When mortality is thrust into your face like a lemon cream pie, a certain heaviness descends with that awareness. It’s a cloud, or maybe better – it’s a fog: thick, obstructing, enveloping. And that fog is what gets me on the bad days.
Somehow with all this cancer crap, it feels like I’ve aged about 30 years beyond my time. Or maybe 20. Before the bump (btb) there were no aching joints, no grey hairs, no empty nest to trigger a life crisis . . . now, however, I’m a 28 year old who is far too aware.
It’s funny how you read in the news about breast cancer survivors. We’re all survivors so long as we’re here, survivors and fighters, but the threat of breast cancer doesn’t disappear. Women can have reoccurrences (granted it becomes less likely as more time passes, but we’re still checking over our shoulder for quite a while – plus there’s that bloody 50% stat which the doctor was so kind to gift me with). I self-examine my boob every day because of the paranoia.
But even worse than the awareness is how it creeps into the good times – that fog of mortality, of possibility, of reoccurrence. Totally ruins the picnic.
So, talking this all over with my mom I’m telling her how it’s difficult to enjoy like I once did. Sure, I can enjoy a conversation, a cup of tea, a lovely day etc., but when thinking about the present those past enjoyments don’t seem relevant. The real question is: How am I feeling now? And when it’s bad, it’s bad. And when it’s good, I worry about losing everything.
My mom works with many people who have gone through cancer. She says the fog is something everyone struggles with, something we need to work through.
She’s absolutely right. I’d rather be living than worrying. Not only physiologically living (because yes, I like living in the physiological sense too), but LIVING – steeped into the world, feeling the vibes, sharing the love, dancing in pyjamas.
First however, I need to manage this fog. Anyhow, it’s a big goal and won’t happen immediately. However, Marcelle suggested a first step: little pleasures.
Therefore, while typing this post, I’ll ask: What am I enjoying right now?
Answer: Typing – love to type! Sitting – this sofa is amazingly comfortable. Talking – I love talking with you, those who so kindly read this blog.
Here is another question worth asking: What can I do to enjoy this moment even more?
Answer: Open the front windows.
And so I have. Outside it’s white and beautiful; a very perfect Canadian Christmas.
When that heavy fog rolls it can feel nearly impossible to clear my head. Things are difficult, fears are strong and it’s damn hard. But this is a start. Micro steps to bigger goals – and my ultimate goal is to be happy, healthy and living well. In the meantime I’ll look out the window.
PS – secret pleasure for the NOW. Eating from the hidden stash of mocha chocolate pecan ice cream. With three men in the house, it’s good to hide these sort of things.