What happens when you compartmentalise so much your boxes start to overflow?
That’s how I feel right now. Like my brain is about to burst out of my skull and all the things I’ve been trying to cope with will start to pour out of my head.
Last Monday, I was getting myself ready to go into hospital on Wednesday. No one ever really looks forward to going hospital – unless you’re treating yourself to something like a boob job, I suppose – but I was ready to close this chapter of my life. I was getting ready to have the last round of my Lemtrada, which means I might never relapse again and I could finally get on with my life.
I came home to a letter that informed me the cancerous cells that were found in a routine smear test last year were still there, even though I’d had the laser treatment. I knew what was going to happen, even though I didn’t want to accept it. My neurologist was going to tell me that she wouldn’t risk destroying my immune system with the Lemtrada, as that could provide the cells the chance to turn into cancer.
Until I heard her say that down the phone the following day, I’d tricked myself into believing that it was going to be my choice. I could be allowed to decide which was worse: an MS relapse (which could cause irreparable damage to my body) or cancer. All I could think about was the fact that I’m not even 30 yet and I’m having to make decisions like this. In the end, I didn’t have a choice. I suppose I’m glad, but it felt like I was losing even more control over my body.
Disease is so invasive and isolating. It feels like your illness dictates what happens in your life, all choices are taken away from you and all you have left is a seat in the passenger side of the car. You can see what’s happening, but you can’t change it.
I had to take some time off to think about this turn in the road, to digest it, I guess. I spent the week getting drunk, crying, swearing, sometimes screaming. All I kept thinking about was how life had fucked me over, yet again, and how all I have is bad luck.
We make our own luck. Bad stuff happens, and that sucks and can feel so overwhelming that it feels like you are drowning in your problems. But, you can’t spend your life wallowing and thinking about what could have been. Life moves forward and you have to move with it. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck in the past, reliving all the wrongs that have been done to you. What kind of life is that?
When your boxes are full, you clean house.