19 March 2007

I Can Survive Anything

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next." ~ Gilda Radner

I've been catching up with blog friends I haven't been able to read lately. I need to stop for a moment to talk about yesterday. It was a bad, bad day and it took me until late in the afternoon to realize it. Realization should have started when my mom told me a couple of times early in the day to stop beating up on myself.

On the way home, she was talking about the 4th of July and it immediately reminded me that July 6, 2006 was my last day of radiation. Then I recalled that March 28 was my last chemo day. But then I wasn't sure...was it March 26 or March 28? I became obsessed (oh yeah, I never do that ) with verifying the date. Around 7;00 p.m. last night, I finally managed to find some written evidence that the date was correct.

Then it suddenly hit me. A year. As someone on my breast cancer message board told me, I've been through a lot. It made for a sad and somber evening. It's okay...just a part of coming to terms with it all. I allowed myself to grieve for the relinquishment of wholeness. I remembered it all. The diagnosis--in three stages. The mastectomy. The chemo. The radiation. It was all unbearable, so I chose not to bear it.

I haven't only changed physically. I know now, with complete certainty, that I can get through anything. Maybe my father's suicide should have enlightened me on my transcendent abilities. Now I know. It seems to have created a greater reserve in myself, a distancing from the hard events of life. I am inviolable.

It seems I've permanently retreated into myself to shield myself against misfortune and pain. That doesn't mean I'm emotionally unreachable; as a matter of fact, I may be more open to love (in a general, nonspecific way) than ever before. I can survive love and loss. That knowledge liberates me, but it leaves me with an openness to love primarily on a non-specific basis. I have good will towards everyone. Close personal relationships seem even more unreachable. If you care about everyone equally, do you really care about no one? I don't think so. I hope not.

How have I changed? How have I changed? It's a question that's rather haunting and not fully answered still. There's a lot more grieving to be done, a lot more suffering to be worked through. I can survive it, though. I can survive anything.

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