For the first time since all of this began I feel alone. It's a horrible feeling.
Sean and I were talking last night about his going back to work. He's going to have to eventually, we both know that. I'm pretty damned lucky to have had him off at all, I know it's not common. He's been home since August and it's been a huge support to me to have him here through the surgeries, the recovery and the treatments. I'm sure it's eased his mind too, not being at work, unable to contact me (or be contacted) at any given time and not 'in the loop' on what's happening. But all good things must end.
We were taking about they reasons why and why not for going back to work after his next doctors appointment (he's the one who signs him off) One of the reasons he said to me that he wanted to go back to work was that he wanted to feel like a part of the world again. He also didn't want to tell me that answer because A: he didn't want to hurt my feelings and B: he felt selfish.
I get it. I really, really do. I can't imagine being in his shoes. Complaints aside, he loves his job and being stuck at home for 2 months, away from colleagues, friends, mental stimulation....it sucks. It shows when he gets irritated easily. He's getting cabin fever, especially when he's stuck on 24 hour a day duty for 4 days after my treatment - not just for the kids but for me too.
I don't begrudge him feeling that way because in his shoes, I would too. The thing is, I am kind of in his shoes...only they smaller....and I can't get them off.
I too long to be part of the world again but it's not a luxury I have. And it's made me realize that while I know everyone who loves me has my back, is here to support me and would do just about anything for me if I asked...I'm surrounded by friends and family and am completely and utterly alone.
I don't get to turn it off. Even if I thought going back to work for the two weeks that I feel okay was doable, my immune system would not allow me to spend 6 hour a day with 30 five years year olds and their germs. A friend asked me out to a club for tonight for drinks and dancing and I think, that would be a hell of a lot of fun, except that I can't drink right now because I need to take my percocets for my sciatica and if I didn't take the percs so I could drink well then I couldn't move well enough to dance. Plus, there's the whole vanity thing. I see it at the mall, at WalMart, at the kids school.....that head tilt/pity look I get from people because I clearly have cancer...why else would I have a scarf on my head and no hair. And I only had my treatment a week ago so being in a crowded, germ infested club is probably not the best idea, my immune system is not strong enough.
I guess I've realized how jealous I am. I'm fiercely envious of everyone else because no matter how invested they are in me, they still get the chance to escape this. They can go home, go to work, go on with their lives. I can't. Mine is stuck, right here, right now. I can't get away from cancer. I can't go to work and pretend I'm fine. I can't go on vacation and pretend I'm fine. I can't even sit on my couch and pretend I'm fine. Because the fact of the matter is, I'm not, I won't be for a really long time. My life will revolve around appointments, my immune system, the fear that all of this will not result in the clean bill of health I'm hoping for and the unknown for the next year, at least. And as much as anyone else is invested in me and my well being, I am still very much alone because it's not them it's happening to. It's me. I'm the one who has lost a body part forever. I'm the one who's bald. I'm the one who has to have red goo pumped into her veins until she longs for death because it's got to feel better than the after effects. I'm the one whose life has come to a halt and I'm not sure when or even if I'll be able to get it going again. Will I ever get to become part of the world again?
I blogged once about someone I knew whose husband had had cancer and how she became a person who undermined other's problems - everyone elses problems were insignificant because they were not cancer - they were not life or death, they were trivial. I didn't want to become that person but I find I am. I read people's FB status updates and often think, "Are you for real??? You're complaining about THAT??? Walk 3 feet in my shoes and you'll see how stupid you sound." I've defriended two people already because I'm so freakin' tired of seeing their status updates complaining about going to work. I'd give my right arm (my left tit?) to go back to work.
And yet, even as I type that I find some perspective because I can sit here and have this pity party for myself and the fact of the matter is, I too could have it a lot worse. I have cancer, sure, but to the best of my knowledge it's not terminal. As much as I complain about not knowing when this will end I do have the very real hope that it will end and end with a positive outcome. When I start feeling sorry for myself I just have to take the time to read this blog and be inspired because you won't find a single word of pity party in her blog and if she so chose to, she'd certainly be entitled to her share of it. Instead she looks up and forward and beyond. I could really take a page from her book.
I will join the world again, one day. I hope it's not too far off, it's lonely here. In the meantime, I guess I will continue to do my best to enjoy the good parts of this, I'm sure one day, many years from now when I've lost this perspective and am taking life for granted again I too will update my FB status with "Oh shit, I really don't want to go to work today, it sucks."