It’s been a while. I’ve been superbusy dealing with the whole boob business that I wrote about, back in October. The surgery went well – they removed the entire tumour and one tiny extra cancer cell. Surgeons were very pleased with it, but considering my young age they wanted to give me the entire kit, including chemo and radiation.
So, about 2½ weeks ago I had my very last chemo treatment. Am currently in some sort of recovery – still in the 21 days cycle, but on Thursday it’ll be 3 weeks (and I got treatments every 3 weeks), and I’ll start to recover for real.
It’s been quite the circus. Like I said in my last post, this is not the worst that ever happened to me. Growing up with my birth-giver was much, much worse. This was, however, the weirdest and most trying physical ordeal I ever went through. Bloody hell, recieving chemo treatment is no game. The stuff that happens inside your body… there are no words to describe it to anyone who hasn’t been through it – because it’s impossible to relate. It’s all so extremely unnatural to be poisoned like this.
I left a thank you card to the ward where I recieved my chemo treatments, and it actually said something like this;
It should be illegal to poison people like this – and to get away with it. But I’d like to present you with a deeply felt THANK YOU, for.. blah, blah, blah.
Now, I could go on forever, talking about this. Trust me, there are loads of things I could say. But this is not the place to discuss details about chemo – this is where I’ll adress differences between me and my birth-giver, not to mention, few of the lessons I’ve learned through this journey.
Me and Ingegerd (birth-giver)
As I’ve written before, Ingegerd was a covert narcissist. She was a martyr, expecting everyone else to feel sorry for her too. And treating her as a victim – that was very important to her, although she’d never admit it.
And from my (spiritual) point of view, she died because her entire life she had to make people feel sorry for her. And every time she came up with something new, it had to be worse than before. She ended up with cancer, and she died. She told me, only perhaps a week or so before she actually died, that she wasn’t ready to. In my mind, I thought – tough shit. You get what you ask for, and this time you asked for too much.
Me, on the other hand. I actually never felt sorry for myself, through this. Sure, I’ve had moments when I’ve been in so much pain I cried, or where I’ve cried from fatigue that just never ended. But in general, I never felt sorry for myself. I have also been very, very careful to not let anyone else believe that their own bad days with headache or whatever, is of less value than what I’ve been through. I’ve kept my positive umbrella mindset, and I have to admit that I am very, very proud of that.
So this entire thing has made me realize that I am nothing like Ingegerd. Not anymore. I have, for the most part, broken the circle – and I think I am quite a decent person, these days.
Me and my dad
Dad died from cancer, too. While he and I had a troublesome relationship, we did love each other very, very much. And he showed me another way of dealing with one’s own cancer, than Ingegerd did. He refused to be a victim, he didn’t want to talk about it (well, until the last few months when he was really sick).
I learned a lot from him, in that regard.
Release and let go
This is one of the lessons that I’ve learned through this process. The cycle of chemo treatments is; I got my treatment, and for one week I’d feel like crap. Once the effects of chemo faded, I more or less forgot what it was like. Now, when I’m done, I remember it was really, really bad – but I have few clear memories of what it was like. I think it’s necessary to do this, because you don’t want to remember. It’s a survival thing.
Unlike what happens when you have shitty parents, however, what I learned here was to leave yesterday behind my back. I learned not to dwell on what was going on yesterday, because I was so busy dealing with what happened that day.
And the funny thing is that, post chemo, my life is divided in two – before and after chemo. And everything that happened before chemo, is now way past due. It has become hidden in a thick, white fog – I suppose we could call it memory. Time has always been fluid for me, so this is a totally new experience.
I had an interesting realization, only days before my last treatment. I was sitting in my kitchen, watching the mess and thinking that bloody hell, I’ve become Ingegerd, in how I treat my home. She was a horder, and while I’m not a horder, I’ve collected way too much stuff over the years.
Another thought that crossed my mind was something like… now that I do feel so good about myself, I want my surroundings (my home, mainly) to reflect the beauty I feel on the inside.
And my home does not reflect that. My home reflects who I was for many years; depressed, anxious, messy, with too much toxic crap from my parents to deal with, trying to figure out life, who I was/am, how to live, how to be an actual individual person, et cetera.
Since I don’t want to be anything like Ingegerd, I am presently performing a death cleaning (swedish concept) of my home, throwing out everything I haven’t used or even knew I had. And I am ruthless in this process. I do keep lots of things – but those are mainly my interests. Loads of old stuff that’s been hiding in my cupboards are now gone.
And I am so proud of myself for this.
My plan is to have a home that’s ready for guests at any time, without me having to be ashamed for how it looks.
Returning to post chemo; I was given this aggressive treatment to prevent growth of any new tumours. I’ll be on medication for few years as well. And considering how the doctors, surgeons, nurses et cetera, consider me cancer free, I don’t feel the need to be scared. I’m not going to die – instead, I intend to live for many years to come. I want to live, not only exist. Surely, many of you know exactly what I’m saying just there.
I am not like my birth-giver. I am not a victim, not anymore. I have worked so hard to get to where I am, and I am not giving that up.
And believe me when I tell you; if I could get this far, so can you.