breast cancer, family, kids, life, teaching, Uncategorized

Little and not so little things…

We put our house on the market 2 months ago. It sold in 48 hours. It was crazy. If all goes well, we will close on our current home next week. Our new home won’t be ready until November. It’s going to be an interesting two months.

Today is S’s birthday. She’s 11 today. During quiet moments today, I’ve wondered how many more of her birthdays I’ll live to see.

I took a few minutes of my conference period today to sit outside in a beautiful shaded area created by some of our students. A nice breeze blew, keeping it from feeling like an end-of-summer day in Texas. I stretched out on the bench and stared up at the branches of a large shade tree. I watched the branches move with the wind. I listened to the rustle of leaves, the chirps of birds, the bangs of construction, the chattering of students. It was peaceful. I’ve found one of the best things I can do for myself at work is to take my lunch outside if I can. I sit in the shade, eat, and enjoy the solitude. It gives me time to recharge, which I need.

I’m tired. It hasn’t even been two months since my surgery. 6-8 week recovery time. I was back at work after barely 3 weeks. Yes, it was my choice, and I don’t regret trying to live my life as though nothing is wrong with me (because maybe it’s not…I had cancer. I don’t know if I still have cancer.). What gets to me is I still get tired quicker than I want. I can sleep on my stomach, which helps, but I need more rest. Today, I’m running on fumes. I still have an area where the incision hasn’t healed. It’s smaller than it was, but it’s still there. It’s a small annoyance, but it’s an annoyance.

Next week is a really important week. I have a work event on Monday. We close on our current house on Wednesday. ¬†Medically speaking, I see my plastic surgeon on Wednesday. I see Dr. O on Friday. I have what I hope and pray is my last Herceptin treatment on Friday. Then…I don’t know. I don’t know what’s next. How long do I freak out over every new ache or pain? How long do I worry I’m dying, the cancer is hiding and killing me? How long? Forever?

I overheard a couple in Target today. He told his wife he was getting up there in age and didn’t feel like he had a lot of time left. She laughed and told him he wasn’t that old and to stop.

I get how he feels. I’m not getting up there in age, but I do feel like I don’t have a lot of time left. How long do I let myself feel that way? After all, I’m the one who allows myself to feel this way. Stop doing this to yourself, people tell me. It’s not that easy. I wish it was. The thing is, until you’ve walked in these shoes, it’s hard to fathom it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Maybe with some rest will come some perspective. Maybe this year of treatments every three weeks is really going to end. Maybe I can say I had cancer and actually believe it.

A friend sent me a screenshot of a book she’s reading, and the line said something like “we have cancer…cancer doesn’t have us.” I feel like it has me, though. That’s something I have to work through, and something only I can do.

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1 thought on “Little and not so little things…”

  1. The end of Herceptin was definitely a milestone for me, though also brought up feelings of being in free fall. Either way I started to feel better physically after I was done. Tiredness=weepy for me pretty often, be gentle with yourself, there isn’t a timeline you need to adhere to. I heard a wise gal say that the second year post diagnosis offered time to process what just happened- a lot of emotional processing. That helped me realize that it was pretty normal to be still thinking about it a lot. Congratulations on the new house, and birthday girl too. Here’s to spending birthdays with her for decades to come!
    Love from across the blogosphere
    Xo iris

    Like

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