So Much For Catch Up

Yeah. That whole multi-part catch-up idea sort of went out the window with the stress of the holidays and all  that came along with them.

So, to hell with catching up. You don't really need to know every stupid detail of what I've been up to over the past couple months, right?  (I promise you, it hasn't been thrilling at all.)

You know what IS thrilling, though?  At least... as far as I'M concerned?  Tomorrow.

Yep.  Tomorrow I go for my next 3-month check-up with my Gynecologic Oncologist, Dr. Kebria.  This will be my 4th 3-month check-up.  You guys are good at math, right?  You know what 4 times 3 months is, right?  Yeah.  That's it.  A YEAR!

Since my last post, I hit a lot of my little "anniversaries".  A year since I finished chemo on December 12th.  A year since I finished external radiation on December 14th.  AND, a year since my last brachytherapy (read: last cancer treatment EVER) on January 3rd.

And now here I am.  Less than 24 hours away from what is essentially my ONE YEAR follow-up appointment, and I have no idea, really, where I am at all...

Cancer changes your entire world.  I have only the faintest recollection of the person I was before all of this. I don't know how to explain that statement, other than to say I just feel so utterly different.  All the time.  Every day.  About every aspect of my life.  And I don't mean that the way I feel about absolutely everything has CHANGED from how it used to be, it's just that my feelings, my perceptions, the things I notice, the things I want... it all just feels... I don't know... amplified, maybe?

(That's one thing that has changed in an extremely noticeable way for me.  I have a hard time coming up with the right word.  And my memory is weak.  My brain feel cloudy and I feel, just, dumber in a lot of ways.  I'm doing the stupid crosswords and brain games and shit every day, but I just don't feel as sharp anymore.  Ask knitting dad.  A time existed in the not so distant past where I could tell you what I was wearing on the first day of third grade.  And what the teacher was wearing.  And what all my friends were wearing.  And their names.  Now I don't have a clue what I wore YESTERDAY, nor can I remember the name of the woman who led the cheesy team-building seminar we did at work THIS MORNING.  Between "chemo-brain" and menopause, I feel so much less sharp than I am used to being.  It sucks.  What's the use of having once had an incredible vocabulary if you now have trouble coming up with the word "amplified"?)

Getting back to that whole amplified thing...
I genuinely believe that I have changed in ways than I will never be able to explain to anyone who hasn't been through it.  Sometimes it gets sort of, I dunno... isolating.  I feel like there is no way to explain what's "going on" with me to anyone.  I feel like no one will "get it".  But it's not all bad.  I spend so much more time just noticing things, beauty around me, smiling at people, and feeling gratitude.  Overwhelming amounts of gratitude.  And also overwhelming amounts of fear.  My stomach has been in knots all week.  I know it's because of my appointment tomorrow.  I know it's because, whether I want to admit it or not, I'm 100% fucking TERRIFIED.  And that's mostly because of the shocker of the unexpected biopsy he did three months ago at my last visit.  The fear that caused.  The resurfacing of the uncertainty.  Ugh.  It's all so friggin' overwhelming.  I spend every day, now, being overwhelmed with gratitude to just be alive and seeing all of the beauty in the world and experiencing all of the things I get to experience, from the mundane to the extraordinary, interacting with all of my beautiful friends and family and appreciating each and every one of them more than I ever realized I did.  And I also spend every day, now, being overwhelmed by fear.  Fear about my health.  Fear about letting anyone KNOW I'm feeling fear for fear that THEY will then feel fear.  Fear that it will come back.

For the most part, I am capable of  at least trying to tone down my sensitivity to the sensory overload that living with my post-cancer brain has created.  But if you ever think I seem a little off... just know that there's a good chance that I'm a LOT off.  And it's not all a bad thing.  It just is.  I'm learning how to be the "new" me, still.  It ain't easy.

Anyhow.  I'm going to make more of an effort to keep up with this blog.  I really am.  I need to.  It helps me get these things that I just never talk about OUT there.  It helps me.  And I still hope that it just might help someone else who might be going though the same shit, somewhere out there.

I'll see you soon.  Sooner than last time. I promise.

Love love, Phoebe


Dad/Gary said…
Glad to have you back writing this blog. We wish you the best today, and everyday!
Zenon Young said…
Your words are exactly the way I feel too. I am totally 'off' right now, waiting for my PET scan results. Thank you for writing more, and for expressing the kalidescope of feelings that come with this experience. I adore you!

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