18th November 2018
I don’t want to sit there and discuss how difficult I’m finding it with my loved ones. Mostly because I don’t know where the difficulty lies. I haven’t worked out why I feel like I do yet. The chemo is working well, my body has been responding brilliantly so far, so why am I struggling so much? I don’t know whether it’s because I don’t yet know what I have waiting for me at the end. I don’t know how rational my thoughts will be now that I know what cancer can feel like. What if I self-sabotage everything because I’m never free of panic?
13th December 2018
I’m very much struggling at the moment. I am angry. I am tired. I am done.
I’m looking at the moon from my hospital bed, and it is beautiful. But I don’t want to see it. This life doesn’t seem beautiful to me in this moment, so why let anything that resembles beauty into it.
I can’t remember what life was like before cancer. That’s 25 years I feel as though I’ve lost. 25 years of growing, learning, exploring and trying my best in everything. I’ve lost it all.
I sit here and I can’t for the life of me imagine where I will be once this is all finally over, because my mind won’t let me. It’s been a battle between mind and body for the longest time. One always willing the other to work, then just as it gets some strength back, the other takes a fall and I feel suffocated once again.
I’ve never felt anything like it. I feel wounded, too fragile. A soul that has learnt to congratulate herself for holding in tears and making her day pass by sleeping.
I hate everything.
I’ve never truly meant that phrase, but now I do.
It’s a time of unhappiness during this festive season.
I am angry. I am tired.
But I am not done.
17th December 2018
It upsets me that I’ll need to be extra careful when I start dating again. I might need them to know certain things. I’ll be vulnerable from the beginning. I’ll have to discuss awkward and sticky topics. I might find it hard to be myself. Everything will need to be slow. I’ll need a bit more space than others, yet, equally, I might need them more than others. I feel terrified of pretty much everything. I might love too hard. I might not be able to love at all. My main priority will be myself and I won’t apologise for it. Their patience will be the best thing they can give.
What a lot to think about.
No settling here, though. New life, new standards.
20th December 2018
Your mind plays tricks on you, telling you there’s no way out from this hell you’re currently living. But there is. It’s so nasty going through it at the time, and there’s no telling me when I’m in that mind-set that things will eventually be alright, because I just can’t see it, but I do get there each time. People have started to tell me that they think I should be using the resources available to me, with regards to speaking to a professional about my thoughts. At the moment I see no need, it would be another thing to have to go to. Another thing to worry about. Another thing to travel back and forth from, and to be honest, I just can’t be arsed. But I know that after treatment it may be what’s needed, so I’m not adverse to the idea, but later.
30th December 2018
Oh my Lordy, what a month. I’m inclined to say that if ever some magical being offered me the chance to just erase 30 days from my life, I would pick the last half of November and the first half of December to just bugger off from my memory forever. No sleep, unforgivable thoughts, excruciating pain in my nether regions, enough anger to produce flames from my nostrils and enough fluorescent vomit to light up the M25 – it was not my finest hour. The good thing? I’m still here, and I feel really quite well, somewhat of a miracle considering just a few days ago I was thinking of ways I could pop myself off ‘nicely’. I’ve never felt as hopeless as to how I felt throughout round five. I have found that, for me, it’s a case of keeping my head above the water whenever I’m in hospital. Like an intense survival course but instead of identifying non-poisonous leaves for consumption, building a shelter out of sticks and starting a fire, I simply try not to faint whilst on my way to the loo.
My specialist nurse told me at the very beginning that each round of chemo was like running a marathon. ‘Pfft!’ I thought, after number one and two had been piss easy. But then number three came along and I started feeling a little less cocky. Then four occurred and I thought I was going to have to buy out Kleenex. Then five happened and I spent five days telling myself I didn’t want to live anymore. So yes, Sam was right, I have completed five marathons and (thankfully/hopefully) I have just one more to go. Its’s a terrible thought, knowing that I had a genuine interest in not being here just a few short days ago, but it’s a very real one. Chemo has a habit of turning your entire being into mush – I’m not a full functioning Jasmine when I’m having treatment, it’s as though half of my brain gets deleted and replaced by an evil. It’s quite scary, actually. I look at myself in this moment and I feel fine (a very sore mouth and a headache to match. But, fine). But during treatment I find it really difficult to see beyond the next hour, let alone the next day. So when very helpful people try to tell me ‘it’ll all be over in a couple of months’ I want to slap them in the face with a root vegetable because it’s not as simple as that. The thought of enduring another round makes me want to nap for a hundred years. The physical side effects of both cancer and treatment are awful, but I’ve learnt that with the physical comes huge psychological strain, and that’s what I’m really not getting to grips with currently. I don’t think I’m unhappy, but I’m paranoid and scared. Every day to day activity now comes with its limitations; will I be able to walk that far? What if I poo myself in Café Nero? Is that person blowing their nose because they have a cold, and if so am I going to catch it and die? Will I faint onto concrete? Will my wig fly off in this British weather? What if I see someone I know? Will I look this ugly forever? What if I start hysterically crying in public? And the list goes on.
Cancer – regardless of what stage you’re at, what treatment you’re having, how good your prognosis is – consumes you entirely, and you spend most of your time battling with the hundreds of irrational thoughts that reside inside your bald and foggy head. I feel all over the place, all of the time, and nothing seems to get done, ever! (For example, I have been telling myself to get my arse out of bed for the past 50 minutes, but instead I’m drafting this in my phone memos). You can’t expect a lot from yourself at times like this, though, but then that’s a tough pill to swallow too. I want to be able to do everything. I want to work, to walk Isla, to cook a meal, to be productive, to answer invitations with a yes, rather than ‘I’ll see how I feel on the day’. It’s so tiring. It’s also exhausting when your mind gives up on you, and you’re lying there on your hospital bed finding it really difficult to remember one single happy memory. It’s all a load of bollocks.
4th January 2019
I’ve travelled a bit, I dragged myself through an education I possibly didn’t need or do for the right reasons. I’ve been kind, I’ve made good memories, I’ve kept bad company, I’ve been more fickle than I’d ever like to admit. Everyone around me seems to be kicking it up a gear. My friends, God bless them, I hope they never have to understand any of this, but the devastation of having to look on whilst they live a life I can only hope for right now causes me nothing but heartbreak. And I hate that. I’m overjoyed for them and their happiness, and sometimes I convince myself that it goes underappreciated by them. I feel like a dreadful person for even entertaining that thought. I wish I was off exploring new places, making memories to cherish. I wish I had an upcoming landmark event near. But I haven’t even started any of those things. I’m not even in a position for anything wonderful to happen. Instead I give myself a pat on the back for remembering to take my tablets on time whilst wincing from sore bones.
And it frustrates me. It frustrates me that millions of people in the world must be feeling the same way, and yet we just do it. It’s just ‘life’.
14th January 2019
Yesterday was a bloody good day.
Today was an even better bloody day.
Thank you, brain. You’re bloody brilliant.