Sorry I’ve been MIA lately (to the few of you still reading…Hi, Mom!) but the start of the school year is insane. I’ve barely had time to sleep!
I am so much better physically. My radiation burns have healed, I’m not in constant pain and the fatigue is getting better each day. When I have my treatment every three weeks, it’s not too bad. I’m a little achy, a lot tired, but not sick. I can function. It’s a big difference from the spring.
But emotionally? I’m a hot mess.
I’ve struggled with an eating disorder my whole life and I’ve never really been treated for it. I think I have it under control and then BAM something like cancer happens and it rears its ugly head. I’m really struggling in this area right now. I know it seems ridiculous that I’m in the middle of a cancer battle and I give a shit about my weight but it’s not a rational disorder. I’m really trying to love myself through this. To be patient with my body as it recovers from being through hell and back over the last seven months and still anticipating the seven months it has left to be bombarded with chemicals that feel like they’re trying to kill it. I’m sure my body is constantly thinking “WTF IS SHE DOING TO US???” and so I’m trying to appreciate all that it is doing for me right now. But that’s easier said than done when you already struggle in this area.
Three women in my community have passed away in the past month from cancer that started out as breast cancer. One of them was a dear friend of a family member. She just finished chemo one year ago and thought she was fine. These stories haunt me and scare me. I know I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, but that doesn’t matter. I. have. cancer. Something that people die from all the time. Something that people use as a “could be worse” as in “well, at least it’s not cancer!”. I have it. I’m fighting it. And I’m trying not to live in a world where all I think about is the fact that it could come back. I can’t live that way. That’s not who I am. But at the moment, it’s really hard for me to ignore the voice that’s telling me “it could come back!”.
I have glimpses of my “pre-cancer self” here and there but I’m not myself yet. I’m just not sure how to get my mojo back I guess. Again, I’m trying to be patient with myself. I’m trying to give myself credit for all I am going through and trying to realize that it’s ok if I’m not myself for a bit. Maybe I won’t ever be “myself” again. Maybe I’m permanently changed. Maybe that’s not a bad thing. I’m just not sure. I do know that I’m usually a happy, positive person and I’m trying really hard to stay that way. But it’s not easy.
I think part of the problem is I’m just worn out. This is hard work physically and emotionally. It’s a lot of pain and fatigue and appointments and phone calls and paperwork and worry and doctors. It’s just heavy. I’m just tired. And I get overwhelmed by how much farther I have to go and the fact that it might not be enough.
I keep telling myself I’m a fighter and, no matter what comes my way, I’ll handle it. But sometimes I just wish I didn’t have to.