Tonight had dinner with my friend Casa at the lovely Terminus du Nord (will fish out some photos as he lent me his digital camera) . discovered a lot of things while talking with him.
Ten years ago, he was at the top of his league as a producer in the advertising industry when he found himself having a heart operation which had significant complications. Somehow (and the doctors don't really know how), he survived. So he knows what it is to go through a significant turning point of one's life involving health/ getting oneself better.
During our conversation I mentioned to him how difficult I have found it to deal with people's reactions at times. I mentioned that as I am going through such a complex process, I have this desire that everyone should react perfectly around me (perfectly for ME at that particular time + that they be totally "OK" about me not being well + totally convinced that I am going to be FINE). What happens? They are not. They are wobbly or worried or upset or fearful or whatever other type of emotion that rocks ups/ whatever type of mirror me having cancer flashes up as a reflection for them.
Over the last week, I have had some really wobbly interactions, and of course, as a result, each party has been hurt: I'm struggling through my stuff, and other people are struggling through their stuff.
And when the wobble happens, I'm furious as I have this desire that "they don't have cancer, they are not having to deal with the complexity of what it takes to get oneself better" and "I really don't have the space nor energy to be dealing with "their" wobbly stuff". My reaction/ desire is to cut myself off and never want to have to talk to them again. "They SHOULD understand"....faaaaaaaaak... aren't I going through enough as it is?????????
This fine line of learning to protect myself from hurtful interactions/ people and really listening to what I need, at every moment yet also letting the wobbly part have its place.
It's this sort of conversation that I can have with someone who has really done the yards... This journey is really so much complex than I could have imagined. I am not just dealing with :
- a body which needs to get its immunity system up,
- an emotional and spiritual landscape,
- unknown of each day,
but also all the interactions around which are in a much more fragile state than if I was well.
There has only been a handful of people, in terms of experience, but it's not a part of the equation I was expecting AT ALL. Otherwise 90% of the support network have been GEMS... I am learning of the multitude of layers that make up this.
Sometimes I cannot believe I am living this. And Casa said that my friends/ loved ones are going through the same thought process: c"ancer happens to others but it won't happen to Nathalie." And it seems ludecrous that it should happen to me, someone like me who engages so much in life... And yet it has...
Tomorrow Monday 2 March, I have my meeting with the doctor and find out the exact dates of treatment + surgery. Last week I was crying about having to go through chemo. Now I'm ready so ready for it to begin.
photo : lovely story which can be followed up on this link from last year (tomorrow I think I will start to deliver Paris style pix as I have found the taste to photograph again....)