Turning back time is something we can do in writing. Let's hop in a time machine and look at December 23, 2019...
Life this year has been a ride - water rapids on a rollercoaster through fire sort of ride. At first it seemed like there were too many people on the boat. You can't quite remember who all is there and what they do but they are all super important. Onco, breast surgeon, radiation onco, nurses, chemo, gynecologist... They feel like buoys to help keep the boat balanced and safe.
Being breast cancer awareness month I am acutely aware of some of the interesting things that we say to 'raise awareness'. For me I find most (not all) of these things funny, but do they really raise awareness? "Save second base!" "MANogram - place breasts here"
I have had a swack of appointments in the last couple of weeks along with a very exciting - yet nerve wracking - surprise phone call.
I do NOT have time for this. I am raising small children, working, being a (good?) wife, and living life. I need to organize, schedule, clean, cook, drive, manage, pay bills, and do all the things every. single. day. I don't have time for cancer! You know what? CANCER DOESN'T CARE
I am angry. Inexplicably angry that I don't get to choose the end point. That it is effectively chosen for me. This. THIS is what enrages me most. And yet, rage nor anger are the right descriptors. It's devastation: severe or overwhelming shock or grief
All of this process has me thinking of so many things. It's so challenging to be real and truthful about the entire journey because a large chunk of what makes me, me, is just the 'getting it done-ness'. Things need doing? I do them. People need help? I help them. Someone needs support or a listening ear? I am that person... It is so challenging to now feel inadequate and weak and to accept help from family and friends as a "doer".
What I think many people and providers forget is the impact that the diagnosis, treatment and procedures have on my little people. Em is 6 and D is 3.
This past four weeks has felt simultaneously like a slow-moving snail and has gone by in a flash. This continues to be my experience throughout the journey. The moments when you are in them seem to drag on forever and then looking back has finished in a blink.
Being scared, worried or even down right petrified makes it hard to think. Focusing becomes challenging. Remembering things that you used to be able to remember with ease suddenly becomes a significant test.