I spent part of this afternoon in a new patient orientation class for cancer patients. I spent the rest of the afternoon prone on the couch, recovering from the intensity of the class.

The content of the class was great, the instructor was wonderful, and the array of resources and support available (all for free) was inspiring. I’m incredibly grateful for all the people and systems that I can lean into during this process (including the friend who came with me to the class.)

At the same time, it’s amazing how much emotional energy it takes to walk this path. The class was 90 minutes long and, when I got home after it, I spent 2 hours flat on my back, with a cat on my chest, incapable of any kind of coherent thought or action. I didn’t sleep, it wasn’t that kind of body-tired. I just needed to rest and integrate. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this kind of soul-exhaustion before I began this process.

I’m relieved that my prognosis is relatively good, and I marvel at people who navigate even more severe journeys with cancer. I can only imagine how difficult that must be.

I’m working hard on giving myself permission to take the time and space I need. I keep reminding myself that, while things don’t look that different for me on the outside, they are pretty much in upheaval on the inside. It’s OK to be undone by it all.