07 October 2008

oh......hello there.

How should I start the blog entry that I've been writing in my head for the past 7 months?

Hi there… I've missed you guys...?

To be honest, I'm a little worried that I'm jumping the gun here by starting up the ol' blog again. Are we in the clear yet? Can we relax yet?

I just couldn’t bring myself to write about a new pair of socks or a sweater when in the background, I was dealing with some pretty highly major stuff. I had thought of using my blog to keep a journal of how I was feeling and what we were going through - but I couldn't do it. I can’t say why, exactly – I often had this feeling of not wanting to take ownership of what (I felt) was mostly Gord’s experience. I didn’t want to be the bridesmaid taking attention away from the bride. Because the thing is - although Gord & I have spent pretty much every single day together since December, I still have no idea what he experienced, and the same can be said for him & what I went through. What if I told the story all wrong?

When people would say to me “It must be so hard on you…” I would tell them it was a lot harder on Gord. But if I ever stopped to think about it, I would break down, sort of crumble under the pressure, be overcome by the weight of what was going on – and that was never any fun for Gord or myself. The truth is, it was hard for me. Real hard.

When Gord was diagnosed, I spent many restless nights, putting all my thoughts & feelings into smart, quick sentences in my head. "I'll write a 'This American Life' style radio documentary about when my boyfriend got cancer & how I was his hilarious side-kick!" I never wrote any of it down, I don't remember anything clever I thought of. And to be honest, it didn’t take long before I had no energy to be witty & clever. I pretty much went on Auto-Pilot.

I've learned that the human brain is an amazing and merciful thing. My surface memory has no recollection of how I handled it all - when I really think about it though, I can feel my heart sink the way it did when I first heard the doctor say that the mystery illness was most likely malignant. I can see myself crying on the steps leading up to our apartment after holding it all in at the hospital & on the cab ride home. I can hear myself telling my family on the phone - sobbing - not knowing what I was going to do - how I was ever going to be strong enough to get through this & be the kind of support Gord needed? But we did it - the only way you can do something like this - one day at a time, with your eye on the prize. It wasn't always pretty & there were times, I'm sure, when he doubted my ability as caretaker and I doubted my strength to be one. There were times when I just wanted to give everything the finger & find a big, deep hole, put on giant headphones & curl up for a while. I was tired for months.

The thing I had to keep reminding myself of was this: Time never stops… a day is always made up of the same number of hours which are always made up of the same amount of minutes which will always & forever be 60 seconds which will never stop. Life does go on, we will get through this, and tomorrow is & always will be another day. You can’t finish a sweater without knitting every stitch. The journey of a thousand miles begins with…yadda yadda yadda.

To say that I’ve changed a lot in the past year(!) is a humongous understatement – and what’s nice & convenient is that I enjoy & welcome most of these new personal changes. I was always a fairly selfish person - a hard thing to fess up to, but I can say now that my selfishness has been cut into a quarter of its previous size. I still come first, but in a totally different way. I am slowly reintegrating myself into my social circles, I’m smiling a lot, joking tons, and I have a heart full of love and appreciation for those that stuck by us in such difficult times. I can honestly say that I am Happy. We are Happy. Gord is in the maintenance phase of his chemotherapy (this lasts a whopping 72 weeks, but there's promise of it being a fair bit easier than the last 9 months), and I think we've come out of the tough bits as a solid, awesome(er) couple. And I also know that my boyfriend is really, really fucking strong. I’m exceedingly proud of him, and of me (insert power couple highfive here).

I’ve written and re-written this entry a number of times – and each draft is more edited than the last. I think I’ll keep this one though, and just sum everything up with this: Cancer Sucks. Srsly. But I recently read an encouraging line that I wish I had heard at the beginning of all of this: "The Strength behind you is far greater than the challenge ahead of you." We'll be oficially in the clear come December 2009. Still quite a long way off - but we can do it, I know we can.

So, if you'll have me back, buddies, I'd like to reclaim my little corner of the internet. After all, I have a lot of knitting braggery to catch up on.

18 comments:

robiewankenobie said...

the internets have missed you, too!

Cabbage said...

Hey there,
I read your blog for awhile before you took a hiatus and I'm really glad that things are looking up, I thought about you (and your Gord) occasionally and worried that something bad had happened. It is nice to see that things are getting better!

elizabeth said...

Brag on! So glad to have you back! You guys look, well, awesome!

Amber K. said...

We've missed you and I'm so glad to see you're back. You guys are awesomely strong. Smooches!

Phoe said...

Welcome back! Good to see you again. :)

Brenda said...

Your blog is so rightly titled. Hey Awesome! Glad to hear you survived the worst and things are somewhat better. I love the quote.

Funessa said...

Wow! What a comeback!

You and Gord are in my thoughts ALL the time.

Welcome back.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to find a tissue.

Flying Pizza said...

So, so, SO good to see you here again , love!

Amy said...

I'm so glad to see you again! I wish you all the health and happiness a girl can bear!

melissa said...

welcome back! glad to hear things are looking up for you two.

MezzoDiva said...

Welcome Back! Looking forward to reading more from you - about life and about knitting.

Blessings to both of you.

jackierocket said...

Thinking of you both.

Julia said...

Yay! Thank god your back! Glad to hear you and Gord are doing well. This American Life missed a good story, but hey - I'm sure your energy was better spent!

Lorraine said...

You are both really really fucking strong. And now, both of your stories have been knit together -- neither of you would be where you are without each other. Thank you thank you for everything. Nicole, I know that Gord lives and smiles because of you and your amazing ability to know what to do, when to do it and laugh all the time. YAY!

lady_s said...

I've been thinking of you & Gord contstantly, and looking forward to the day you started blogging again. Welcome back! My thoughts are still with you guys I'm really impressed by your strength.

Simon said...

So glad to hear from you again. Drop me a line when you have a moment?

Sarah and Jack said...

This is a really beautiful post. I am sorry to have missed it while it has been sitting here waiting for me.

ingrid said...

Hi Nicole. A friend of mine just told me about your blog. It seems as though we are both knitters who were going through the same thing last winter. My husband was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease in October 2007 and had four months of chemo. He just had a checkup with the doctor signaling nine months in remission and he's feeling great. I hope you and Gord are well! Take care, Ingrid.