I really look forward to the day when Nigel is strong and writing his charming articles for the newsletter and I no longer have to write ‘Nigel Updates’. Alas, we are not there yet. Cancer is hard and this time around has been really hard. The uncertainty of it all can make you insane. Your entire life becomes a roller coaster ride, that is not fun and doesn't seem to want to end. It has been a summer of pendulum swings. According to the doctors, his test results are good and the numbers are moving in the right direction. He has had some days of great improvement; two weeks ago he left the house to go check out a shipment of new picking containers that arrived. His appetite was starting to come back and he was actually looking stronger. He even made it out to the event space to have dinner with the last set of Bay Leaf Campers. But this past week, he has slid backwards, loss of appetite, and complete exhaustion. For me, emotionally, it has become an enormous drain. It is so hard to see him like this. As much as I would like to powerhouse through my day and get loads of work done, I find I am beating the proverbial horse.
I try so hard to remain positive, so don't get me wrong, even though I am exhausted, I am optimistic. But one of the reasons for writing all this is to say to any of you out there fighting the fight with cancer, I feel your pain. We don't talk about it enough, it is such a downer topic, but we should. That pendulum swings from an initial state of shock to overwhelming emotion, but then eventually swings to an odd space of "cancer normalcy". Life takes over, because s**t still needs to get done and you find yourself living this altered state of normalcy. Sometimes I wonder what I must look like to others, living, laughing, somehow being something normal. In that weird space you reach a place where you can talk about it, because now you have adjusted to the pain that earlier just hurt too much. When you get to that space, when you can open up and let people in, it's ok to tell them how hard this is. I think its important, because I am not sure we take cancer seriously enough, yet and mostly because at the rate cancer is growing in this country, we will all be touched by it quite directly at some point in our life. It is good to know you are not alone.
Thanks for listening.