I don’t know if I’ll start bleeding again. I hope I won’t, but past experience tells me I have a week, maybe two, before it starts up once more.
This is one of those things about cancer, and I think it is true whether the cancer is curable or incurable. It turns your life into a quickly shaken snow globe, with you in the center of it, hanging on for dear life. You can’t get your balance. You can’t make sense of anything. All the pieces of your life are out of place, flying around, impossible to put in order.
I am reminded of when I lost a significant amount of weight after being heavy all of my adult life. Although I looked and felt good, I also felt out of balance. People treated me differently, in subtle ways. I viewed myself differently. I noticed that some men took notice. Clothes shopping, a previously pleasurable experience, left me anxious. I didn’t know what would fit, which stores would work for my new body type. Eventually, I became more familiar with my new self, and the anxiety settled down. Subsequent weight fluctuations have been easier to manage, both up and down.
Now here I am with kidney cancer, in the middle of my snow globe of a life, and I’m finding that as my cancer experiences become more familiar, it is easier to deal with them. They’re the pieces in the snow globe that have fallen back down, allowing me to examine them and understand them in my new reality. The new normal.
And so, tonight, I’ll restart my medicines, going back down to my original (though inadvertent) quarter dose. And I’ll continue to hope that I won’t start bleeding again, but if I do, at least now I will be able to approach it as a known quantity. Still something unsettling, and not even close to the same level as finding clothing that fits, but something I know I can deal with.
But please, don’t make me deal with it again.