Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The irony of it all...

The writer in me is longing for the one major creative thing that I am not doing right now. I miss it. I have so many prompts going through my head but often they fleetingly pass while I drive down the interstate, while I'm sitting in class supposed to be paying attention or teaching my students, when I close my eyes to sleep and am more than exhausted...so barely a single written word has been typed by these fingers recently. It frustrates me because I need and want to be beginning my thesis project (which will be a creative nonfiction piece based on my cancer journey) but I haven't the time. The irony? That I'm working on my Master of Arts in Writing and I don't have time to actually write. Well maybe I should say I don't have time to write what I want to write. I digress.

The other irony is the wealth of emotion that is bubbling up out of me. I've mentioned in the past how I tend to be a late mourner. I deal with emotion in retrospect instead of in the moment, at least the heavy, serious emotion that comes with death and disease. I feel like the deep well of my cancer is just now starting to rush out. I've been dealing with emotions like despair, worry, stress, fear... I feel like I'm eating the words I once said, "I cannot live in fear of cancer. I chose not to live in fear." It is certainly a choice, and I don't WANT to live in fear of it and yet I find myself in that place. I fear a recurrance. I fear the repercussions of what it has done to me physically: osteoporosis, lymphedema, never being able to sleep like a normal person again, never having age appropriate energy again, permanence in all these earthly issues my body deals with on a daily basis.

I'm having some kind of crazy arm issues right now. The right arm on the side that had cancer, 9 lymph nodes removed, and then radiation. It started Friday night. I was sitting on the couch in the living room and was noticing that my arm was sore underneath and down to the elbow. I was considering if I had fallen, scraped, or bumped it when suddenly it got firey hot in that exact place...kind of like fever. It was hot until I fell asleep. Since then the symtoms have come and gone. I saw my massage therapist (the one that did my massages when I was on radiation and is doing them for free once a month for me right now) yesterday and in passing shared the symtoms with her. She is a lymphatic therapist and was immediately concerned about the possibility of lymphedema. I had considered that, but since no one has thought it important enough to explain to me what I should watch for besides swelling in my arm (which I don't think I'm having and is apparently a later symtom of lymphedema) I haven't known what to think. I beat myself up a lot about these weird and random symtoms because I was called a hypochondriac in junior high by some people close to me and apparently it has affected me more than I realize. I did take a lot of medicine growing up, but that was in good part due to an unhealthy view of medicine that was imparted to me by a family member. I guess I often wonder how all this crazy stuff can happen to one person at the age when I should be healthy and vibrant. I don't want it to be there though, so I need to not allow that attack to get to me. But it does.

I think I've just been so incredibly overwhelmed because my days are so full. Even when I have down time, I need to be doing something: grading papers, reading for class, planning my day tomorrow, spending time with the kids, cleaning house, etc. My energy level has been pitiful. Usually I can get up and function okay until about 11am and then it's like the bottom drops out from underneath me, no matter where I am or what I'm doing. I'm shaky all the time, even when I "feel" okay. I don't get it. I've been drinking Mt. Dew again to get through my day because I'm like, "I HAVE to function. I can't not feel good." And the reality is that I WANT to feel good. I WANT to do all that I'm doing. I don't do it begrudgingly (except for cleaning toilets, I mean c'mon! :) and it sucks that I feel like I can't keep up with the demands of my schedule. I mean SUCKS!! Yeah, there it is! I want to YELL!!! I HATE what my body has been through. It's hard and overwhelming and I wonder if I'll ever be able to compartmentalize that part of my life again or will it always be this consumming?

I'm not mad at God. He is the only calm in this storm. The reality is that I know I'm not doing so well emotionally right now because I don't even have time to be with Him and THAT is what I need the MOST. I actually made myself get up 15 minutes earlier yesterday to spend time with the Lord. That was the first time in years that I've gotten up early (and not been interrupted) to spend time with my Jesus (I have spent time with Jesus in years, but usually during the day or in the evenings...just thought I'd clarify, lol.). And my day yesterday was amazing. The first day that I haven't felt crappy in weeks. But then I didn't do it today. I didn't have to get up early to go teach so I thought I'd sleep in, and today has been bad physically. I didn't go to class today because I felt so bad. See a pattern? I think so.

Here let me clean all that verbal vomit off of you. Sorry about that... I'm glad it's out there now. ;)

This is where He is taking me. He wants it all. I need to give it all to Him...

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