I think my heart is broken. I feel emptiness like something is missing. I lack any vision for the future, and it feels like I am dust walking through the present.

When I was 23 my first boyfriend broke my heart – it felt like the earth beneath me was about to split open and swallow me whole. I didn’t care about anything, because I couldn’t feel or see anything beyond the immediacy of my broken heart. When I was 25 I had to move home from the Australian dream life to come home to a sick parent and its appropriate whirlwind. I felt, only shallowly, because to explore anything deeper would result in a belt of broken hopes. At 28 I thought those experiences taught me how to strive in adversity, but instead I feel like my heart has broken all over again.

In the resulting endlessness of this experience I somehow feel the symptoms of the previous two heartbreaks forged into one, brand new, super heartbreak.

This time it’s a little different; I can bear to stand and breathe, functioning in the physical world moving from one distraction to the next. The empty pit in the center of my chest occasionally allows me a breath here and there. I could even fake it enough to plan an experience, although ultimately it’s just more distraction from the omnipresent heartbreak. Yet, these small differences have only helped mask the same dread that comes with devastation. And despite the network of strength and support that stand behind me, beyond me and inside of me, there is brokenness in my heart that longs to be filled. But how can the universe break someone’s heart?

In a small attempt to be free I remind myself that the experience is behind me. That the cancer has failed at its mission, and now like Michael I can squash this devil beneath my (designer) sandal. It has been weeks since the chemo has passed, months since intravenous poisoned my veins and somehow the blatant rudeness of cancer remains in my brain. It has fogged each ability I possess, every motivation I crave and every night I close my eyes. When suddenly it comes to pass that I observe and judge everyone one of my own movements to what they were previously, I feel the sting of cancer.

This is where I live today; in the feeble attempts to rebuild something that once was magnificent – but with only half the energy and ambition.