Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Inevitable

I've had ideas and plans to turn this blog into something of value. And I might still do it. I'm on a nutrition kick and that's what I want to write about...but, I'm too lazy. Today is not going to be the day I turn this into a nutrition blog. Today is the day I write about cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer.

The deadliest, most painful cancer.

The cancer my Nonna has. The cancer in which 95% of the people diagnosed with it are dead within a year. Within a year. It's been 6 months. 6 months of chemoradiation and MRI's and CT scans and false hope, and utter despair.

A friend told me yesterday that death is as much a part of life as life is and that I should be happy that she has led a long life filled with love. Some people never have that. I am grateful. I'm grateful for every moment with her. I am not grateful for cancer. I am not grateful for how it is eating her life away. How the chemo is disintegrating her esophagus and makes it difficult to impossible to eat. How the cancer is ravaging her body and makes digestion, using the bathroom, walking a subject in pain. How she barely has the energy to get herself out of bed in the mornings. How she used to be the stereotypical large Italian mama and now she is nothing but skin and bones.

No. I am not grateful for these things and I refuse to accept this as a fact of life. I am not afraid of death. I am afraid of the pain. It is so intense that I cannot understand it. I cannot understand God. And while I will continue to believe in blind faith because it is the only way of life that I know, I am furious at him. Furious in the way a small child is furious at his parent for something that is not their fault, yet kicks and screams and pounds against them all the same. And at the end of it, all the parent will do is enfold the child and hold her while she cries. But, I don't want God to hold me while I cry right now. I want to take him out at the kneecaps for not doing a miracle. For not removing every spot of cancer from her body. I mean, he's capable, right? Hasn't she been through enough? Why is this happening?

I've been listening to this song by J.J. Heller which has been incredibly comforting, but there's this one verse that infuriates me: "When You walked upon the earth, You healed the wounded, lost, and hurt. I know you hate to see me cry. One day you will make all things right." Why isn't that one day today? And if He hates to see me cry then why the fuck is He allowing it?

I haven't slept for the past five nights. I don't even know how to function anymore without crying. I don't want to see anyone. I don't want to do anything. I just want to lie in bed all day and stare at the ceiling. And I don't think people understand that by doing that I'm not being selfish, I'm just practicing how to survive. How to survive this awful word. Cancer. What. The. Fuck.

I don't even really think there's anyway to survive this. For me. For her. For my whole family whose hearts are bleeding and raw from the pain. After seeing her over the weekend, I knew. I knew what my dad and sister and it seems like everyone else has known for awhile. This is her last battle. But no, I keep telling myself, she beat cancer before, she can do it again. But no, I keep telling myself, God isn't cruel enough to take her this way, she's meant to go peacefully in her sleep without the pain. Without the pills. Without the despair.

And yet, even though I know...I know that she's going...she's fading...she's wasting away...I still cannot get there. I cannot get to a place of the place of "she's lived a long, happy life, I am thankful for the memories." I cannot get resigned or even comfortable with the fact that this is inevitable. I am thrashing against it. I am beating my fists in futility and frustration hoping beyond hope that somehow my being so angry will make a difference. Somehow God will listen to my anger more than he's listened to my desperate, pleading prayers.

There is no way to prepare. So, I am left with all my nerves exposed, flinching every time someone touches me, or talks to me, or looks at me. But, apparently life goes on....or so I hear...

1 comment:

Angelina said...

I love you. I am holding you, too. And I'm going to venture out on a limb and say something completely unorthodox. Let me stand in the gap for our God. Let your anger for Him be upon me. He did it for me, now let me do it for Him. Beat your fists against me, yell and scream, tear my hair out, even. And when you're done, I will still love you. As He will. There are no platitudes, no "time heals all things". To suffer is to suffer. Rail against it till you're hoarse, beat against it till your fists are bloody. And then surrender. And I will hold you. And He will. I love you.