Being back in the eye clinc is never easy. I never look forward to being dilated (which means getting upwards of seven sets of drops blobbed into my eyes), having an ultrasound (which means getting a wand ground into my eyelid), having my intraocular pressure taken (getting a tiny, soft wand poked directly onto my eyes), getting images and measurements taken (which means bright flashbulbs and lasers), and having upwards of three complete ophthalmology appointments performed back-to-back over the course of three hours. That alone is enough to exhaust me. 

At the best of times during this process, I feel violated, and I hurt. Being in the eye clinic a year to the day I was diagnosed with cancer drains me to the point of shaking. I’m near tears the whole time.

For what it’s worth, the news was good. Tumor’s shrinking as it should. No sign of cataracts or retinopathy. I should be ecstatic.

Instead, I’m annoyed and scared every time my dad insists we should celebrate. The last time my dad intended a celebration over one of my eye exams, the news came back Type 2. His goddamned bottle of non-alcoholic champagne still sits unopened in my fridge. 

I keep hoping for some purpose in all this–for some meaning behind the suffering. The old me would’ve insisted that there was a purpose to find. I might even have insisted that I’ve known the purpose my whole life.

I’ve seen what insisting gets me.

I haven’t found any meaning in this yet.