Here’s a teaser, although the essay’s mostly not actually about cancer, oddly enough:
“During cancer treatment, I cleaned my own house instead of calling the charity that cleans houses for chemo patients. I cooked for my children. I drove myself to chemo treatments, unwilling to ask anyone else. Until the day a cop pulled me over because I was driving twice the speed limit and hadn’t even noticed. He asked what was going on, and I said, “I’m going to chemo” and burst into tears. We hold ourselves together on the surface, but there are storms raging underneath, violence slamming against the foundations of our sense of self.
I stopped driving myself to chemo after that. I even let people – strangers, friends — bring me trays of mac-and-cheese and broccoli for the kids. I couldn’t really eat by then, with everything tasting like metal, nothing tasting good. I was living on cans of Campbell’s chicken-and-stars, the only thing that seemed halfway palatable. I tried to go for a walk around the block with my husband, and had to turn back before we’d gotten to the first corner, the exhaustion dragging at my bones. I am one of those hyper-competent people who invests a tremendous amount of pride in her own competence. I had to be almost at the point of total collapse before I was willing to admit that there was anything wrong, that I needed help.”