Being ill does things to a person’s head. The insides and the outsides do not match up. On the whole this is a good thing. The insides of my head are pretty messy. I lose things in there. But we all like to think we are generally ok. As in nice. Don’t we?
I cannot be alone in believing that when adversity came calling I would greet it like the heroine of a Victorian moral drama. I would be a Dorothea Brooke or a Jane Eyre. And when I fantasized about funerals and mortal illnesses, people would always admire the stoicism with which I conducted myself. My general deportment would obviously have something of the oppressed about it, but my inner bearing would overwhelmingly convey fortitude.
I do not recall ever thinking I would turn into a cow. That I would be reduced to snapping at my dearest friends; being a bitch to my husband; and generally turning into the Bridezilla of cancer to all around. Cancer has robbed me of my ability to function beyond a hand to mouth existence. In my need to focus on surviving, it is easy to forget common decency and manners. And the very people I love above all others get caught in the cross fire.
Being ill does not excuse this. It is acceptable to be exhausted. It is acceptable to struggle to function outside my bubble. It is acceptable to not cope. But it is not acceptable to take out my anger and frustration on those around me. The really horrible thing is, I would love to promise to be the Florence Dombey of chemotherapy but that is not going to happen. I am not going to morph into some angelic being who bears all with grace and serenity. I suspect I am going to be foul and loathsome.
Be nice to the Captain. He is going to need it.