Breast Cancer · Cancer · Life

Unfinished business 

I’ve been noticing something particularly absurd about myself lately. It started with my DVR at the point of our move. I guess it’s been going on for a while, since we started preparing for our move nearly two years ago. Anyway, I was very into a show called Downton Abby. I would watch it alone late in the evenings once a week when I couldn’t sleep. Some weeks I didn’t have time to see it, so I would catch up in the middle of the night all at once. I would make tea and have a biscuit or two and enjoy my upstairs/downstairs drama time. It was clever and quite funny. It was sad and introspective. It was beaufully costumes and filmed. And it had Maggie Smith. I had gotten particularly behind when the show was set to air the finale, so I caught up. Then, I got busy with other things and let the finale sit on my DVR for ages. I started watching it at one point and stopped about fifteen minutes in. Then we moved. We got a new DVR. I saw it available to stream on another service. I watched the same fifteen minutes and stopped. I have not yet finished the series. 

I’ve done this at this point with a few different series I’ve watched in the past two years. In fact, Breaking Bad may be the only finale I’ve completed. It’s gotten even worse since my diagnosis. I watch until almost the end. I watch a part of the end. Then, I consciously stop. I’ve even done it with a few books, reading until almost the end and then just moving on. 

A few weeks ago, Husband, Daughter, and I visited Gettysburg and, as we were driving home and thinking of a place to go eat dinner, Husband suggested that we drove to the town where our university is and visit it and eat there. I froze. I felt literally sick to my stomach with anxiety. And for some reason, all I could think about was Downton Abby. 

I think this has all been my brain’s way of telling me that I cannot let go of some things yet. I’m sure it has something to do with cancer like everything in my life seems to right now. It’s about holding on to what I have. In the case of visiting my school, I don’t want to see he changes and replace my old memories. In the case of Downton, I don’t want to say goodbye to the characters I love. It makes no sense. It’s completely irrational. And it’s totally me. 

One thought on “Unfinished business 

  1. While I go about this in a different way, I think this might be incredibly common. I’ve been reading the Sue Grafton mysteries for over a decade, but I’ve never read the end of the series. I just read and reread the first dozen or so books, because I don’t want the series to end. I replay video games over and over to see the characters again, and when I don’t want to do that, I read fanfic (or write it). I know my mom also “rations” books to hold off getting to the end of a series. So a lot of us feel as you do.


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