Alligator tears

I find it hard to stop crying. My eyelashes adher in salty clumps from all the tears. And it’s always for the same reason: I’m just so fucking overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed by my exhaustion. Overwhelmed by all the effort. Overwhelmed by my body’s reactions. Overwhelmed that this isn’t over. Overwhelmed to be so far from home. Overwhelmed that responsibility and hunger and housekeeping don’t stop even when I so desperately want them to all go away and not come back for at least three months, maybe four.

I don’t know if it’s the chemotherapy drugs having an effect on my mood, or if it’s simply my mood. I don’t know if it’s my diagnosis, or the never-ending worry, or the uncertainty that clouds my future like some ugly fog threatening in the distance, rolling toward my fucking life. My livelihood. My life.

So I cry. What else is there to do? I cry and cry and find some relief in the act.

One day things will be better and this will stop. I know that because sometimes there are moments – glimpses of normal – like Frisbee in the park, tea with friends, chatting at work, Sundays in bed. Sooner than later I’ll stop crying.

Sometimes it’s so hard to look forward. But forward is the only place to go, the only way I can survive. Forward is inevitable, though getting there has been a struggle.

Two months left of chemotherapy, maybe a little bit more. One month of radio-therapy. Five years of medication. Cancer had better stay away from me, because I’m tired of its company.

And in the meanwhile I’ll just cry a little, because it helps. Because I can’t stop. Sooner than later this will be over. I look forward, when I can look forward, to that time.

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8 thoughts on “Alligator tears

  1. Catherine,

    You beautiful, inspirational woman – you are so admired for the way you’re dealing with this shitty, horrible thing. Hormones, drugs, the sickness, whatever the reason, just cry and go with it and then, when you’re ready, write some more. Try and take some strength from the knowledge that you have friends who think you are bloody amazing and are willing you to get through all this.

    Massive hug, Louise x

    • Thank you Louise – and sorry I missed you at the lit festival. I hope the creative writing degree was an excellent experience for you. 🙂 The ability to write is a gift, don’t you think? It’s been my crutch, that’s for sure.

  2. Hi catherine, Yes crying is good sometimes, but I am sure that the sun will arrive one day. Is there any possibility for you to have a group of support to have a place to let you say and see other people what they did in this situation, because it is a hard moment for you and it is difficult but I can tell you we always think at you and even if we are far you are neau in our hearth. Have a good day and take care.
    Andrée et Roland

  3. dear, dear Catherine,
    so sorry reading these lines, but unfortunately not so surprised. Chemo is an hard treatment, cancer is a heavy disease. “Cancer sucks”… but winning on it have a heavy price : knowing what suffering’s meaning. I was so sad when i learnt your incoming in this world.
    Lovely thoughts to you.
    Let you crying, go on writing, one day chemos will be over, life is definitely changed, but it stills the most marvellous thing one this place, and the most precious.
    Thousand kisses !

  4. Hi Catherine,

    Crying is ok. It’s your body’s way of relieving stress. Your body knows what’s good for you right now… like you said, you find relief in the act.

    I would say there’s not just one reason that’s causing the crying, it’s all the ones you stated. Being overwhelmed is tough.

    I was thinking about you last night when I was doing my physical training with JP. I had got a bit dizzy and my stomach was hurting like it wanted to throw up. JP had me walk around the gym three times while I pressed my fingernails into the side of my fingers near the nail bed (a trick JP taught me which helps with the dizziness). And then we resumed my training. I thought of you doing your karate, and how Daniel admires your strength. Yes, you will make it, and deep down your inner spirit knows it!

  5. Hi!
    I came across your blog by fluke and as I was reading it I totally understood what you were and are going thru. It is amazing how doctors never think that it could be breast cancer in young women. The first doctor I saw just looked at me and said that I am too young to have breast cancer but I insisted on getting it checked out because my lump just didn’t feel right and I am glad that I did because it did end up being cancer. I am doing great right now – well sort of (waiting for some results) but seriously hoping it is just a scare! I will definitely be stopping by to see what you are up to! Good luck in everything!

    • Hi, thanks for reaching out. I’ll be sure to check out your blog. It’s nice to hear someone say they totally understand what I was going through – particularly for this post, because it was emotionally exhausting. Things are getting better for me too – well, life without chemo cannot help but be better! Good luck with your results. I’m going now to check out your blog. 🙂

  6. Pingback: World Mental Health Day: Depression | Bumpyboobs

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