Right- so here it goes. I am going to share the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth as to why I have been absent from writing and sharing my story.
Over the last month or so, I have been distant in all aspects of my life and most importantly jotting down- or typing rather, my experience with cancer, chemo and the whole lot to share on my blog. You see, when I was first diagnosed with cancer I was mad but determined, angry but untiring and sad but strong. I was ready to take cancer into the ringer and show it whose boss, all the while remaining poised with pronounced finesse. For the first few months of my diagnosis I was on a power trip. Cancer creeped into my life without permission and I was determined to execute and evict its residency inside of my ill body. Don’t get me wrong, when I use past tense examples of my willpower towards my situation, I am still extremely spirited in my steadfast approach to rid myself of this horrendous disease, but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t get more difficult by the day.
On that note, that carries us to today and the last month or so since I have been missing in action. Roughly a month ago, my Oncologist abruptly declared that I was going on a “break” from chemo. The reason being is that the neuropathy side effects from the chemo was leaving me nearly handicap, unable to utilize my hands and unable to walk. Her concern was that if my chemo were to continue at this time, then the chances that the neuropathy would remain long term was a real distress on both my Doctor and myself. The Oncologist at this point had prescribed everything under the sun and nothing seemed to be working to cure my incapacitating neuropathy.
The days would pass, without me seeing the light of day. The only view that was available to me was that of my ceiling, a blank, empty space in which I could relate to; I felt like a shell, my body was physically there but the depression that seeped in was insurmountable. I found myself unable to do pretty much anything. Unable to write my blog for therapeutic purposes, unable to take Keg on a walk and sadly unable to stand on my own two feet. It finally hit me. Although chemo is not something I would sign up for as an elective, at least I was able to get out, I had a routine and I was able to see and talk to other patients; someone to possibly relate to. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate everyone in my day to day, or those caring for me, but I was feeling so far down the rabbit hole that I couldn’t cope with the fact that I couldn’t relate to anyone anymore; in which chemo allowed me to do so and without chemo every other week, it left me with a sense of dejection.
As difficult as it is to admit, there have been many days within my gloomy outlook where I felt that death would be the easier avenue. I would no longer be in excruciating pain, I wouldn’t feel like a worthless human being that lives a life on a king size bed, as well as burdening those around me to take care of me and worry about me night and day. There were a handful of days in which I called Steve at work when I was having dark thoughts with the possibility of self-harm. Although I truly don’t believe that I would ever go through with such a thing, the feeling I had inside me was something I had never experienced before and within the last month I became unrecognizable to myself. Where was the girl that was so eager to knock out her component? Gone. She was gone and as much as I tried to dig deep to resurrect her, the sadness monopolized the happiness and the despondency remained.
Now, here we are, coming out of the shadows of the last month and although I haven’t discovered the other end of a rainbow, I am now seeing specks of light and hope. I had a PET Scan and was told that my tumor markers are at an all-time, manageable low, coming in at 1.8. This was exactly the news I needed to hear as it made me realize that the fight hasn’t been all for nothing. No, the fight I started was merely in the frame of halftime. I needed a little break, I was feeling defeated, but I soon put my boxing gloves back on and was ready to keep on, keepin’ on.
Just within the last few days, my neuropathy is beginning to die down and I am finding a tad more balance on my feet and more feeling in my hands (hence the reason I am now able to update my blog, as I can type once again). Since feeling better, I was to embrace all of my good days and enjoy them to the hilt. I want to be able to get out of bed, put some makeup on and do basically anything, with the exception of lying in a bed. At this point, I am averaging about three days of feeling well and the remainder feeling bad. However, because I am now being granted a few good days, I will embrace them and consider myself lucky to have a little bit of normalcy left. Although my updates might be few and far between as I will not always be able to type, I will do my best to update the blog and if nothing else, try to write on my good days so I may process everything therapeutically, as it has helped me since day one. Thanks again for all over the continuous support, love and encouragement.
There are many resources out there if you or a loved one is seeking some guidance and/or just to talk to someone.
- Cancer Support Community. Look for a Wellness Center in your area. Many times they offer free amenities, such as yoga, to meditation, to support grounds.
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
- American Cancer Society>Find Support and Treatment = www.cancer.org