I got in.
I received an email a couple weeks ago that informed me in a roundabout way I had been accepted into the UNL College of Journalism’s IMC program for the fall semester. I plan to start taking CBA classes in June.
I’m excited. Happy. I feel like I at least have a three-year plan, something that sent terror screaming through my body when I tried to envision even living for three more years.
But how am I now, really?
The endless turmoil of trying to figure out my new normal life in has caused more anxiety than ever. Where is my motivation to leave my mark on this world? All I see being portrayed by other survivors are the “fuck it” mentality, packing up and exploring every facet of the world, while I’ve settled easily back into my life before cancer. Am I surviving wrong?
I have an unfinished blog saved explaining the sheer panic leading up to my annual CT scan in January. Only a few people know of the absolute chaos that took control of my New Year’s Day. I was sending panicked text to anyone to hop in a car and drive across the country with me. Those could have been my last days before recurrence and I wasn’t doing anything significant. I didn’t want to waste my last hours.
The scans came back clear. Life moved on.
I went on a cruise, and realized my inability to talk about cancer to people I didn’t know. I had no answer when people asked why I was on this trip, as most were celebrating life events, like my dad’s retirement. I’ve never been one to seek being the center of attention. Any discussion would surely lead to sad eyes or worse, having to answer an endless series of questions in a round-table fashion.
I hope I got food poisoning a couple weeks ago. The months leading up to my diagnosis are running parallel to my odd but not significant symptoms of getting “food poisoning” twice in the exact same time frame as 2013. I got so upset I had to call my oncologist to calm me down; they scanned me a couple months ago, there was nothing there. I’m not sleeping for 15 hours at a time, so I just have to sit tight until my April check-up.
I got better. Life moved on.
I question regularly how I should be interacting with the people that flooded into my life, and the little impact they have now. I try to reach out to them, feeling like I’m acting unappreciative for all they did. But their lives have moved on too. Is this just the normalcy of being sick? People rush in, they help and love, and then they move on. I feel guilty for not being able to provide the same care, attention, and support for them that they provided to me.
When I meet other cancer survivors, I feel like they try to compete with me over who knows more, had it worst, or dealt with it the best. People who I thought I could commiserate with see me as competition. Or, they make me feel guilty for not doing more now. I like beer, sugar, crummy fast foods, and non-vegan everything. I haven’t founded my own local cancer fighters group, or participated in any cancer-awareness events.
I still feel lost in so many ways.
I’m back to seeing coincidences. My past experiences and revelations tell me I need to follow them, which is leading me in a new and unexpected path. Maybe this year’s big changes are still on the horizon.