I am aware that I haven’t written anything here for a little while but I wasn’t sure why. I just knew that I didn’t think I had anything to write about. Then I realised; it’s not so much that I didn’t think I had anything to say as I have actually stopped thinking all together, almost entirely. I haven’t had a good long think about anything in weeks. Not going to work means I don’t have anything to plan or organise or analyse. Not working is perhaps a good idea as apart from the infection risk posed by an office full of people I can’t commit to anything as I never know when I am going to be well or ill. Chemo brain is also known to impact on a person’s ability to operate normally. I have heard tales of at least one person who, whilst on chemo, became utterly mystified as to how to drive. So I don’t need to think about work so much and my daughter is now 14 and pretty much capable of looking after herself. Other than reminding her to pick up her ballet tights and hand in reply slips I don’t have to do much thinking and organising for her either.
I suspect that I have stopped thinking because when your life is utterly consumed by cancer, thinking can be a dangerous past time. I have very little to bring to my treatment. I am not a doctor and I know nothing about treating cancer. Perhaps subconsciously I have stopped thinking because if I let myself think too much I end up thinking things that will drive me insane. I think about whether or not the chemo is working. I think about survival statistics and prognosis. I think about what the weird pain in my groin is and if the cancer is spreading. None of these things are actually worth thinking about.
Now, this may not seem particularly alarming. I mean, who wanders about thinking deeply about stuff all the time? Didn’t I read on the internet that the Dalai Lama says that we all think too much and feel too little? There you go, I was probably thinking too much anyway. I haven’t replaced this lack of thinking with feeling though. I don’t really do feeling. It’s not one of my strong points. I feel when I sing but as I am particularly fond of melancholy folk songs I just end up trying to sing through tears which is quite hard. When I was pregnant I cried at ‘Pet Rescue’ but I don’t think that counts.
So, if I am not thinking and I am not feeling what am I doing? I suppose the answer ought to be some kind of mindfulness meditation. The truth? Watching Bones, mainly, and Modern Family. Brain numbing, just engaging or amusing enough to keep me downloading the next episode, but not actually challenging in any way.
Family and friends are concerned that I am bored. I am more concerned that I am not bored. Gifts of books are piling up in the lounge, untouched. I seem to be getting pretty good at existing. I am quite happy sitting around just looking at stuff. One day last week I spent 2 hours just looking out of the window. I didn’t go anywhere. I didn’t photograph or sketch the view. I wasn’t inspired to write an insightful or rallying article about global warming or cancer or poverty or animals. I just sat on the couch and looked out of the window. Sometimes the leaves of the palm tree in the front garden were bent quite double in the wind. At one point it rained. Several folk walked past and one little boy came into the garden to look at the goldfish in the pond.
There is a school of thought that would suggest that I am depressed. There is another that would suggest I am quite content. I have no idea. I haven’t thought about it.