Sunday, May 26, 2013

When present tense gets strangled in the woes, made of our future foe scenarios

Today Jay comes home.  This is a profoundly good thing.

Tomorrow he starts the Regorafenib.  Tuesday he has a CT scan, so we have a baseline against which to measure the success of the new drug.  These are both necessary things.

I'm beginning to feel my own version of Jay's The Fear.  In my case, it's a skidding, sliding panic that everything is about to fall down around us.  I'm constantly on the verge of tears. If my life permitted it, I'd be living in a xanax haze to keep the excruciating anxiety at bay.

But life needs to be lived, and things need to be done, so I persevere.

Since the day I met Jay, the work that I've done in my head has been a process of letting go of my own expectations about everything, about things mundane and profound.  Let go, let go let go.

Now I'm finding that I need to find ways to let go of the most basic expectations of this life - that he will be here and healthy and happy on any given day, that I will have the partner who I love so dearly, that anything will be the same.

I came into this relationship as aware as anyone could be of what the consequences of the choice to be here were.  I knew to the core of my being that this love that is so dear to my heart might not have much of a future. I knew that whatever time we have together is worth the cost of the pain at the end.

I knew all these things, I felt them all deeply.  I know all these things, and feel them all deeply.

But now we're down to the wire, and I am afraid.

Let go, let go, let go.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Am I a part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease?

I don't write much about it here (a little here and here), but I am an addict in (pretty successful) recovery.

This weekend I'm attending the annual retreat for my addiction recovery group, Radiant Recovery.

This weekend is something of a program reset for me, as my food as gotten pretty wonky. My meal timings are off, browns (whole-grains) are almost non-existent, my journal has disappeared.  Only breakfast has remained, the steady rock of my program no matter what.

I haven't started using sugar again, but with the specter of Jay's mortality hanging over me, I can see frighteningly clearly the point where I might start using again.

That I can see going back to the place I've so successfully pulled myself out of scares me. I've been clean for 5 years now, and I don't want to squander that success.

Neither do I want to lose the rest of my life hiding from the pain of Jay's death. I know myself well enough to know I will feel the pull toward that kind of oblivion once he's gone.  That would be true even if my food and my program were picture-perfect.  The desire to drown my grief in my drug of choice and to not have to face the life I will have right after he goes will be strong. Only a program strongly in place and strong emotional support will counteract that urge.

It's been interesting to watch how the cancer journey is inflecting my recovery journey. It's easy for me to get lost in the minutiae of what needs to be done, in all the care that I want to give him. It's so easy for me to forget that I'm not an infinite pool of energy and resources, that I need to take care of myself, that time away from him can be a positive thing, not a bad thing.

For even in all we have to contend with as a couple, as a family, as a tribe, as a community, there is still joy to be had, and I don't want to miss a moment of it.

This weekend is serving as a good reminder of how off my program has been. The simple realization of how much I've missed beans has startled me, and focused me.

Our community's founder says that once we've experienced radiance, our cells never forget the feeling.

My cells are singing with joy and radiance again.

I remember.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

It's hard to rely on my good intentions, when my head's full of things that I can't mention

I am grieving.  If you've been following Jay's blog, you know why.  I can barely think about anything else but what the next few months will bring.

I'm full of fear, and profoundly sad.

Sometimes I do that awful thing of comparing grief, and think that I'm being awfully self-indulgent and selfish to be as grieved as I am.  One of the things I said to Jay early on in our relationship was that I knew my place in it, that I knew that I would never be first in his heart - that place will always be filled by his daughter, and rightly so. And I now realize that as the jenny-come-lately, I have the least to lose of all the people around him.

But there are times in this process where I feel like I'm forgotten (which I know is not true - witness the outpouring of concern and care I received on the announcement of Jay's terminal diagnosis, and continue to recieve) and where I fear I will be left with nothing.  The latter is harder for me to cope with, as I am quite literally the last in line.  I know my place.

I have no place or time to let this grief out, for many reasons. There's often no safe space for the expression of my grief, because of who's around or because of what needs to be done. This is becoming difficult for me.  I'm carrying a burden that even I don't know the size of, and it's just going to get worse as time passes.

I am grieving.