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  • Writer's pictureChrisCutler


Updated: Mar 19, 2021

Pressure does two things – bursts pipes and creates diamonds. ~ Brian Cook

It can happen quite quickly as you're driving down the road: A vehicle in front of you rolls over a pebble, and the little stone attaches itself to the tire long enough to become a projectile that hits your windshield at just the right speed and location to chip the outer sheet of glass. Pressure stresses the bullseye, and more little cracks spread from its epicenter.

That's a long way of introducing the fact that, after five months, my reserve finally cracked last week. For some reason, touching my bald head just as the theme from Camelot (the movie my husband had started to watch) swelled over the opening credits set me off.

"I'm going to lie down in the bedroom," I said to Mike and walked the 35 or so steps from my recliner to my bed where I broke down. I cried like I have not cried in years. Ugly crying. Sobbing. Water gushing from my eyes. I understood, I said to Mike, how some people want to end it all after feeling so sick for so long. I felt it.

And the guilt hit me again for feeling sorry for myself when there are so many more people fighting a more difficult battle than I. . .when there are so many fighting COVID. . . when there is so much suffering. The nurses tell me that I should not feel guilty, that everyone going through this suffers in different ways, that I need to concentrate on getting through my treatment.

I wonder, at times, if all of this would be as difficult as it is if we were all not fighting this pandemic. It is so much more dangerous for anyone with a compromised immune system to go out because of COVID. Would life feel different if we didn't have to worry about the virus in addition to everything else? Would we feel safer if we didn't have to worry that the behavior of others put us in danger?

It is such a vicious circle.

My last chemo infusion is Monday, and while I am happier than I can ever tell you about that, I am also more anxious than I have been for the other three since I know what is coming. I try not to think about it and instead concentrate on the fact that in one month, I will not have to worry about another chemo treatment and will hopefully feel better.

Radiation will follow chemo, so in 10 days, I meet with the radiation oncologist to decide when that starts. I face the decision again as to whether I should stay here for that treatment or go to Moffitt. My heart pulls me one way (and probably part of the reason for my breakdown), and my head pulls me in another (also part of the reason for the breakdown).

Here's the bottom line: I don't want to make any more decisions. I don't want to have to worry any longer. I want this over. I want to feel normal again.

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