Sunday, August 01, 2010

Dark corners

I’m home, recovering from round 2. I’ve been home since Wednesday, I think. I’m less queasy, though I still don’t want to be around food much. I still get really tired, though it’s difficult to sleep during the day (and if I do, I don’t sleep as well at night). I don’t have much energy. A says I’m better by the day, but I still feel like crap. And I’m tired of being sick so much of the time.

It’s like I’m in a room, with no particular furniture. The closet door is open, and it’s leaking darkness all over the walls and floor. When I’m quiet, and alone, I don’t want to think about anything. That darkness is what’s there. I don’t want to talk about it with A, because it makes us both sad. But I need to write it out so I can maybe let go of it.

I’m not depressed, or I don’t recognize it as such. I don’t know whether my body is responding to chemotherapy. I threw another tumor the day I was discharged. It’s maybe as big around as a dime, on my hip. These things seem to sprout fully formed from some kind of hydra’s head. The one on my shoulder seems to have shrunk, a lot. The others, I don’t know. And I don’t know what the deep ones—in my lungs, chest muscle, and bones—are doing. I’ll have a PET scan on the 8th. Riverside will get the results, and will either give me more of the same or change it up. I’m anxious on either account. The devil I know is awful enough. I want it to work, dammit. I want to go back to my life.

The nurse who runs the program in Riverside told me that if I had the same stage of some other form of cancer—breast, say—we couldn’t talk about the odds being as good as they are. 30% is still not good. I know the statistics. And I know I’m an individual. But I’m afraid.

I’m not afraid of the spiritual aspects of dying. I know God is with me. I’m afraid of the physical process. Will it hurt? Will I feel ever sicker, just be uncomfortable? I remember watching someone at St. Aidan’s go through pancreatic cancer. I didn’t see her die. I didn’t see her at all for the last three or so months of her life. But when I did see her, she was so thin it just looked painful. I’m dropping weight now, because I’m nauseous and don’t want to eat. It doesn’t hurt. I’m nowhere near emaciated. I know my appetite will come back in a week or so. But I wonder, will my good times in between treatments be less good? Will I forget what healthy felt like?

I know I could live. I certainly have friends who are praying for that. But I’m not counting on it. I still have the tightness in my chest, that I know is not stress. When I cough, I wonder whether it really is simple allergies.

I want to go where I’m going with my eyes open. But I also don’t want to go there at all. I want my life back. I don’t want to think about cancer, sickness, or dying. I want to be hanging out with homeless people, taking bread to the river. I want to be laughing with my friends. Even if I live, I will never be normal again.

I want to go to the Ranch. I miss my refuge. Weekends at home are fine, but it’s hard to be alone here during the week when I don’t feel well enough to go anywhere. I don’t have access to a car right now, but that might change in a week or so. Then I can break away for awhile. But I don’t want to take too much relatively healthy time away from A, either. I want for us to be able to enjoy what we have. We still play. We still laugh. We still have fun together. I want us to do that for as long as we can.

I have to fly back to Riverside on the 19th. I just plain don’t want to. I will, because I want to live. But I don’t want to be sick anymore.

I’m just so frigging tired of all of this.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see you back on you blog so I know you came through this latest bout of treatment. I you can get back to your life and living it to the fullest. And I hope the PET scan shows miracles happening.

Kirstin said...

Thank you, Anonymous! I hope the same.

it's margaret said...

My heart aches for you. And, at the same time, I am so grateful for your witness. I think your eyes are open. Wide open.

Love you.

Mimi said...

Hugs and prayers, dear.

eileen said...

((((You))))) Sending you prayers, love and hugs...

Ann said...

it sucks for sure --- pounding on heaven's door for you.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Oh, Kirstin! I want your life back for you. I want you to be healthy and serving God's people and laughing with your friends. Like the others, I bombard heaven with prayers for you.

Love and blessings.

Caminante said...

And as I tromp the mountains of Vermont, looking at the granite and all the other stone, at the glacial erratics, I so pray that the ground under you would become solid again, that is, that your life return to a place where you are not tired, where you are more vibrantly you. I will continue to stomp out my prayers to God... somehow up in the mountains, I want them to be that much closer (!). In any event, I join in all the prayers.

Kirstin said...

Keep storming and stomping. Love to all.

susankay said...

Kirstin -- I and all of St Mark's Durango continue to pray for you. You have amazing and awe-inspiring strength so it would appear that some of our prayers are heard -- or just that God loves you a whole lot.