Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Worse I Feel The Better I Am

Becasue there is no such thing as an original thought anymore, I have flogged this one from Lance Armstrong! It's true - the worse I feel, the better I get.
Going through chemo, I was so focussed on what was happening that day.
Tomorrow didn't matter as it was too far away.
I was too sick to try and make any plans so my only strategy was to focus on getting through my treatment for that day. At the end of each radiology treatment, I would congratulate myself on getting one step closer to 'the end' (of my treatment).
Even though it was so hard to get out of bed toward the end of chemo, it meant that I was getting to the end of it - this is what drove me to function each day, regardless of how crap I felt or that my brain kept telling me to stop, I knew that feeling this shit was a good thing. It meant I was near the end of it all.
My mindset was that once I had finished my treatment, I could then switch off that part of my life and seamlessly slip back into where I had left off.
You can all stop pissing yourselves laughing now!! I realise this is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever thought (and this from a woman who has spent her life perfecting 'The Next Stupid Thing'!!!)
As soon as I felt like the effects of chemo and radiology had worn off (3 weeks later), I shoved myself back into work. I still felt crap, was so knackered I couldn't talk properly and was the shittiest woman on the planet. My kids wore it. My husband wore it. I felt like I was sliding very quickly down the slope towards barking lunacy.
I couldn't figure it out.
I was OK now, I was cured. I was armed with a decent supply of HRT to cover over the cracks of menopause so why did I feel like shouting at random teenagers walking past about their dress sense and getting a haircut???I had no idea of how to process everything that had happened.
I was still stuck in a 'get thru today' mindset. I was shoving myself through the motions of a life and hoping that it would just click in and become automatic.I was fed up with the 'you're an inspiration' speech because I knew the reality.
So I started to run.
It hurt and I looked like a baby elephant finding its feet. In my body, I was running to lose all of the weight I had put on in chemo. In my mind I was running to get as far away from cancer as I could. If I got some distance between me and it, my mind would be a better place.
In my ears, I had Kanye West telling me that 'that that don't kill you can only make me stronger. Jarvis Cocker telling me that he wanted to live like common people and Sneaky Sound System going on about not wanting to be lonely. I ran further. I ran faster. I still looked like a small elephant. I still wished my arse didn't move as much.
And then the click came. I need to do something that makes me lift my head up and look further than today. The fact that it happened to be an invitation to run 14km from the city out to Bondi is a bit of a shit but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
I will not live to regret this decision and I am determined to run every step of the way.

3 comments:

Beck said...

Hi there chicky....wow, talk about stopping a girl in her tracks! I feel a shit for not knowing earlier (through me not keeping in more regular contact!) what has transpired for you these past few months. I will definitely spare you the 'you're an inspiration' speech (although hell, you ARE all that and more!), but will stroke your ego a little by telling you what a profound effect you had on my life during the time we lived in Japan. Only recently, I was recounting a particular Nihon experience with a friend (probably the one where you beat the shit out of that woman's bonnet when she hit you with her car whilst on your deadly treddly!)and the word I used to describe you was my mentor. If I never told you Floss, you kept me afloat over and over with your wit and humour (and yes, even your tanties were entertaining....) and your zest for life. I was not only titillated by what you had seen and done pre-Japan, but I was inspired to take life by the balls (the way you are now) and really go for broke (not sure what kind of imagery that may conjure for you but hey, you get my drift!). I didn't want this day to end without telling you this babe. And whilst I get a big lump in my throat as I write this, I know that this is not about me or how I feel....I look forward to hearing from you soon babe. RUN FLOSS RUN! You go girl. Love always, Beck x x x

Fiona said...

I'm glad someone during the past 38 years sees my tanties as entertaining!!
Thanks Bec - just know that I am OK now (not just a front, but really really OK!) and still dragging everyone along for the ride!
I kept the major part of this battle very very private as I had no idea how to explain it so I'm sorry to hit you over the head with it like that!
I have one hell of a husband who has kept me on an even keel and was with me for every single horrid step. He is my hero and I wish everyone knew what it feels like to be so loved by one person (but then, I suspect you do too!!!)
F xx

LANA said...

HI FLOSS,
ALTHOUGH I WAS WITH YOU ALL IN OCTOBER,I DONT THINK I REALLY APPRECIATED THE PAIN AND WORRY YOU WERE EXPERIENCING,I KNOW PAULS LOVE FOR YOU AND THE BOYS IS UNCONDITIONAL AND I AM PROUD TO HAVE HIM FOR A SON.I AM ALSO PROUD TO HAVE SUCH A GUTSY DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AND I LOVE THE 2 LITTLE HORRORS TO BITS.