I hope that I have not been too negative when posting about my journey. I truly am so grateful for all the love and support that has been given to me, every last bit of it. My intent in writing is not only to remember the events of what I experience, but also to share the joy of my success thus far being a positive light to others. Something that seems to be happening more regularly is that I have received texts, messages, and even phone calls from others telling me about someone they know also receiving a cancer diagnosis; even worse they are terminal. Although it appears that I am happy and mentally okay, I am still going through MY fight. I am not done with my treatment. I am ALMOST done and counting the seconds until the date of completion. My calendar is full of appointments that I am checking off my list and nothing is going to get in my way. Not even the echocardiogram hiccup I had to have last week that stalled one of the last two infusions I was to have 14 days ago.
I was not feeling right, my chest was tight and I was having light pangs which concerned me because the drugs I receive can and do affect the heart. Thankfully, my heart measurements are as normal as they were last year when measured before I started everything. I guess it’s just gas. LOL. Anyway, I have appointments lined up through October when I will be completely done with my treatment; but I’m never gonna be done with trying to control the anxiety that comes with having to live through the aggressive cancer my body had to fight off. To further that, I have to also live with knowing I tested positive for having the genes that predispose me to two other cancer types, pancreatic and melanoma. I desperately want to be DONE with what I am going through and every day is a mental fight for ME, to keep myself positive and in a seemingly good mental state in which I AM happy for the most part because I compartmentalize to make it through my day. However, I only have enough for ME right now.
It’s so difficult to be living in a fight or flight status EVERY.SINGLE.DAY for the past year, two months, and nine days. Please don’t mistake the joy I have TODAY, for being my old self again, or appearing that I am done or “kicked cancer’s ass” and overcome it and now I’m all good. It takes SO much mental strength to let go of the fear of mortality; of the thought of leaving your loved ones behind; of the thought that you could have to do this shitty year all over again; of the thought that you did not do enough or that you only have so much time left in THIS life. It takes a lot to overcome the aches, pains, and frustration of how my body is not what it used to be physically and I don’t mean what it looks like, but what it now feels like to be IN my body. It takes SO much to keep ME moving forward in positivity, I don’t yet have the mental capability to listen to, or read about anything negative or terminal especially when I haven’t offered myself up to be there. I’m sorry, I cannot. I have to get me through life right now. While I empathize and can certainly relate, as much as I love people, I just can’t be there as a comfort to protect my own mental health. Every time someone tells me about another’s struggle, it is like a gut punch that takes my strength away. Please, unless someone tells you it is okay to message them and contact them with those very difficult diagnoses, try to confide those things in your family or close friends but someone who isn’t currently undergoing a battle of their own.
Yes, I understand. Yes, I have been there. Yes, I love you. No, I cannot right now. I can be there for my sisters who are dealing with breast cancer. I get that. But as a public service announcement, we all cope differently. Be mindful of those who are currently going through it and what you share because I gotta tell you, I barely have enough mental positivity for me right now.
BTW, happy to have gone to my last follow-up with my awesome plastic surgeon, Dr. Jason K Potter who compassionately helped me get to my surgery and put me back together again. He did a beautiful job reconstructing my breast and with my reduction and lift. And THAT is something I can be happy about! 😊