It’s been difficult to talk books lately, though they continue to do an incredible job in helping me retain my sense of sanity and balance; but life keeps throwing out unexpected challenges and this one time I am just exhausted. Exhausted to do what seems normal, when nothing, not one element in my life is normal. I do love life and want to live it every minute, but I do want to ask the Universe, why am I denied a boring albeit peaceful life. For those seeking excitement and action, tired of their everyday jobs and other social responsibility, know that there are others who who would trade that simple everyday life in a heartbeat. Why is boring a bad thing? It is a worthy existence and much better that the constant curve balls that comes your way. Maybe boring is what we all need to aspire for instead of wealth and adventure. There is such joy in everyday routine; in the small tasks that bring comfort and add to the overall well being of our existence.
But boring is one adjective that I am denied, since I was 13. If there is a problem, life will make sure it hits me in the face and in case I still refuse to see, rub my face on it, till, I get the point. For instance, back in late August, I was set for a wonderful vacation with my sister and cousin to the southern most state of India, Kerala, a magical land of culture, beach, mountain , wildlife, all together. This was a my first full length vacation since my diagnosis last year and the north star of my life for the last few months. Physically I was feeling much better than I had in months ( re – my last post ), the chemotherapy side effects were finally in control and I was leading as a normal life as possible.
I went for my routine follow up that happens every three months with my oncologist. My blood tests were all clean and as a standard medical protocol, she advised an MRI. I went for the MRI but something kept bothering me – the what if scenario. I tried dismissing them, believing that my mind always sought out the worst, after years of trauma. But there may be science to such things like “gut instinct” etc, because turns out they were correct. In subsequent tests that followed, it was discovered that my endometrial cancer has metastasized (spread) and I have lesions in my lungs and lymph nodes. The cancer is back ( or maybe it never gone away, just hid somewhere until the chemotherapy stopped ) in less than 7 months after I finished my treatment. My second round of chemotherapy started as of September 30th and this time we really do not know much; how many rounds, how long and if it needs to be combined with such advanced medicine like immunotherapy. It’s living from one session to another, dependent on test results, that may or may not say something.
This second round of battle is making me very unwell. Far more than I was the first time, as the dosage is stronger and also my immunity is already compromised from the first session that ended last year. I am tired of the never ending triage of doctors, tests and medicines. And I want nothing more than a boring life where I do my work, read some books , write about them and go traveling every now and then. I have no ambitions of conquering the Corporate world or finding the one true love of my or being “inspiring” . I just want to be left alone to lead a simple life, but there I guess I ask too much and am being totally brazen in my greed !
However I am determined to grasp whatever I can get of my life. After my biopsy, I did take the vacation with my sister and cousin. And now prepare for another beach holiday in November. I will continue reading as much as I can and am planning to enroll for a second masters next year. I will continue raising awareness about Cancer in a society that pretends that this illness does not exist (see https://www.instagram.com/candidcancerconversation/ ). And in my own small sphere try and be as “boring” as possible, finding joy in everyday routines and tasks that enrich life – the smell of woodfire as the autumn turns to spring, a well cooked meal ( very important as most things taste like mud to me these days ) buying new books, an afternoon spent chatting with an old friend, 18000 kms away about everything and nothing and just breathing, one moment in time.
Sharing some pictures from the Kerala Vacation. It’s gorgeous country with nature and history and I am so glad I did this journey, cancer or no cancer.