breast cancer, family, life, Uncategorized

Still awake

I’m wide awake…partially because I had five cups of coffee throughout the day, because I took a three hour nap, and because I kind of just don’t want to sleep (convoluted and poorly written sentence, yet it conveys my thoughts perfectly right now).

This evening, A and I talked about what happened this week, him calling me an issue, me being mad at him, work stuff for both of us, stuff with the kids. He talked about his utter lack of patience lately when he gets home from work. I talked about how hard it is for me to figure out this phase of breast cancer.

There have been so many stories about breast cancer pop in my Facebook news feed this week of young women, women in their thirties, dying from stage 4, metastatic breast cancer. Those stories are my worst fear, the cancer returning, the inevitably of dying, the pain. I can’t stop myself from reading the stories when someone shares them. I know, I know, I need to scroll by, but I can’t. So, I read. Then, I spend the rest of the day, or night, or both, anxious and upset. I’m triggered (I feel like I’m incorrectly coopting that word, but…).

Last night, I went back and reread some articles discussing how upwards of 80% of breast cancer patients expierence some symptoms of PTSD, but the symptoms lessen over time (unless, of course, the cancer returns). I know I’m expierencing some symptoms of it. A friend of mine who is a combat veteran talked to me last week. He told me he didn’t want to overstep his bounds, but he also couldn’t be silent anymore to me, and he asked me if anyone besides Dr. H had talked to me about seeing a counselor. He told me that he saw a counselor for awhile after retiring and there’s nothing wrong with needing to talk to someone. He’s right. I know he’s right. So. I put a call in to the cancer counselor Dr. H recommended. I left a voicemail. I’ll probably hear back on Monday. I told A that I’d finally called. He seemed relieved and concerned at the same time.

I know research says 30% of early breast cancer diagnosis have the cancer return at some point. It’s so hard living with this blade hanging over me. That’s what it feels like. I’m afraid of being judged for how hard it is for me to see beyond breast cancer. I’ve lost quite a few friends over the last little bit…some of it because of my political views (sorry not sorry) and some because they just don’t want to be around me anymore. I get it. It’s hard being friends with me on my best day.

I want to be better, be different, live fearlessly. Live. That’s what I want. I want to live, yet I’m not. I’m existing. I’m in survival mode, or that’s how it feels. I don’t know how to shift from survival mode to life. That’s my struggle. I don’t know how to live.

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4 thoughts on “Still awake”

  1. Just wanted to send some light your way. I wish I could send a massage therapist and a trauma specialist to your door.
    I’m glad you are seeking out some support from a councilor, and I am wondering what other supportive and nurturing things might bring you some comfort? For instance in my first year out from treatments I took many many many Epsom salt baths. Very soothing, and gives the body magnesium to boot. Finding ways to help your body stand down from red alert, can give your spirits some space to recover too. In my experience cancer treatments, and the aftermath has been seriously overflowing with emotional fall out. Time is bringing more ease. Time and meditation, which is still very on again off again for me…
    There is no right and wrong about feelings, they just are. And there is no proper time limit to processing grief and loss, it just takes as much time as it takes.
    May you be surrounded by gentleness and compassion as you navigate through this dark spell.
    Xo iris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 💜💜💜 Thank you Iris. You always seem to say the right thing to me. Your comments always bring some comfort.

      Honestly, there haven’t been many supports offered. My surgeon’s cancer center offers counseling and massage. I did the massage therapy once…I don’t know if it helped. It’s free if you’re undergoing treatment. It’s $1 a minute if you’re not undergoing treatment. I feel selfish spending that money on myself. Counseling is free. So, I’m starting there.

      I do pedicures once every two weeks now. Those help. I’m trying to get my schedule where I can go to a local yoga studio that offers yoga for cancer patients. It’s on Friday nights, and it’s been difficult for me to make it. They just started it, and both Friday nights, we’ve either had a family thing or A worked really late. I feel bad imposing on family to watch my kids so I can go try yoga because truly, my family wants me to be over this, past it, whatever, but I can’t move past it. I’m angry with myself for this weakness, this inability to see past it.

      I do take epsom salt baths. I try to just chill, listen to music, and spend some time on Pinterest.

      I just constantly feel like I’m on alert. I’m waiting for it to come back and be terminal. I don’t know how to move beyond that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I so need to do yoga. For awhile I was doing a yoga video for breast cancer gals- it felt great. Though having the companionship of others obviously was not part of that.
        Being on alert is a physiological response to Trauma, be gentle with your self, clearly if you could just snap yourself out of it, you would have already done so. With help you can get to a better space with it. The 30% ax of possible recurrence is a demon to be faced for sure. Not a trivial challenge.
        Best wishes-xo

        Like

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