Monday, December 14, 2009

A Matter Of Control?

A lot has changed since I was diagnosed and beaten cancer. Some good, some bad.

But one thing that hasn't changed is trying to figure out what I can manage––or control––and what I can't. The Serenity prayer, when I remember it, usually snaps me out of it. "God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference." Lately, it hasn't been what's been within my control, but as it relates to others. And I haven't been doing a very good job managing myself and others.

What the good people who help save your life physically don't tell you is, the mental aspect of recovering from cancer is the toughest. Most of you probably scoff at that notion, as cancer and the treatments beat the hell outta your body. And the physical side effects last 3-5 years or depending on the type of cancer you have, forever. (I still can't produce enough saliva 2 years after treatment for head & neck cancer). Even worse, it ages your body. I look like I've aged 10 years in the last 2.

But mentally, the scars remain. I still have "chemo brain." Which means synapse problems galore. Disconnected thoughts. Your mind racing faster than your tongue. Trying to say a word you can see in your head, but you just can't say it. Which makes you frustrated, feel inadequate and then can lead to anger. For me, I usually get the trifecta when that happens. And that's where I lose control. And that's no good for anyone. Because even as I'm writing trying to express my emotions right now, all the stuff I've written above is happening. I didn't plan it that way and it is somewhat ironic as I try to post my thoughts.

I will have to work on that. And that, I can control.