This morning in the shower I felt suddenly overwhelmed by sadness. I stood there with the warm water streaming over me and I couldn’t make myself move. What I really wanted to do was curl up in the corner and just stay there letting the water wash over me. Maybe I was hoping it would wash away the gloom I was feeling.
Why this melancholy? I am in remission and doing fairly well. Before I was in remission, I thought if only I could get to remission, I would be a lot happier and I suppose I am most of the time, but right now is not one of those times and I am not sure why.
Earlier this month my neighbor next door passed away. I can remember the day in 2010, a couple of months after I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, when he came over to see how I was doing. He then told me he had been diagnosed with liver cancer. He was never far from my thoughts and he was always in my prayers. Around that same time, one of my dear high school friends was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to the liver. She hadn’t been sick at all and it was a shock to everyone. On March 19, she lost her difficult battle. She, too, was never far from my thoughts and was always in my prayers.
Washington State has experienced back to back La Nina weather patterns over the past two years which means it has been cooler and wetter than usual. Seattle is known for rain, but in reality it usually gets less than 40 inches a year – the rain is just spread out over more days. But, with La Nina, we have had more than our usual share of rain. As a native of the Pacific Northwest, rain and cold weather usually never bother me, but maybe they are contributing to my current state of mind.
Perhaps what is weighing most on me is the uncertainty of remission because there is no guarantee that it will last very long. It could last for just a few months or it could last years. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the experts could say that remission will last at least one year or two years – pick a number – and then you could relax for awhile. Of course, we all know that is not how it works. It is the uncertainty that I sometimes dwell on and I know I need to stop doing that.
Knowing that there are so many cancer patients suffering and who are not in remission makes me feel guilty for feeling so sad and expressing these thoughts. I need to snap out of it and I know I will because I have been an optimist throughout my life. There really is no time to waste wallowing in gloom. It is time to enjoy where I am right now.
Cheerfulness is the very flower of health.