From Darkness to Light
I often wake up feeling like I just had a dream, the twisted ones, which happen when you fall asleep at the wrong time. The afternoon sun and/or middle of the night's chilliness leaves you disoriented and unnerved. So, you look to the person you have closest to you for some clarity. You want to know that you didn't jump off the Eiffel tower, or that you have terminal cancer.
Instead of reassuring you, they can only comfort you at the moment. The realization sets in and you feel like you're being stabbed in the stomach. The last part of the dream was real. Luckily, you've been blessed to find that person. You've been so independent for so long, I began to not fear of finding the right person but fearing I would let the wrong person stay. And I can't say I haven't made that mistake already.
It's important to let people in
My problems all began when I would try to fit myself into someone else's life, giving up a part of myself. I wanted to fit effortlessly into someone else's life without giving up a piece of myself. The first person that happened with was Karley. I mean, it took a little effort and a huge piece of me. But as we both grew, the less effort I had to put in. By the time I learned I had cancer, we were two peas in a pod. And it's that point the darkness began setting in and I started pushing her away. It was a survival mechanism. I thought that if I pushed her away, she wouldn't hurt so much when I was gone.
Of course, I took her to a therapist who later chastised me and told me I was essentially the problem, the reason for her depression was not cancer. It was me pushing her away.
Putting myself out there
My current relationship began that way too. In fact, with everyone I've been in a relationship with since 2012, I've kept those doors closed. I didn't want to let anyone in because I didn't want to hurt anyone else. No more collateral damage. It was frustrating, to say the least. When COVID hit, people like us were scared to leave their homes. I began to think I would never meet anyone. Then social media totally took over and I decided to take advantage of it.
Secretly, I signed up for Match. I didn't want my family scared for me but, it was the one place I could be completely blunt, and if I didn't get a response, fine. I included that I had terminal cancer but I had already beaten the odds and currently had no sign of active cancer. Most people are scared to commit to someone sick. But nobody knows when their time will come. The point being, I have a bit of a heads up on my mortality while so many others think they are immortal. I claimed I was also sick of the dating game. If this guy was looking to get laid, he just needed to move on.
Finding what you're looking for when you stop looking
I met several guys on Match. Some were a little out in the left-field and some I knew were talking to others. But they say you find your person where you are least likely to look. I found mine on Match. The funny thing is, we were comparing profiles of others for each other and became friends. We joked around about the cheesy lines. Finally, I quit trying to find someone and just wanted to talk to this one guy. The weekend I had a stroke, I thought he ghosted me. We said we would never do that because it's so super rude and we were already too good of friends.
I left him messages during my stay in the hospital. My mom came down the help because I had to relearn how to walk. He finally called me and I discovered he had no service on the job site he was at. I thought it to be a little sketchy, but gave him the benefit of the doubt since he had never done that to me before.
Life is what we make it
He felt so bad that he decided to come to visit to cheer me up. He met my mother and when she had to leave he stayed to help me with rehab and learning to walk again. Eventually, he grew on me, and he is still here today. The stroke was in September 2020. Sometimes that darkness will try to creep into multiple aspects of our life. But we have to stand up to it and shut it down. If I hadn't done so, I wouldn't have my partner in crime or my sweet empathetic daughter. Everything could've turned out so much worse.
But, life is what we make it. And I happen to love mine.
Where have you found the most support during your lung cancer journey?