A quick check in from OBB. It is a gorgeous sunny day with bright blue skies, however we are housebound looking after a very unwell little monkey. I had gone to bed early last night as I have been seriously exhausted all week and less then 30 minutes later, I heard a bump. I then found a very shaken and upset little lady who had fallen down in her own vomit (yes this might be too much info!). It is moments like these that I am just a mother again - juggling hosing her off, comforting her and trying to clean up the mess. Of course my husband was out at the movies at the time though came home early to help clean up the chaos. Though I could have thought of better experiences to bring me back to the banal sides of life, it does make me feel normal again.
This week has been hard for me. I have tried to sit down and write a blog entry but kept starting and not feeling focused enough to finish it. None of it seemed blog worthy. I am not sure if it is my high level of fatigue, missing my mom and friends, anxiety over the next few weeks or my upcoming "cancerversary" next Saturday. It is most likely a combination of it all made worse by some persistent pain that has developed in my chest that it apparently a delayed radiation reaction. I of course immediately think any pain that is "weird" has to be the cancer returning and I am sure I drive everyone around me crazy with my obsessions. I often feel for my husband as he is usually the one who hears all my crap and I often forget to filter! The last year has been eye opening for me in terms of knowing how to make a relationship work especially when you are dealing with stress and boy have we dealt with our share of stress. We moved to another country, had a baby and had cancer all within a 2 year time period. During this time, I would put so much energy and effort into being positive, happy and upbeat for everyone else in my life that I would often have only the worst of me left by the end of the day. The isnt fair for anyone and I am fortunate to have been made aware of this at 32. It isnt just about having an illness, I think it is very easy for anyone to do this. Life gets in the way, our children take our time and energy, jobs distract us, and days, months, years pass. There is always something going on but it is important to be aware of what is really important to you and to know where you want to focus your energy. So in light of prioritising what is important my husband and I are taking a child free weekend break this week. We wanted to do something nice before surgery and recovery takes over our lives again. I am looking forward to it and being able to spend time together away from the stresses and toils of our daily life. I see how important it is to nurture our relationship - marriages are hard and you just cant ever take each other for granted - ever.
So I have been trying to beat away this dark cloud over my head and finding it tougher then usual. I think it always goes back to the same thing - I just want my life to be normal. I want to worry about things any 32 year old woman would. I want to do the things I had planned to do. I want to live without this little voice in my head terrorising me. I read a book this weekend about how to live after breast cancer treatment and i could relate to so many things the author said. The author kept reinterating that once you have breast cancer, you will always live in fear of it returning. It isnt like other illnesses that once it has been treated it is gone for good. This one is crafty and has far too many tricks up its sleeve. You of course want to be positive and imagine that it wont ever come back but that fear is now a real part of your life. It makes you think differently about things and contemplate the "what ifs". I try so hard to quiet these voices in my head but sometimes they scream for attention. There is a quote from one of the survivors interviewed in the book who says this:
" Those of us who have had cancer have been to the end of the precipice, looked down, faced the fear of falling, and have returned. Those people who havent had cancer dont know that you dont have to fall when you are at the edge."
I even wrote a letter to the cancer (apparently it is more mentally empowering to call it "the" rather then "my") this week to get out some of my anger at the things it has done to me and taken away from me. If I could I would lock it up in a box made of the toughest metal, wrap it in titanium chains and drop it in the deepest part of the ocean where it would never be seen again. Unfortunately we dont have that kind of power, even though I am in fact a superhero, so I will have to settle with saying F@%$ cancer!
So that is a mish mash of my headspace this week - very up and down. I hope some of this makes sense and perhaps some of you can read between the lines.
I will be writing a special entry later this week to mark my "Cancerversary" so stay tuned.