Monday, February 15, 2016

heart bones

In my last post I wrote about a close friend and the unfortunate intricacies of human emotion. We must all be allowed to mourn-- to rob someone of that right is selfish and inhumane. My reason for finally opening up about this deep wound I've been concealing is as follows: this is a confessional blog about young adults with cancer, and this is something we all go through yet never share. I've watched many of my brilliant friends die unfair, painful deaths at a young age, and I know I await a similar fate. Each person/family deals with trauma in an entirely different way. Some need you more, and you feel guilty for not being able to be there enough. Some push you away out of misplaced anger, or due to a coping mechanism, or simply to conserve energy. With such a delicate and confusing subject, you try to take cues and read between the lines-- you try to do what's best for your loved ones. Sometimes you get it wrong, sometimes you never know. Sometimes there is no closure, or their family denies you closure. The key is communication and empathy: the feelings involved in end-of-life decisions are never easy, and all of them are ok. We must be mindful that everyone mourns in their own way. Even anger and irrationality play a part in the mourning process. However-- it is not ok to deny someone the right to love, mourn and find the closure they need. Don't let anyone bully you into thinking you've no right to mourn: it is their own irrational & misplaced anger, not any fault of yours.

Throughout the past 8 years I've realized that there are so many variations to how the story ends. And also that it never really ends. Through the blur of pain we must keep our focus on love. I feel sorry for the people that succumb to anger (especially the ones that endeavor to cause others pain just to relieve a bit of their own) but I will love them just the same. We're all in this together.


Chemo update: I'm on my 5th cycle of 12. It is the hardest thing I've ever had to do-- go through this intensive chemo alone and still manage to take care of myself. As the years go by, the more chemo I take, the more my body just disintegrates from the inside out. Every new relapse is harder than the last. I need a blood transfusion after every cycle. I'm too weak to get out of bed most days. I've fallen behind with friends, keeping up relationships is impossible-- I think of them daily but don't have the energy to visit or even converse. I sleep a lot. As always, I'm just trying to get through it and praying for another remission.

Usually the last 2 days before I start another cycle are my best, which means I have 4 days a month wherein I'm feeling ok. ish. Let me tell you-- I'm trying to make the most out of those 4 days. I recently took a trip to Washington D.C. to see the National Gallery, Smithsonian collection, and pandas (!!!)... life-long dream realized! I've also resumed work on an art project involving the journey to healing and death that I'd put on hold, ironically, after my relapse in July-- I'll be having a show in June, stay tuned.

Tian Tian!

I know my posts are as rare as my bowel movements as I go through treatment-- follow me @kaylinandres on Instagram for slightly more regularity.