After yesterday I barely slept last night. However I know my parents love me they just have their own issues that make them act in unhealthy, unproductive ways. On the other hand my mother is trying to be more sensitive and has made a lot of sacrifices during this time. She’s the one that does everything. Cooks for me, takes me to all my appointments, bathed me when I couldn’t, gave me emotional support on the days when I was struggling and has been there for me. The problem is nobody helps or takes care of her. Now part of that is her fault because she lets my dad get away with not helping her and also my brother. I feel sorry for her but at the same time she created her own situation. I truly think that most of the time when she’s at home she’s not really happy. Being constantly run down exhausted and frustrated most people would be irritable and negative. However it’s not my fault so I will not tolerate having her take her crap out on me especially right now. Things are a little clearer now that today I’m not overwhelmed with emotion. Anyhow I am going to do my best to respond instead of react and be nicer to her since when I’m annoyed I’m not nice to her which also affects how she is with me. We will see what happens but today was better.
The things about breast cancer is that it can make you super emotional, super sensitive so everything is magnified. I respond to things so emotionally most of the time. It’s only the last few days that I’ve been a little less emotional (minus yesterday). It’s really difficult not to be emotional after thinking you might die, going through chemotherapy where you feel horrible and surgery losing your breast. Oh and it doesn’t end there. I’ve had no life for 6 months, I might have gone into early menopause (hot flashes Ugh) and still waiting to look normal again. Although on a happy note I see little eyebrow and eyelash hairs starting to grow.
Had 2 ct scans today. A full scan to check for mets and then another scan for preradiation so just of my chest area. I was told that the radiation may affect my tissue and skin elasticity so can affect the outcome of breast reconstruction negatively. Great!! The one thing that was supposed to be the silver lining might get messed up. Still staying hopeful as it was likely but not a for sure. I’ll worry about my new breast later.
Today was the first day that I actually didn’t struggle to get up and felt like I had energy!! I’ve been so tired since August and then sick for a month along with continuing to be tired that I forgot what it felt like to actually have energy. I was sooo happy today! It’s amazing how my mood just changed. I felt better and not as emotionally exhausted. I felt more positive and happier than I’ve been in a very long time. I forgot what that even felt like. The past year has been hell! Relaxed, positive and happy is something I couldn’t even remember.
I had also joined this online community of women dealing with breast cancer (past or present). On the message board someone had asked the question … ‘When do you stop feeling tired and how do you deal with the constant feeling of fatigue?’ This woman had been tired for 5 years after she was cancer free! Then other people started responding and saying that it hadn’t really gone away for them either but they tried to find ways to manage it. Reading that scared the hell outta me! I think the people on the site responding are the ones that are still fatigued and at home more than someone who is back to living their life normally (their new normal). It’s like when I was on an online message board for women over 40 trying to conceive, most of the women were struggling and sharing their stories. I found out last weekend that an acquaintance just had a baby naturally at 47/48 and last year I met someone who accidentally got pregnant and had a baby at 43. Both these babies were born healthy. Granted that is probably not the norm but it still happens. However, these women are not going on a message board writing about it because they’re not having any issues so don’t feel the need to be online chatting with other women. I think the same goes for the women on the breast cancer community site.
Today made me realize that things can get back to normal. I had forgotten what happy felt like. I am going to do everything I can to get healthy and back to my normal self even if it’s a new normal.
I had an appointment with my oncologist yesterday. She gave me a prescription for tamoxifen, which is a hormone blocker. This will stop the estrogen and I guess put me into early menopause. I think I stay on this for 5 years. Ugh that’s a long time but it is what it is. The tumour was very estrogen and progesterone positive, hence stopping the estrogen. Does this mean brittle bones, hot flashes and whatever else comes with menopause and after??? This really is the never ending story. Now I have to figure out what to do to prevent bone density loss. Calcium and exercise is what I know off hand.
I just turned 43. I never imagined this. Then again no one does. You never think that “IT” will happen to you. Whatever that “IT” may be. Bad car accident, no children, cancer … We never think about it happening to us until it does. Now it is me, it’s happened to me. After 6 months of treatment I’m thankful to be alive, thankful that I’m able to drive my car with no pain, that I can take a shower myself and don’t need a sponge bath, and thankful that things are not worse. I’m thankful that I have my mother to take care of me (even though we have our arguments), I’m so grateful that financially I’m fine and have a secure job no matter how long I’m off during this time. I’m also really glad that I’m Canadian and don’t have to worry about health insurance and paying anything. I cannot imagine that at this time. I don’t have to think about whether my insurance will approve reconstruction (which is what I’ve read happens in the US). I’ll be having reconstruction at some point and it’s all part of my treatment plan and I don’t pay a penny. I know the costs vary depending on your health insurance plan but a friends father had cancer and had to shell out $30K. Now I’m not completely clear about the American healthcare system but no one should have to pay anything while they’re going through cancer treatment. Having to have one other thing to think about is just adding more stress, not to mention the financial stress if you cannot afford the cost.
Anyhow, the American healthcare system is a whole other topic for another post. I’m just glad that I’m here and not there. I’m trying not to take anything for granted anymore, down to the little things. All of it should be appreciated and seen as a blessing.
It’s been 7 weeks since my last chemo cycle. I have lots of fuzz on my head. Also very short little hairs and stubble. I’m going to shave it off again … I don’t want any of the fuzz that grew during chemo. There’s also some bikini area little hairs. That hair can take as long as it wants to come back! My legs are still smooth though along with my underarms. As for my eyebrows and lashes, still sparse and a few lashes on each eye. I do however see tiny little hairs coming out. They’ll probably take awhile to grow back but as long as they grow back I’m happy. I’ve been filling in my brows and wearing false lashes every now and then. Good thing I’m a part time makeup artist! Even still, putting false lashes on myself is not that easy. It takes me a few times to get them on properly. BUT when it’s all done they look great! It’s weird I’ve gotten so used to seeing my face hairless that when the brows, lashes and makeup are done I think … wow is that what I used to look like?! Thank god for false lashes! 🙂
My throat is finally a little better. Really want this cold to go away. A month?! Really?!
What is up with this cold?! I’ve been sick since I had surgery! That was a month ago. The worst part is that every time I start to feel like I’m getting better I start to feel sick again and then I’m right back where I started. My throat is so sore today. It hurts to swallow. This has got to get better soon. I know this has been going around and people have been sick for a month but ugh enough already. I’m recovering from surgery and that’s more than enough. Had lots of cake and sweets this week because of my birthday … starting tomorrow I’m going to get back to healthy eating and trying to get enough sleep.
Other than being sick I had a nice day. My cousin came down to see me with her husband and kids. Took me out for birthday lunch and gave me a card and gift. That was sweet of them. I didn’t feel upset ring around her kids. Maybe because she doesn’t make it seem like all is perfect all the time. She’s real about it. Being a mother is great but there are also those moments that aren’t so great. She wouldn’t give it up but she doesn’t sugar coat things.
I’ve also decided that each week (or two) I will try to do something or change something. Like last week I started making the bed everyday no matter how tired I was. During chemo I wasn’t. Probably because I was in bed half the time! This week it has to be my eating. I’m going to keep a food journal to ensure that I’m eating enough fruits and vegetables. It’s hard when you’re not the one doing the groceries or cooking. My moms been great but she gets tired sometimes and doesn’t have or make the things I want. Birthday bad eating week is over.
Oh I still get angry when I think about my ex. I wish I could just let it go. I have no feelings for him but I want to slap him and tell him exactly what I think of him. I guess I never got that closure. I don’t know how someone could be so horrible. I’m so paranoid and jaded now. Oh well I guess that will fade in time. I need to focus on my health. I need to remember that feeling angry towards him isn’t helping me. I just want to be happy.
I’m exhausted all day from the minute I wake up but yet when I go to bed I’m up and unable to sleep. Ugh so frustrating! I don’t want to take drugs to sleep although at times I just do because I can only take so much and get frustrated not sleeping. How do I fix this? I’m thinking back to a time when I slept well. Was two and a half years ago … I had just started my new job and was healthy and happy. No relationship but was focused at work and things were going well. Then six months later as soon as I started dating things went downhill. I’m almost scared to date again. Obviously it’s not something I’m ready to do right now but even later on, it’s something I’m apprehensive about.
Wish my brain could just slow down and relax. Maybe I need to just wake up earlier tomorrow. I’m tired regardless of what time I get up so may as well wake up earlier so that I can sleep. I also have this bad cold, which is going around. Not sleeping isn’t helping me get better. I need to sleep.
On a happy note I’m recovering well. Couple of weeks ago it felt like I wouldn’t be able to straighten my arm without pain or lift it above my head but now I can. It’s getting better, slowly but surely.
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.
It was my birthday yesterday. I’m 43 wow!! Can’t believe it. I pray that this year is better than the last which was probably one of the worst.
I usually want to do something big with lots of people or a trip (which doesn’t always happen). This year my parents and brother took me out for dinner and then came home to a surprise cake. It was all lovely. Then I woke up and there was a present outside my door. Shabil the younger of my two younger brothers had gotten me a gift. It was totally unexpected. It was a very thoughtful gift and I loved it! It was a huge book on Oprah and her show through the years and a big silver letter Q. Just showed me he put a lot of thought into the gift which made me cry. Good thing he was not around to see haha.
I still feel like I’m young. Age is just a number. I still have a lot I want to do and I hope that this really is only the first half of my life. I’m feeling better than I did a week ago. I hope things continue that way.
Tomorrow will be better than today
I’m thankful to be alive
I will be so grateful for each birthday to come
I hope to see seventy maybe even eight-five.
I’m emotionally worn down again. I was happy yesterday when I got the second drain out and then I got two wigs. I was feeling positive and a little happy again. Thinking about my future and what I was going to do once treatment was over and I was healthy again. Then it happened. My mother said something insensitive … I just couldn’t handle it. Do I just accept that she’s insensitive and doesn’t mean to be hurtful? The problem is right now I’m soooo sensitive and emotional I can’t deal with it. After that I was emotional and upset. All the positive happy feelings dissipated. Here I am now trying to pull myself up again. I hate feeling like I’m drowning. SIGH. I refuse to let my mother or anyone affect me like this anymore. Yes it hurts but I’m going to try to focus on getting better and make her insensitive comment(s) HER ISSUE and anyone else that says anything insensitive for that matter. On a regular day it wouldn’t be this hard but right now that’s easier said than done. All I can do is try.
My Happy Place …
On the beach looking up at the sky
The ocean in front of me clear and blue
The sand feels soft between my toes
I’m happy again, who knew …
The sun browning my skin
Feels so good even though it’s hot
I could lie here forever
In this very same spot
I see my house in the distance
Where I wake up each day
To look out at the ocean
It takes my breath away
It’s so calm and peaceful
I can paint I can write
Everything in my life is beautiful
I’m happy again, every single night …
I am so glad 2013 is over … It really was one of the worst years of my life. While I still have scans bloodwork and radiation left, at least surgery and chemo are over. Oh and I still have breast reconstruction left but that isn’t imminent. Will probably take a trip somewhere and then come back and do the breast implants.
There are a lot of things that this past year has taught me …
Not to take your family and true friends for granted. They’re the ones who’ve been there through this. The people that have not been there for me during cancer don’t need to be there when I’m cancer free and past this. Learn to appreciate everyday and make the most of it. Smile and be kind to people. Be thankful for all that you have especially your health. Never let anyone treat you in any way that is not OK for you. Always trust your intuition. There’s a reason your inner voice is talking to you.
Another one of my moms friends came over to see me. She has known me since I was 5 but I rarely see her. She was very sweet and loving. The one thing that bugs me that people do is tell you that had some stomach issue or something else that isn’t life threatening. She said some things like that and was telling me that everyone has ups and downs. This is a little more than a regular up and down. I know she meant well and was trying to get me to stay positive and saying I’ll get through this. BUT comparing other situations that are not the same doesn’t help. So the other thing on my list if someone says something like that again is to let them know it’s not the same unless it’s the same.
Again this reminds me that my moms friends have come to see me more than my own friends. Even one of my aunts friends stopped by with my aunt to see me. Yet my so called “friends” make such little effort. As I said above if you cannot be here during cancer then I don’t need you later on.
Day 1 is page 1 of a new 365 page book. Make it what you want. 2014!!!
The one happy thing I’m going to do to tomorrow is do my nails. They are horrendous right now which is not my normal. I always had painted nails with nail art half the time. I’ll just start with making them pretty tomorrow, save the nail art for later.