Sunday, March 04, 2012


More of my videos here.

It feels lately like the ground keeps slipping out from under me. I'll be going along, minding my own business, and find myself suddenly or subtly sliding into sadness, or confusion, even a mild form of panic. Along with this comes insomnia, an inability to focus on work, and the same recursive thinking leading me to the same dead-end in the corn maze of my mind: whatever I'm doing is utterly wrong. If I'm making art, I should be writing, if I'm writing, I should be cleaning, if I'm cleaning, I should be having fun, if I'm having fun, I should be working. There is no right. My entire life is wrong and I can't bear it another minute.

In my better moments, I reach for the phone, a shoulder to cry on. Otherwise, I reach for something to soothe and distract - food, a movie, or a chore, preferably something I can do while simultaneously eating and watching a movie. And then it passes and I feel absolutely fine and don't see what exactly was so upsetting in the first place.

I'd like to believe this is all good. That this is a temporary crisis that will lead me to higher ground, a greater sense of ease and confidence in the world. I'd like to believe I've simply peeled away a layer of armor and now I'm confronting the stuff I didn't let myself feel in the past, working my way through it.

But sometimes I wonder if it's just the Tamoxifen messing with my hormones, and the aftermath of a year of cancer treatment and feeling like my life was on the line, a feeling that hasn't exactly gone away.

Either way, I'll keep putting one foot in front of the other. I'll keep cooking good meals, making art, writing, working, doing chores, having fun, and wrestling the demons in the corn maze. And I'll keep picking up the phone, reminding myself that I'm not alone.

What else am I going to do?


Maureen said...

Amy, you are a few months behind me in your treatment of cancer. And we have different treatments, but much of our feelings are the same. Do you know about Susan Love's survey she is doing on women taking Tamoxifen? Nothing stays the same, This too will pass. Maureen

sara r. said...

I've followed your blog throughout my treatment.which helped me tremendously. so thank you for that :) i think we are fairly close in our timeline of treatment. i feel what you're feeling and just want you to know you aren't alone. sometimes i find the mental work is tougher than the physical. and now that the physical requirements are over there is not much standing in the way of the emotional and mental work. throw in some tamoxifen and i believe it makes it even tougher.
wishing you well, and thank you for helping me through my journey. even though we don't know each other, your words and movies made me feel not so alone on those dark days.

Amy said...

Maureen and Sara, thank you so much for your comments. It's nice to know that I'm not alone on this rugged trail, and that others are benefiting from all my over-sharing. Maureen, I don't know about that survey. I tried googling it but no luck. If you have a link to more info on that, please share!

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you.


Sondria said...

I just read this portion of your Blog I can't believe you acurately describe to a tee exactly how I am currently feeling. I was diagnosed 3 1/2 weeks ago and have undergone a mastectomy... I am swept up in the events that are unfolding...
All I can say is thanks...for making me feel normal!!!

Katy said...

Your blog, and YouTube channel make me feel happy inside. I feel hopeful. I'm rounding up my 5th week of radiation, and then I guess I just hope. My cancer is triple negative, so no Tamoxifen for me. This entry touched me in particular, because you mention the darkness. I'm 33, and I feel more alone than ever. This cancer stuff is isolating. Wow. I try and do design, but I'm less than inspired. Any advice? lol

P.S. No one warned me about the depression and anxiety after treatment. I feel like I'm 80 years old. I hope it ends soon.