If I could seal myself in a bubble and spend the next five months alone, I would. This whole experience would be a lot easier in some ways if I didn’t have to go through it with people who know and care about me. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate everyone who is in my life and helping me through this, and I am so grateful for everyone. There are people in my life now who previously were just folks I chatted with on Twitter and Facebook — people who have introduced themselves and offered their support in countless ways. And this is in addition to the friends I already have and love.

It helps to have a lot of people to bounce things against. Or, at least, it helps me. Last night, out with friends I’ve known almost half my life, I finally talked about one of the situations that has me raging. It wasn’t easy because I feel pretty hurt and embarrassed and confused by the whole thing, but I ranted a bit and they all got mad for me. And for a bit, it was really like they were carrying some of my load (which is really hokey sounding and I barfed a little when I wrote that, but it’s 100 percent true).

So, yeah, people are good to help make the bad feelings a little less bad. But I’m also witness to other stuff that’s come out of me going through this period of unwellness. Relationships strained. Feelings hurt. Knowing that I am not able to be as good a friend as I want to be and should be, and having to deal with the repercussions of that. I am a mess, though it isn’t always seen by people. Last night at the AGO, I ran into a friend who asked how I was doing. And with a huge (genuine) smile, I told him I was seething with rage and wanting to smash shit. I was raging, I said, but raging through a smile. That’s probably a better reflection of how much of a mess I am than if I was actually breaking stuff in anger.

A couple of weeks ago, I told the kids I take care of twice a week that my doctors wanted me to start chemo. The boy, who is eight, said I’m sad that you have to do chemo, and I tried to tell him that it wasn’t so bad, that I did it before and I would be okay and he didn’t have to be sad. And then I stopped myself. I was trying to control how he felt about the situation. I do that a lot. It’s hard not too, especially when you are a subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle control freak like me. What I should have said was I’m sad I have to do chemo, too.

In other news, I’ve decided it’s time to go back to therapy.


About Alicia Louise

I'm a writer, editor, fact checker, storyteller, events organizer, chronically busy yet endlessly lazy, mildly neurotic (though I keep the neuroses well-hidden, one hopes) 32-year-old with recurrent ovarian cancer. I like people and good writing and straight talk. I have a hard time feeling sorry for people, including myself, but the people that I love, I love passionately; one may even say creepily. I try to keep that mostly to myself. I'd like to be charming, but I'm usually just a mess. I'm like a gull slamming into your windshield.
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