Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Since September // Maddie's Cancer Story: Chapter 3


September 27, 2016

I cried on the treadmill the other day. Actually, gleefully wept is more apt. As other LA Fitness gym patrons unwittingly walked by me, I couldn’t contain my emotions. I am sure I looked manic. But, this was the first time in over a year that I had run. This was the first time in over a year that I had a cramp in my abdomen that wasn’t a symptom of cancer. This was the first time in over a year that I had earned my sweat. Ignoring the people around me, I turned up the speed of my machine, the volume of my music, and let my tears sprinkle on the revolving rubber beneath me. I was beginning to feel like a normal person again.


September 16th, 2016 marked the one year anniversary of my colon cancer diagnosis…and what a year it has been. In my first two blog entries, I explained finding out about the cancer and enduring the couple weeks that followed. I’ve been trying to find the right way to pick up the story where I left off, but I’m having a hard time because so much has happened since then, and so much is happening right now.

Although I finished my 12th and final chemotherapy treatment in April 2016, I’ve had a hard time adjusting back to the life I once knew. I’m not even sure “adjusting back” is the correct way to describe it because really, everything is different. I’m not myself right now, and I’m not sure I ever will be again.

When most people ask me how I’m doing these days, it’s hard to answer truthfully…especially since most situations in which I’m asked this question (i.e. at a wedding, a bar, via texting) are awkward contexts for me to spill my guts. Or, I just don’t want to cry. My stock answer has been that I’ve moved back to my old apartment in LA, I’m regaining my strength and energy before I go back to work, and that I’m just taking things day by day. That’s all true. What I’m not saying is that I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing with my life, I have no self-esteem to propel me into the next phase, and I’m questioning everything I ever thought was true or right or real. That’s why I cried at the gym, because the little victories mean so much to me.

In order for me to explain why I feel this way right now, I want to share what happened to me this past year. Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet with writing again, I’ll be back in a couple days to begin to share the rest. Thanks for reading. Thanks for so much. 


-Maddie

7 comments:

  1. Just know your strength and endurance humbles those of us who are so weak...please stay strong as a beacon we can only hope to spire to..

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  2. Keep pushing, Maddie. You can do it, and eventually, you'll feel completely "back." It won't be the same, I'm sure. You'll feel different... because you are. You're stronger and wiser and more compassionate. You are awesome.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story. Your strength and courage is truly inspiring.

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  4. 'You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think'; thank you for sharing your story with us, Maddie. xx

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  5. Gah I love you soooooo much! No words! I'm sure life feels different and will never be the "same" but all your friends are still here and we'd do anything for you, same as always. Can't even say how happy I was to see you at my wedding and have you there to celebrate with me. No matter how much time passes or what's happened in life, you're like family and always will be! Keep writing and I better see a lot more of you soon!

    xo
    T

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  6. Looking forward to hearing the rest of your story <3

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  7. Raw. Not good, not bad. Just what it means.
    There are words in the definition of Merriam-Webster that seem to fit. Some don't.
    It's just what I'm hearing from you.
    I will be curious to hear more.
    Love, Andrea from Minnesota

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I love to hear from you! I try to reply within the comment form.

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