Friday, 26 February 2016

15 months!

It's my 15-month lungaversary today! Thank you donor!

I'm thinking about it a lot today because I spent much of yesterday on the couch working on my transplant story. It's mostly just a collection of my blog posts but I find it's hard to edit as when I start writing about some of the more terrible moments (anxiety attacks, bleeding, pooping, etc...), I start getting anxious. Turns out writing about anxiety attacks causes anxiety. It's like an intense flashback where I'm reliving all the emotions I had during those moments. Add to that all my hormones from the chemotherapy, by the end of yesterday, I was an emotional mess. So I locked myself in my art room and made some Easter cards until I was calm enough to talk to Isaiah without a) crying or b) yelling at him.

I don't know if the medical world would classify mild anxiety regarding past events as PTSD but it's how I imagine PTSD to be. Only I realize it's much more severe with real PTSD. And seeing as I'm doing the thing that is causing the trigger, I know it's somewhat self-inflicted. I hope that each time I revisit the stories, it'll get easier. It hasn't so far but I hope that it'll work as some sort of exposure therapy and that it will no longer get my heart rate up when I write.

Most of the story is fine, the worse part (besides all the blood and poop stories) are the days before the transplant. I think a lot of the anxiety is coming around being forced to reflect on the moments where I was very close to dying. It's not something I contemplate on a deeper level very often. I do talk a lot casually about how the transplant saved my life but thinking about the actual events is different. During those weeks before the transplant, I had no perspective that my lungs were in complete failure and that I was about to be ventilated if I didn't get new lungs. I was ever optimistic that the blood clot would resolve itself and I could go back to being stable. I had to be optimistic in that moment because it was the only way to get through.

Now when I look back it's more of a 'holy shit, I didn't have energy to get juice from the fridge that was within arms reach of the bed. How did that happen? Ahhhhh.' It's like a much delayed reaction to events that I've been avoiding revisiting. So yes, I'm working on the transplant story but it's going to be awhile because I work on it until I get anxious and then I go on Twitter and make jokes. Also because I no longer know how to end it. I had a perfect ending written but since I had to go and get cancer, it doesn't seem to wrap up quite as well. Maybe it'll just be a "and now I have/had cancer. The end" cliffhanger. Or maybe I'll just wait until all this is over and add another chapter at the end. Decisions, decisions.

While I was taking a break from the editing, I made a mock up cover that makes me laugh.
The title needs some revising.


Anonymous said...

Happy Lungaversary! Love the many times did you do that walk?

Amy Watson said...

I think the title is hilarious!!

Dave Malo said...

Don't touch that cover. It's perfect!

Gillian Steeves said...

haha, I don't think the title (or cover) needs revising at all!

Alley said...

We did that walk so many times, I knew every pebble along the way.