Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[cancer] Coping with the emotions, a bit more thereon

One of the lessons of the recent contretemps with calendula_witch is that my iron-clad determination never to let cancer be an excuse for anything I've said or done may not be serving me well. This was a real important concept to me all through chemo and recovery. I clung to it as emblematic of my sense of personal responsibility.

Yet at the same time, chemo and recovery very much did fog my brain in important ways. I have been muddled. I have had inappropriate and deeply irrational thoughts, some of which I have articulated and acted upon. I have simply missed so much of the emotional transactions going on around and through me. All of this, for the most part, while lacking my usual very sharp self-awareness about such things. I literally didn't know what I was missing.

As one might imagine, this creates a lot of mistrust within me with respect to myself now. What else am I missing? What else have I missed that is yet to come home to roost?

And back to my first point, how much of this am I responsible. I don't think I can take it all in and own it all, yet my strong instinct is not to make excuses for myself.

A real muddle. We are working through it with love and care. The moral here, from a cancer blogging perspective, is that the psychological stress of cancer plus the multilayered stress and debilitations of chemo have long-ranging effects, some of which can be deceptively subtle. Or, put more simply, cancer sucks.

Tags: calendula, cancer, health, personal

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