Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Somewhere Between Dreaming and Awake

I am going through a phase of melancholy now, I'm sure some of it is hormonal.  Most of it I imagine, is working through what has happened to me and the treatment just finished.  It's weird how memories come to you, seemingly out of nowhere, unbidden.  I'm having a lot of that now, recalling specific moments of treatment with such clarity and as if they are still happening.

I was thinking about the times I received chemo and had lots of problems with the port in my chest.  The area around and on top of my port never healed right, so it never raised up like it should have.  The skin on top of a port is supposed to be very thin, and a topical numbing cream should have made the stick a breeze.  It never was for me.  The stick was always painful and traumatic, and took everything I had to breathe through.  Sometimes these thoughts come flying into my head, and I have to catch my breath and remind myself it's just a memory, I'm done.

I am not worried about this.  I know this is all part of my brain's debriefing itself, making sense of everything, accepting what has happened.

There are some well meaning people who after something like this, any traumatic life event, just want you to shake it off and move on.  Move forward.  Let it go.  As much as they think they are looking out for you, it's really about them feeling better.  They are ready to move on, because they can.  This happened to them, second hand.

I am working through this, and will do it in my own time, in my own way.  I don't feel stuck, even though my brain is replaying a lot of what has happened.

I remember in the weeks and months after my Mom died, the night of her death was like a movie I could not stop playing in my head.  It was awful.  I know my brain was working hard to accept the reality of her sudden death.  It took time, but over time, my brain came to accept that she really was gone.  I no longer reached for the phone to call her.  I no longer thought if I went to a certain place, I might find her there.

That's how this feels to me.  My brain is trying to make sense of the nonsensical, believe what sometimes still seems inconceivable.  My brain and my spirit are building a bridge, brick by brick.  On one side is everything I believed about my life and my health and my longevity and the familiarity of my old body.  On the other side is the reality of my cancer diagnosis, cancer treatment, my altered body, my altered self.

I admit to you, I'm feeling a little lost right now, and mostly aware of the pieces, not the end result.  Still having trouble envisioning it, but I know I am building it.

Don't worry.

To see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone.  Buddha

If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.  Anonymous

I am somewhere between these two, finding my way.

There is a little plaque I have, bought it when I was a teenager and have always had it on my desk or nightstand or bookshelf through the years.



What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

What lies within me is a quiet persistent faith of what will come from this, even though right now, all I can see are all these bricks.

6 comments:

Saskia said...

I'm sending you a BIG hug!!!!! This must be soooo difficult for you..It's not easy to express myself in english, because my language is dutch. But please, just know that you're in my thoughts!!!)

Sweet greetings, Saskia :)

Mimi said...

You seem to be dealing with this in a way that is right for you and I personally admire your honesty and your courage.

Hugs & love,
Mimi

rochambeau said...

Hello Writer Girl,
Even though it is hard you are willing to be where you need to be and you will be blessed for walking through the pain. You are right! It IS A PROCESS to heal. AND you are also right about how only time can take away and debrief memories.
I was involved in two car accidents. For many years I had the adrenalin feelings in my heart and mind, as if I was going through a car wreck. I think even smells could bring on these episodes. The mind is such a amazing and intricate place. I'm still more aware and paranoid in a car. I can't help it. Also, it's interesting that my memory of those years in high school and the years I had facial reconstruction in college I do not remember. It's like a protective mechanism in the brain. The rest of my life I really do remember.



Thank you for your Emerson quote, very nice!

Love to you!
Constance

Mollye said...

Mornin Sister. What a courageous little trooper you are. I so understand. I am with you laying one brick at a time and at times realizing they just won't fit right and seeing them fall only to cause tears and frustration but with the resolve we will put them right back up only stronger, one brick at a time. Love you, Mollye

Jill said...

You are so good at sharing your thoughts. I found myself nodding my head in agreement the whole time as I read this post. I understand. I get what you're saying.

You may feel a little lost right now, but I so admire how you are processing all this. It has to be done, and it takes time. No one else can do it for you or tell you how it has to be done.

You're doing good, Debbie. You really are. You are going to be okay. In fact, when this is all over, you're going to be much better than okay.

writergirldreams said...

Saskia, you did a fine job in english, and even if you had said it in Dutch, the words could not keep me from receiving the hug from you! Thank you.

Mimi? I'm not courageous, not one bit. I'm scared but I'm just more grateful than scared.

Hello there Constance, I have been nibbling like a church mouse on the delicious biscotti and what were those bars? Oh em G. How do I make those? Yes, healing is a process, everything is a process, and doing it right is not about doing it right, as long as you show up you can get it all wrong, and still get it right.

Mama Mollye, As I told Mimi, I am not courageous, but I am a trooper, and was a very good Girl Scout. I'll keep going if you will keep coming to remind me :)

Hello Jill, hello Sister. My whole life I waited for someone to say that to me, "You're doing good Debbie." Wow, how easy, what power, simply telling someone you are doing good. Thank you. I needed to hear that.

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