Friday, September 6, 2013
A Change In The Light
The light of the sun has shifted ever so slightly, so that the color of the light is more glowing, more mellow, more flattering to the landscape on the whole. The golden days of autumn are fast approaching, with their fiery leaves and glorious cool mornings rapidly bearing down on the last remnants of summer.
There are most likely a number of hot "dog days" left, but you can feel the crispness of autumn in the air this morning.
Lately, the constant shift and tug of time, pulling me swiftly, swiftly forward, has been a far more conscious experience even as I far too often feel like I am standing outside of the swirling chaos, looking inward from some place far away from myself. The ever-present hum of daily cancer treatments, the whirring and buzzing of the radiation equipment and the feel of being trapped in a constant arcade game as it zaps my cells, day in and day out, does not lend itself to a feeling of reality.
It is a surreal way to live one's life, five days a week. Week after week after week, coming so quickly on the heels of the flat out exhaustion of chemo that I have barely had any chance of catching my breath.
I am at the halfway point of the radiation, and beginning to see a shift in the light at the end of this treatment tunnel. But what that means going forward, I have no idea. There will be more scans, more tests, and several years of tamoxifen or something similar to come.
This morning, though, as I sit here in our sunroom bathed in the glorious golden-hued autumnal sunlight, my world feels ever so slightly like a bit less of a slog.
Which is a desperately needed balm on a bit of a wounded perspective from all of this. Looking on the bright side, indeed.
This morning, tired and in a 'haven't had my coffee yet" fog, I drove The Peanut to school without first remembering to throw on my headscarf to cover up the bald. Had to laugh at myself -- it is the first time that has happened, and I didn't even realize it until we were already halfway to the turn-off to school. My "nubbins" (as we call my stubbly little hair bits) are coming back in quickly, but not quickly enough to be seen while I'm driving a car.
Hopefully, I didn't give anyone a shock with my head glinting in the morning sun. If so, my apologies. I try to be careful not to do that around the tiny kiddos at school who are sensitive to big changes, but the whole thing ended up giving me a big laugh at myself.
At this point, any change in that perception is a good thing because the day to day grind has begun to wear me down. It is as though the entirety of my life has been ground fine between the heavy wheels of a grist mill, pounded and sifted fine until only the smallest of grains is left for examination: hard to see and even harder to figure out as a piece of the whole.
It has been a wearying trudge thus far, and one that has tested my ability to sustain a cheery countenance in the last few days.
It is funny how in the throes of the worst of chemo, I could keep looking forward precisely because there was so much further to go, so much more to get through with as stiff an upper lip as I could manage under some pretty uncomfortable circumstances. Now, though, as I approach an ending to the worst of this, it gets harder to keep up, as though the weariness has infested not just my legs but my will which used to be ever so strong. We've reached the point where my skin within the treatment zone has begun to be unhappy, but there is nothing for it but to grit my teeth and keep going forward through whatever is to come.
If ever an infusion of positivity were possible, I would take it in a heartbeat today.
The truth is that the prognosis is really good, that my doctors are very happy with how things are going for me at this point, and that every test and scan thus far has been right where they wanted it to be. The trick is getting through the rest of this with some measure of my inner self intact, and not get crushed under the weight of the constant thrum, thrum, thrum of whatever comes next in yet another treatment or test.
Because it never, ever ends. Or at least it feels that way at the moment because I can't seem to get to the finish line fast enough.
But the finish line will eventually come, even if it isn't quick enough for my impatient heart. And when it does, when my will and my perspective has been completely broken down and reassembled by all of this morass, where will I find myself? Who will I be -- who do I want to be -- after rebuilding all these pieces again?
Guess that is something I ought to begin to ponder.
(Gorgeous photo of fallen leaves via Anthony Kelly. Love the feel, the perspective and the clarity of this shot!)