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My six-month cancerversary looms; what should I get myself?

Magic box

I awoke this morning feeling angry and scared. Six months of yuck, I thought. Six months of my life beingwhat IS my life anyway? I woke up and felt pain and tiredness, and remembered that this is how I’ve awakened every day now for nearly six months. My cancerversary is this weekend. Six months.

I need a new gig.

This Cancer Chick thing is getting old. I can’t seem to wish it away, and I know that wishing things away doesn’t work anyway. What is that saying? What you resist persists. [insert eyeroll here] Oh, fuck you. I see that phrase and want to stab my eyeballs with a blunt fork.

Still, there is truth in it, that saying.

Months ago I decided to resign myself to feeling crappy for months. That decision helped me let go and stop resisting. Six months, I thought. That’ll do it. Sure, the Gerson program that we’ve adapted and expanded upon says you need two years to heal from cancer, but why would that apply to me? I’m special, I thought. Stronger than other people. More magical. Somehow I would harness my superpowers and heal myself in a fraction of the time it takes other people. Six months, I thought. Six months would do it. In six months I’d be dancing tango. Writing a book. Going to martial arts 5 times a week. In six months I’d be fine.

Fine. I’m not fine and it dawned on me this morning that I have no real idea how much longer I’ll feel crappy. Somebody keeps moving the goalpost. And I’m angry about it, and afraid. What if I never get close to the goalpost? What if I always feel tired, weak, and brain-blurred? What if this as good as it gets? What if I’m not special, not strong, not magical, and never find my superpowers?

There are people who will read this and try to make me feel better. I imagine they might say things like enjoy life while you can, or don’t be so hard on yourself. I also imagine stabbing those people with a blunt fork.

I need to feel these feelings. I need to feel alone and scared and small in order to find out once and for all that I am none of those things. I need time and space to heal. Six months? Six years? I don’t know. Tomorrow is another day.


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Pavlina Ortiz

    Looks like I might be the first one to get stabbed with a fork! 🙂 I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone feeling like crap. Although I do not have a cancer, I have been feeling like crap lately and I am sick of it too. Thus I admire you for sticking to your plan for 6 months already. And I totally hear your thoughts about being special and not needing more time to heal…I would think that way too. After all, 2 years of Gerson’s therapy seems like a nevernding daunting task. Not to mention very expensive one too.
    On the other hand….once it’s over, you will have most likely extended your life by another 20 years!! Which probably would not have happened without the cancer fucking thing. You are gonna be so insanely healthy you”’ outlive all of us!

  2. Kate I

    Exactly! There’s no right/wrong, good/bad, black/white when it comes to what we feel. It is what it is…until it isn’t anymore. We each have our own journey to figure out as we walk it…sometimes amazing and other times, not so much.

    Step by step.

    Love and hugs

  3. Nishant

    Hi Talyaa
    You write:
    I need to feel these feelings. I need to feel alone and scared and small in order to find out once and for all that I am none of those things.

    I can tell you that you are nothing…..but for some reason with a big need to be SOMETHING.
    You are just the empty space in which all this is happening.
    Just a witness of whatever is going on.

    None judgmental.

    I hope you will figure it out.

    Missing your monthly reports

  4. DianeHB

    We New Agers are full of advice — whether truly helpful or not. Here’s one more, but feel free not to take it ;).

    “What you resist persists” is often quoted, and our first reaction is to make ourselves “wrong” for resisting, and then try hard not to resist. We don’t realize that resisting the fact that we resist is resistance nonetheless. Michael said that to begin to accept anything, you have to start where you are — which means that you cannot accept the unacceptable until you allow yourself NOT to accept it. When you accept your lack of acceptance, your energy can then shift toward expansion rather than defense.

    New Age teachings taught me that “negative” emotions were not okay, and that there was something wrong if I couldn’t be peaceful and blissed out all the time. I used to fight my resistance and unpleasant emotions constantly. Even when I appeared non-reactive on the surface, I reacted on the inside. Last year, I learned to be kind to myself. I began to understand that inconsistency is the nature of being human, and that we don’t always end up where we thought we were going. We zig and zag and take side trips that surprise us. It is all good. I learned to love myself for my flaws and missteps, and surprise, they do not bother me nearly as much. It still sucks to be in pain and to be sick, but I no longer make myself wrong for experiencing them. It is not “unspiritual” to be in pain, to resist, to throw tantrums, to be angry, etc. It is an enormous denial of our humanity to say otherwise.

    My suggestion, if you choose to take it, is that for just a few days, give yourself a break from having to be “more spiritual” than you are. Let yourself hate the cancer and the pain to your heart’s content. Revel in your hate. Then see where you want to go from there.

    I’ll send you the transcript where that Michael quote came from, as I think it would help. It was a workshop called “Accepting the Unacceptable.”

  5. Theia

    Hello Talyaa

    I think you are already writing your book here: at least, one of them! I am so glad you speak of how you need to ‘feel all these things’. and I seem to be grinning when I realise that by the mighty god of the forks, there is an antipathy to ‘those other’ things.. . This is what I need to know and what you have just given to me for me: That I have been choosing which bits of my experience I will ‘do acceptance’ with.. and which bits I ‘won’t’. So, my dear darling, you have given me something very good and very wise and lovely. Of course I knew it anyway.. but I have lots of ‘knowing stuff’ inside my cortex. Staying with it is far less attractive to me. That Rumi poem so good for me about ‘welcome it all’. I don’t think he means passive victim: far from it. But I am aiming to avoid being stabbed with a blunt fork so graphic my eyes seem to want to withdraw in their sockets. Hoping to be crafty enough to say what I want to say and to dodge the flying forks should I fail to get the balance right. Interesting, isn’t it?How I don’t give myself permission to get it wrong.. having said what I said in the beginning. Oh what a long journey it seems and only one step can be taken at a time. It seems so unacceptable. How on earth did we get to be so alienated from who we really are! (no need to answer that of course)

    much love, theia

  6. carole Lindroos

    Bottom line…. cancer sucks! Treatment sucks! And I want to thank you for your honest, candid and very funny remarks at times. I feel so honored to read your posts and would look forward to your book signing event!!! And my regrets for the blunt fork event.
    Sending love and a smile.

  7. Jordan

    Honestly I think it’s cool that you’re at the point where you’re beyond all that u-rah rah positive thinking bullshit. It fails in the face of reality and that bullshit is touted by people who’ve never truly suffered. Let yourself feel it but don’t look for a reason in it. Don’t beleive there’s some higher purpose to it. It”s ugly and that’s all there is to it, so you let it hurt. Maybe in time it will improve. But there is a quiet strength in that acceptance, in that resignation to the reality. Because you’re not running anymore. Not from the pain, the ugliness, or the negative feelings. And that’s authentic. At least you have that.

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