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.