had my 3rd chemo on tuesday. my half way point. the last one went rather well. a 3 day slowing down, a deep crash that friday, a massage that night and i popped out the other side. the following two weeks i was full of energy, working out, teaching, working on massage clients. whew. so grateful.
so, here we go again. the initial day of butterfly stomach, skin tingling, not altogether unpleasant. then the slow thick mildly underwater feeling. each day a bit heavier. thursday evening begins to feel anxious, teary, like you are falling. slowly falling. just endless falling.
friday morning i’ve hit the ground. splattered. and it is not a physical crash. no bone pain, no nausea, no fever. the chemo is doing this strange polar dance inside me. even as it is killing my cells, stopping my hair growth, and pulling me deep under, it also is resurrecting every broken piece of my emotional landscape and breathing new life into it. i am being held under water and made to look at every way i have ever betrayed myself . all of my bad judgement, all of my weaknesses, my faults, my inadequacies, and every way i have failed or been failed. and if i felt that i had been failed by someone else, surely it was really my fault. it was spectacular actually, like a train wreck.
i was an insane 6 year old child, screaming for someone to just love me and take care of me. to make it better. my dear friend stayed with me for a long time and then i knew i needed to call my mother. i hesitate to call her because i feel like i am way too much to deal with. that i will break her heart with my brokeness. that i scare her when i am like this and she does not know what to do with me. i have always felt that i am too much to deal with. too big. too messy. too passionate. too fiery. too much.
i call my mother and she comes and holds me in her arms and i weep. i weep like my heart is breaking and it feels that it is. she holds me, and breathes with me and she does not “shush” me, or tell me to stop, or get myself together. she knows exactly what to do. she lets me cleanse myself. the healing power of salt water. i have always said that crying is my super power. lately i cannot imagine where these tears can possibly keep coming from.
eventually, i am done. i feel still and quiet. i actually have another friend who comes to get me and we go out to dinner and see a play. can’t imagine how i was able to do that, but i did, and it was nice to be out. by the end of the evening i was exhausted on every level. i slept deep.
the next morning was a new day. the storm had passed, but i saw things that had been uprooted by the tsunami, things i needed to clear away. things i needed to address and take care of. and in that moment i begin to see this entire other level of clearing that chemo does. perhaps the deep emotional fragmentation is the real cancer and the lumps that show up are merely by products of that.
i am seeing this chemo as a tool to help pull up every emotional thing inside me that i need to heal. for me to pick up and handle each piece that gets blown to the surface and to look at it with new eyes, to turn it over in my hands and then to keep digging, because buried underneath all of that broken rubble is my long lost power. the power to choose a different way and to not buy into my old outworn stories of lack and unworthiness. to take care of myself . ME take care of myself.
i am not too much. i am a LOT, but i am not too much. i am just right. this whole nightmare right now that feels like it is too much… maybe, somehow, it is just right too.