The most difficult part of a cancer diagnosis is attempting to manage all of the stress and anxiety that comes with it while doing your absolute best to not allow it to bleed over into the life that you really want to live. Compartmentalization is your ally, but a really elusive thing sometimes. If it was a friend, it would be the kind that calls you back only on occasion or texts you while you’re asleep, and the next week is early to lunch and even offers to pick you up to save money on gas. It’s very inconsistent.
If I were painting on a canvas, compartmentalizing my Leukemia and the life that I live would look similar to the solar system, with the sun being my life apart from my illness and the earth being my diagnosis and the things that I’ve had to endure through that. I’ve made every effort to live a normal life. My medication was working so well that I didn’t believe that I would need my life (the sun) to revolve around my diagnosis and the things associated with that (the earth). A week and a half ago changed all of that and I’m having to readjust the way I’ve looked at the solar system, changing my perspective from what I’ve known and lived the past five years of my life to one in which the sun now has to revolve around the earth. My treatment and all that surrounds it has to become the main focus of my existence. And that sometimes carries a huge toll.
Having said all of that, I don’t intend to glorify one aspect or the other. My existence is in the realm of God, which I feel is omniscient. God would be the solar system in it’s entirity. I know that I don’t exist outside of that, my faith is simply the realm in which all of these other things exist. I just use the solar system illustration as a reference point to the scope and size of my thoughts, feelings, and efforts. I hope that makes sense.
I’m starting to feel the effects of the stress and anxiety in a physical way. I’ve never experienced that before. I always believed that I’ve been strong enough to be made invulnerable to those kinds of things. I have that annoying eye twitch on occasion and a tight chest. It’s sort of disheartening in a way, but I know that not knowing anything about the next stop in my journey is a major contributor to that. There is also the personal struggles associated with daily life that I’m sure play a role. In any event, I feel like the boxer who has fallen to the mat for a second time in a single fight. At this point, I’m starting to feel vulnerable. Maybe that’s what this is all about.
In this fight, the boxer wins with a knockout in the late rounds. Battered, swollen, and bloody, for sure, but victorious nonetheless.
This is tougher than I often let on. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody.