every 3 weeks, the day before the chemo treatment, a dark cloud settles over my otherwise love-filled, supported, happy life. Describing it is difficult. Now that I’ve finished round 3 and am at the half-way point for chemo treatments, I see it more as a Pavlovian response, more emotional than physical.
Harry Potter fans would know it as a dementor, sneaked away from Askaban, searching me out, sucking away my happiness until it appears I may never feel it again.
A friend lent me Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. He describes going into a darkness so thick and palatable that you breath it, feel it on your skin, taste it. You walk through it like fog. Some don’t make it out to the other side. That’s how this feels.
I cry. A lot.
I’m dealing with cancer well though. I daresay I’m resilient. But each treatment my optimism and positivity are tested for a few days and, dammit, if chemo isn’t stronger than me. It gets its way.
One reason for this is that cancer has taken away all my nifty coping mechanism. My fitness routines that doubled as meditation are no longer an option for me during treatment (aerial silks, yoga, dancing like a fool in my living room). Alcohol is seriously restricted. Even comfort food like enchiladas and filet mignon are no longer in my arsenal. It is a cruel reality, even for a person I used to consider tough as an ox and multifaceted as a diamond.
I’ve watched all my castles fall and they were, indeed, made of dust after all.
Fortunately, I can lean on my friends and hopefully all this mess will make me laugh someday. When it’s all over, I’ll let you know.