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.