So I’ve been quietly getting on with surviving this bout of side effects. Helpfully two sets of different ones arrived simultaneously, the nausea and flu-like symptoms. Thank you chemo for a new shiny kick in the ass. They all arrived on Saturday on the night I made a huge noob mistake of watching a fairly grim movie ‘Snowpiercer‘ to pass the time. Note to self: do not watch end of the world films when you’re struggling to keep yours on track. My Saturday night was filled with terrified shivering, imagining babies being eaten and too frozen in place to even get up and put my socks on. I had also been on the breast cancer forum reading that day and heard that one of the women who posts there had died. Generally the forum is a huge source of support for me and only occasionally does it throw up this kind of curveball. I was devastated. I didn’t even know her, hadn’t read any of her posts. But hearing this news shattered my Very Useful Illusion that this is all going to be OK.
Positive thinking is my most useful ally right now. It has been shown not just to be woo-woo babble dribbled out by wannabe gurus but has hard solid biological effects on your brain that can help you take action to improve your situation. So it’s really important for me to maintain it. But when side effects have kicked in, real people start dying and Captain America is eating babies, it’s also really important to recognise that some things out of your control are gonna come up. I think it’s equally as important to accept the world as a changing place where your perspective on it can be shaken. If I deny that that night happened and erase it, perhaps it gives it more power than if I faced it and then let those morbid feelings float on up and out. It’s a tricky balance to get right. I might have talked about this in a previous post and it’s a constant challenge.
Change and the striving for balance are fundamental processes driving the Universe in a non-woo way. As with ecosystems, the atmosphere, cells themselves, most things are changing constantly, moving. But they are also seeking homeostasis, a steady state. When an animal population decreases or increases, the surrounding ecosystem compensates to accommodate that change. When more water is released into the atmosphere, the rest of the system will adjust. They are closed systems. (Forgive my lack of footnoting, I will get to that another less vomity time.) What I’m trying to say is that our lives can be seen in the same way. Always changing, being influenced by forces beyond our control but we are constantly striving to find balance, peace, stability. So I guess the lesson in all this for me is to keep thinking this is all gonna be fine while acknowledging when things are going pear-shaped occasionally. And not watching scary movies.