The Pain Now
After my steroids and chemotherapy, I’m home and slowly but surely my pain is lessening. My fingers looked like sausages for awhile (they didn’t taste like sausages). My eyelids were swollen. My thyroid was distended and was irritating my neck. I’ve been having issues swallowing and dealing with light (steroids can inflame the eyes). My skin is peeling. I feel like it’s too tight, like plastic wrap. My bones felt like they were being shaved with a really sharp potato peeler.
Today and last night my Painful Depression went away. That’s nice. I still have anxiety. Not so nice. Such is life. Trying to stay positive. I also got a free wheelchair and at-home nurse care. That’s nice!
Why I’m Happy
As I was laying in bed in the hospital knowing that I may very well die the following morning during my infusion, I couldn’t sleep. That’s understandable. But why I couldn’t sleep isn’t why you might think. It’s not that I’m afraid to die. To the contrary, I look forward to it. As Peter Pan says, “To die will be an awfully great adventure”. I’ve come to terms with death and accept it and try to live like each day is my last. I rather not be in pain than be held hostage in this body, anyway. Nonetheless, I could not sleep as I clutched my violet rosary beads I got for Christmas.
I was too busy thinking. I was too busy writing. I was too busy praying. I was thanking God over and over again for giving me the strength over the past eight months since my last treatment to be who I am, to reevaluate my life and start over. I was thanking God that I when I go, I’ll now go alone. I rather live and die alone than live and die with someone who makes me feel lonely. Who hurts me. Who breaks me down every single day. My own mind is a negative enough place. I don’t need someone preying on my weaknesses and amplifying my insecurities and making me hate myself even more than I already do. Blaming me. Blaming me for everything wrong. Telling me I’m worthless. And then allowing myself to believe it.
Giving Thanks For Suffering
Without my illness progressing the way it has, I would have stayed the person I was. And that person was blaming herself for being raped. She was playing pretend every day with friends and family and fake friends and family- the kind of people you only see at funerals or a 50th birthday party. She was pretending she was happy. She had this smile and a laugh that wasn’t hers. Inside, she was slowly falling apart. Bits of her reality would shine through, but immediately be dismissed by those around her.
I am no longer her.
Now, I do not let people dismiss me. Now, I do not lie about what was done to me. And though I still feel a deep shame that I doubt will ever leave, I rather be honest with myself than be fake to the face of the world.
If it wasn’t for my illness, I’d still be hiding from what happened to me. I’d still be with my abuser.
This past scan showed lesions in my neck. I’m going back into hospital on March 25th. Each time I get my infusion, the statistics of my body activating PML increases. The chances of me getting a stroke increases. I may not come back. I think I will and my doctor believes I will, but that’s not the point.I know I’ll be okay.
I will be okay because I am not afraid to die. I will be okay because I did all I could. I am free from my abuser(s). I will be free from my Earthly body. I will be okay because FREEDOM awaits me in the Heavenly Kingdom of God.
When I go, as we all go, I will die an honest woman who did her best to make the world a better place in her little corner of it. Who tried to be positive when she could and heal the only ways she knew how- creatively. Who wrote to heal. Who smiled honestly. Who loved honestly.
My illness is a blessing. For without it, I’d be trapped in a crumbling and painful self-made facade.