Photo by SmythPhoto
It’s the unknown that I fear
I’m sitting in my hospital bed at the ICU a couple days after my craniotomy
I should be in a regular room but the hospital is full
I thought there would be more pain
I thought I would not wake up as myself
I thought I would die
Months ago things started to change
The change was slow and almost unnoticeable
Until one day it wasn’t.
3.5cm slowly eroding my ability to speak
Stealing everyday words from my lips
I thought I was just tired.
Faced by a simple white sheet of paper with illegible text
In an instant I was absorbed in the fear of my mortality
My mortality wrapped in letters that no longer became words
The sheet of paper transformed into the return of cancer
I cried and told my husband that it will be fast now it’s in my brain
He turned to me with fear in his eyes and said NO IT WONT
My deepest fears created a web of inescapable irrational anxiety
It was cancer and my language was disappearing
I return to face uncertainty and the unknown cancer abyss
A clear scan two weeks earlier had lured me into allowing myself to feel normal
I indulged in dropping the walls that confined my dreams and ambitions
I was exploring who I am as I began to live with no visible cancer
But my unscanned brain held secrets
Stealing security, confidence, dreams and a fleeting normality
The inescapable roller coaster of cancer my constant companion
A few days ago I was focused on preparations for a family holiday
I had packed our bags three weeks ahead of our departure
I was engrossed in living fully while my cancer was dormant
This was a holiday where I could pretend everything was normal
We would lay in the sun on a boat for my 38th birthday
For one week I would bask in escape and just live free
Free from the barriers cancer builds in my life
Free from my anger related to mourning my future
Free from limits placed on my dreams and ambitions
But the words just left taking with them my dreams of sunshine and freedom
Escape floated quickly away on a small sheet of white paper
Exposing the abyss of the unknown that I will never escape
I admire your eloquence around the absurdity of the unknown, and am grateful you were able to fill up this sheet of white paper with your words. Heal well, dear Anna! I hope you get to take that holiday really soon.
I cannot imagine the stress and anxiety. Hope every day brings renewed strength and happiness!
Anna, Although we’ve not met, I know Dennis from Laurel. I pray for your healing and to let you know how strong your words are and how strong you must also be. Blessings to you and yours as you heal from your surgery.
Anna…we have not met and yet, our stories are so very similar. Your words, your fears, your hurt/uncertainty –and dare I say frustration, perhaps? (both understandable and justifiable) — and your remarkably profound eloquence resonate so so deeply. Sending all positive thoughts, prayers and every wish for health and recovery and riddance to that which inhabits your body without invitation…..fighting alongside you, Anna.
Incredibly moving, Anna. I share your disease but with a different story. I wish you all the best and do hope you find some sun for your birthday.