The last two weeks have been a struggle. I know some who have dealt with breast cancer love October and seeing pink everywhere. I’m not one of them. Pink ribbons make me cringe. Advertisements in windows claiming to give X amount of money to Y charity based off the proceeds of Z product make me cringe. It sounds stupid to say, to type, but pink is hard. Pink is the reminder of everything.
For most of my life, I’ve dreaded the thought of having cancer, and I’ve believed for a long time, cancer would one day be my companion. I just didn’t expect it to be breast cancer, and I didn’t expect it to be in my thirties. I thought I’d be older. But, here I am. I’m 38. I had breast cancer. I spend each day, at some point in the day, being angry about all of it and hoping the cancer isn’t still lurking somewhere.
MD Anderson posted a link on Twitter to a story of a HER2+ Stage 3 breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in 1998. She’s been no evidence of disease since her chemo, radiation, and surgery. Seeing stories like that spark some hope in me. It seems there are so few good stories. My soul needs to see there are women out there who have faced this beast and are living life beyond it.
I can’t seem to live my life. I can’t seem to get it back…not all the way. I have moments, like yesterday, where I feel more like me. I went to work in my Halloween costume. I took my kids trick or treating. It was a normal night. I felt like me. But, those moments are few and far between.
I’m existing. I’m not living. I hate knowing that I’m just existing, but if admitting a problem is the first step in solving it…there, I admit it. I know I’m just existing. I go through the motions. I’m not living. I don’t know how to truly live anymore. For a year, I existed from treatment to treatment. Every three weeks, that Friday (or Tuesday if Dr. O needed to move my treatment), I knew I had to be in Dallas. I knew I had to receive medication to potentially save my life.
That year is over. My treatment is over. As far as I know, I’m no evidence of disease. Dr. O saved my life, or at least prolonged it since HER2+ cancer is so aggressive. It would have killed me in no short order had I not finally listened to the voice in my head screaming at me to see Dr. B.
So, why can’t I live? Why do I insist on existing? Why have I planted myself in this place and refuse to let in the light? What is it going to take to push me into living?
I don’t have the answers. I just know there’s a problem. I know I’m the problem.
I just don’t know where I go from here.