Friday, September 20, 2013
Bad Timing and Luck Required
I know I usually try and focus on the bright side of life and find the funny in the serious but the last few days have been tough - culminating with a complete emotional breakdown yesterday. No I haven´t been given a terminal sentence and no one has told me that my cancer is back. Instead we took a hit from the system that is there to help those who become sick. Now I don´t want this entry to become an open letter criticising a health care and social system because for the most part my husband and I have felt very well looked after by it and we are eternally grateful for this. It is a system that for the most part looks after the people who are in it, but this week I just felt like this system broke me in two.
Many of the decisions we have made and the decisions the cancer cells in my body have made over the past few years failed to fit neatly into the desired timeframes. We moved to a new country a few months before I gave birth therein forfeiting certain rights and remunerations. We were given a first cancer diagnosis before I had time to get my life back on track post baby and paid a price for that. We were given a second cancer diagnosis that came too soon for me to be included in the system. Like my husband said to our case worker a few months earlier - "We really can´t afford for my wife to get cancer right now." And we really can´t. I have been lucky enough to have had my own financial buffers to bridge the initial gap. We also had some guardian angels who have stepped in and helped ease the burden of falling between the lines again and we are forever grateful for that. But what happens when for some insane reason, they find a reason, or the law finds a reason for me to be excluded again. After falling on the wrong side of the line so many times before, I am just out of energy to dig myself out of the hole I fell in yesterday. And God did I cry. I sobbed - deep gutteral sounds from deep within my soul. The anger I felt at the situation, at the rules, at the fact that I feel like all of this was the result of one thing - CANCER. Cancer has truly fucked with my life and my resilience feels at an all time low. I have always been proud at the way in which I have bounced back from all these knocks, but I just don´t feel like I can get back up right now. It is becoming near impossible to imagine something actually going our way when so much has gone horribly wrong. How do i shift my thinking? How do i get out from under this black cloud? Yesterday I got a glimpse into the reality of many Americans who face a serious illness without insurance and remember hearing of people forced to work through chemo and surgery because they had no choice. Is that what I have to do even though I know for absolute certain that my body can´t handle that right now? My husband is thankfully much calmer then me and less inclined to catastrophic thinking which helps bring me down slightly. And there is no way he would let me juggle my health for financial reasons. But I just don´t feel like by having cancer, we should have to struggle more then we already are. Maybe this is me sounding way too entitled and thinking I deserve more but I feel like my efforts to contribute and work full time have fallen to the wayside. I can´t win and I feel like the system only sees me as a series of numbers to plug into a formula that works or doesn´t. And is it okay for me to end up in a depression or have a breakdown because of financial stress over the future while I try and recover from the atrocities my body has been through? This just doesnt make sense to me and I can´t pretend that everything is okay. None of this is okay and just the amount of stress the last 4 days have brought me isn´t okay. I really felt like I couldn´t cope and was drowning. I keep thinking now how this situation could get worse and when the answer is - terminal cancer, you know that you are not in the greatest of places. I hope so much that this gets resolved in a few days (it has to be okay right - I figure that one person can only take so much) and I know how many people are putting their neck out for me but god do I find it hard to see the silver lining here. Life feels so unfair. Cancer - why did you have to come and monsoon on my parade?
Please send me happy positive thoughts for next week that somehow we find a way for everything to be okay again. Thanks for the support - I need a double dose of it this week.
OBB (writing from under a great big boulder that has got me stuck!)