Nov 13, 2018 | Brain Tumor, Writing
I’m blogging on my phone from bed again because I’m feeling kind of low today. I’m not apologizing for it, but I am offering something of a warning. In case any of you are feeling less than content too and need to postpone reading more not-happy stuff.
First, I feel mostly sad and anxious today. As is usual with these kinds of things, I can’t clearly articulate why. Maybe the margarita I had last night to celebrate our five year anniversary has depressed me? One drink has never made me feel this way before, but I am still in the habit of internalizing the thousands upon thousands of messages I’ve received since I became chronically ill–messages that tell me everything bad that happens is the result of some choice I made. I had bread instead of Brussels sprouts last week. No wonder I hurt everywhere. I colored a drawing instead of riding the FitDesk for 30 minutes. Of course I can’t move my joints. I drank a margarita instead of water with dinner. Of course the whole world is closing in on me.
Or maybe I’m just having a harder time than usual pushing the stressful stuff out of my mind because sometimes that happens to people.
I do know I’m worried about the book. It’s the same kind of mental yuck I’d get as a kid the night before I had to give an oral presentation at school. Only the big difference is I’m not being made to write this memoir. I’ve chosen to do it.
It just feels so huge an undertaking, and I’m not sure I’ve got what it takes. (Not, like, do I have the talent, but am I able?) ‘Cause if I don’t pull it off, there will be even bigger financial worries in my future. And, hello, Universe? I don’t know if you noticed, but I already have a brain tumor. I don’t really need any more personal struggles. I’m good. I have built soooo much character in my 38 years.
But I feel the self-imposed burden to finish what I started, when it would be so much healthier for me if I could say to myself, “It doesn’t matter if you finish this,” and then really mean it.
Also? I have an earache, which has more to do with me being in bed than run-of-the-mill depression. I could pout for days. And winter hasn’t even started.
Aug 15, 2018 | Brain Tumor
If I had to pick one word to describe today, it would be…uncomfortable.
It’s been dark skies and gloom since I woke up this morning. We had a little bit of rain, but not enough to justify these overwhelming aches and pains or the sinus pressure currently building up inside my head.
Then I spent a couple of hours today filling out long-term disability forms for private insurance that I purchased through my most recent employer. It provides about a third of our income (the other two-thirds coming from SSDI) right now. But it doesn’t last forever. In fact, today’s lengthy forms reminded me that this benefit runs out in May.
They also forced me to list my current disabilities and recount my laundry list of symptoms. Clearly a necessary part of the process, but it is physically and emotionally painful to do. It brings all those scary, sad, PTSD feelings bubbling to the surface of my consciousness, and it usually takes a few days to get the anxiety back to a manageable simmer.
Anyway, being jobless with a head full of cancer means living in a perpetual state of financial stress, but today’s reminder was sort of like turning an already super tight screw a quarter-turn to the right. So, even though the loss of income is several months away, I panicked and set up a profile on a freelance jobs website. I took a spelling test there as part of the process and scored “below average.”
This former Spelling Bee Runner up was gutted.
And speaking of gutted. After spending an inordinate amount of time on the porcelain throne this afternoon, I tried to recall what could have caused me to be so sick.
“What did I eat?” I asked Dan, because my go-to is still to blame myself and my food choices for everything that goes wrong in life. (Thank you for your part in that, food-phobic society and fat-shaming doctors.)
So we went through a list of possible causes. “Maybe the cheesecake I made was too rich.”(Even though I have scientific proof that I have no dairy sensitivity, intolerance, or allergy.) “Or maybe those chicken breasts we bought at Meijer were iffy.”
After telling Dan, “but you ate that too” half a dozen times, it finally occurred to me that it’s not my fault. In my case, stress shitting is just secondary to having a brain tumor. I had a rough day and my gut was like, “Woman! Look what I can make!”