As I sit here in the big comfy chemo chair (round 2 starts today baby!!!!!), waiting for actual poison to be pumped through my body, I don’t feel sorry for myself. That’s not saying I never have or never will. But today, right here, right now, I do not take pity on myself for what I’m going through.
And it’s funny because when I look back at all of the times I have felt sorry for myself, the reasons seem stupid. But everything is relative. Bad grade? You bet I was down in the dumps about that. Excruciating hangover? You know I was in bed all day rewatching Friends and feeling sorry for my hungover ass. But what’s the difference between now and then? I can’t change the fact that I have cancer. The other times, I could’ve studied more instead of watching that extra episode of Sons of Anarchy and I could’ve had one less Gatorade shot at Grottos.
I’m not mad at myself though. I think it’s only human nature to feel sorry for ourselves. We do it because we think it makes us feel better. We give ourselves time to dwell and to think about how we could’ve done something differently and how awful we feel now. Which I guess helps a little bit in the short term but, unless you make a change (and even after a hangover from hell, I still drink the same amount, when will I learn?), feeling sorry doesn’t really help in the long run.
So this is why I don’t feel sorry for myself. It’s not going to change what I’m going through. And honestly, the times I have felt sorry for myself, it’s made me feel even worse. I actually think it’s easier to feel sorry for dumb things because you can get over them quickly. A couple tears and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s later, and you start to kind of forget why you were even feeling sorry for yourself in the first place. With something long term, you have to think about it each day, the source is not going away any time soon. So instead of feeling sorry, I try to think about what I am gaining from all of this. And there’s actually been some good to come out of this mess.
One, I’m not working full time, and all my friends pretty much say the real world is awful, so I’m ok with taking time off. Yes, I was excited to start my job and I can’t wait to be a nurse, but I have the rest of my life to save lives, it can wait six months. Two, my younger brother and I have been spending more time together and I’m enjoying getting closer to him. He makes me laugh and he’s so kind and checks on me often to ask if I need anything. He’s my protector and my teddy bear. Three, I’ve always wanted to work in retail, and as it may be, the woman I babysat for over the summer reached out and asked if I could work in her store a couple days in November. I’m hoping to become a professional at folding clothes by the end of the month. Four, I’ve learned to knit hats. It passes the time. Five, I’ve been getting a lot of compliments about my hair cut, so without cancer, I would have never known that I look good with a bob. Thanks, cancer!
So no, I don’t feel sorry for myself. Things could be worse, things could be better. But I’m happy and according to my doctor, I’m doing fantastic. So you better believe that the day after the doctor tells me I’ve kicked this cancer in the booty, I will have the worst hangover this world has seen, and still then, I will not be feeling sorry for myself.
Namaste 🙏🏻 and happy Tuesday.