The two months since I wrote my last blog have been sucked up by the black hole of time. Looking back over my planner, I see that I haven’t suffered from a dearth of activities. I have no memory of sticking my head in the sand either. In fact, my failure to write a blog or produce a new chapter of my work in progress has been perplexing.
The one piece of writing I’ve kept up with is my journal. Perusing entries from the past two months, I see that hardly a day has gone by in which I haven’t bemoaned my inability to create, or wondered why I felt so blue despite living the good life here in paradise.
Conventional wisdom says shut up and write– every day– motivated or not. And I did, for the first month, albeit unsuccessfully. I began a couple of blogs, and attempted, day after day, to finish a chapter of my novel.
Searching inside myself, I discovered that I’d become obsessed with the notion that my breast cancer might return. I noticed that even reading about cancer set my gut to roiling, despite the fact that I claimed, back in January, to have overcome my fear. I believed it back then. What had happened to reignite the fear?
Just yesterday, after I began writing this blog, and wondering what was going on in my head, I had an epiphany. Perhaps the fear sprang from my decision, made around the time I fell into a funk, not to have the last week of radiation my doctors had ordered.
I finished the initial five weeks of radiation in the beginning of December. The doctor who oversaw my therapy said it was protocol to target the incision site for an extra week. She said I’d have to go to a different hospital, and that they would call me to schedule the appointments.
When I saw her in the beginning of April, they still hadn’t called, so I told her I’d decided against the final week. Why?
I hadn’t wanted the radiation in the first place: I was scared of the damage it would do to my immune system, heart, lungs and my already sick esophagus. And as I read recently in an insightful New York Times article called Our Feel Good War on Breast Cancer: excess medical radiation is one of the few known causes of cancer.
My tumor had been small, and no cancerous cells had been found at the site or in the lymph nodes. Initially, my surgeon held out hope that I wouldn’t need radiation, but the oncology team at the Hospital San Juan de Dios had other ideas. I’d submitted, scared that if I didn’t, and the cancer returned, I’d have to hate myself.
Today, I’m trying to concentrate on wellness — through diet, exercise and meditation. I’m focused on the now. And since I seem to have discovered the source of my block, maybe the doors of creativity will reopen.