When is it going to stop?

When will this feeling stop? I’m so tired of it. I feel like I’m living inside a bubble, where the full clarity of my mind and unfiltered connection with the world around me exists outside of that bubble. And I am inside, observing. But not always fully connecting.

I can still appreciate things beyond the bubble, beyond the fog of imposed sickness, but I can’t grab them as easily or as readily as I could before.

Something is just different. And I’m so tired of it. Exhausted by it. It’s been too long. When is it going to go away? When is it going to stop?

Maybe it never will.

Accepting that is like accepting that the itchy sweater or ill-fitting shoes that you just put on and really want to take off are now a permanent part of your body, an unremovable part of your existence. And that’s a hard thing to accept.

Maybe you shouldn’t accept it. Even if it’s true.

Maybe you should just think about something else.

The most important thing– the utterly crucial imperative– is not to lose yourself into an anxious hysteria of “oh my god I’ve gotta get this thing off I can’t get this thing off!” and instead to breathe calmly, consider rationally that you can still smell roses and that they still smell good and that your dinner last night was pretty fucking delicious and that when you were jogging yesterday you felt really good and totally forgot about the itchy sweater foggy bubble imposed sickness that we were just talking about that two minutes ago sounded so scary and important and suddenly no longer does.

Because feel this Tuscan breeze. It’s lovely. It’s filled with grace. And that grace isn’t coming from anywhere else but inside of you, because it wouldn’t exist without you feeling it.

And there are many more breezes like this to come. You know that. Many, many more beautiful moments await you. You’d better be there to greet them.

And so, do not get lost in the woods of fear. Choose not to let the pain hold sway over you.

Instead stop, point yourself in the direction of hope, in the direction of where you’d love to be and how you’d love to feel, and then do the work it takes to make that real.

Because that’s exactly when this feeling will stop.

10 thoughts on “When is it going to stop?

  1. I don’t have and never had brain cancer but I know exactly what you mean. Well said.. Thanks.
    Remember: everything will be fine!
    Take care dude.

  2. Thinking of you. Rooting for you. Inspired by you, particularly this post’s wrap-up:

    And so, do not get lost in the woods of fear. Choose not to let the pain hold sway over you. Instead stop, point yourself in the direction of hope, in the direction of where you’d love to be and how you’d love to feel, and then do the work it takes to make that real.
    Because that’s exactly when this feeling will stop.

  3. Remember this beautiful moment?

    It’s a crisp September day in Paris. We’re walking down the Champs Elysees, the boulevard to end all boulevards. We go to see the movie Tin Cup with Kevin Costner (dubbed in French with English subtitles). Afterwards we sit on a bench. We talk for a while, and your whip-smart humor calms my homesick worry. It was a great afternoon. Why weren’t we in class? If we had been, I wouldn’t remember the sun warming my cheeks or the cool air wafting through the special bread-coffee-and-urine aroma that will forever be Paris.

    You’re right–many more moments await. I’m taking a deep breath of this crisp September air and thinking of your beautiful future.

  4. Sometimes, getting comfortable with the unpleasant is not the same as accepting it. It’s like telling it who’s boss and mentally moving past it. Like the first time the dentist numbs your mouth. It doesn’t feel great but you mind it less when YOU decide you will “handle it” and move on …and you might have been promised icecream. My dad took me for icecream with my mouth still numb…it was wildly entertaining. When I look back, I’m glad I had that experience as fully as possible, even if the numbness made it feel more like a challenge than a reward. You’re a very talented dude/guy/whatever the kids are saying these days. Thanks for letting us walk with you.

  5. Feeling like you’re inside a bubble must suck, a lot. I think that your fabulous, still-there brain will work through the fuzziness, building new pathways and connections to fantastically bridge the constantly improving memorial hole in your brain. I think the normal you find when that is accomplished will be a new one, and your journey to that point will poke and prod you to think and see and feel in ways that you might not have otherwise, and connect you to experiences and people you might never have known.

    All of us who are reading and caring for you – from close by and far away – will be richer for the insights you work through in your writing, and, with karmic goodness, all that thinking and insight will hasten the building of neural pathways and connections, in you and all of us.

    Suddenly, my brain is filled with images of Fraggles, working away to heal and build your brain. May it be ever so-

  6. Hi Chad,
    I came across your blog a few nights ago, and read your story for at least an hour. I couldn’t stop laughing. Your sense of humor really makes dark material a lot lighter.

    My husband also had GBM and was a patient at Cedars. He passed away one month ago today. One month and 1 hour ago. Today could have been a horrible day, but it wasn’t. I could feel him all around me, reminding me that the world is a beautiful place. I got outside, took in fresh air, and smelled the roses.

    Tonight, I wrote to my Norm like I do most nights. I was just about to go to sleep, when you popped into my head. I was worried about you and hoped you had posted something new, something good.

    This post really spoke to me, and I can relate on a couple levels. I find myself in the same fog, the same bubble, a scary reality that I can’t shake off. The only way to cope is to think about something else. Walks and fresh air are great therapy. Just keep walking, keep jogging.

    I feel like I should be giving you advice and support, but tonight, you were support to me. Lets both continue in the direction of hope. Life is so precious. After three brain surgeries, my husband said “Life is a journey, and I love the one I am on now.” He meant every word.

    You are an inspiration, just like he is.

    Love and big hugs,

  7. Amazing for anyone alive in this world. this should be put up on the bathroom mirror or car visor. some place where you can see it and be reminded of it everyday.

  8. Dude, I cannot even tell you – years later, this is still the best thing I’ve ever read. It’s like, biblical. It’s a psalm for anyone who is aggrieved. I came across it right after I had two miscarriages and a was in the midst of a third pregnancy crippled by anxiety and depression. This was balm for my soul – seriously, the only thing that helped – and I’ve kept it bookmarked ever since. It still brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. Thought you should know.

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