Friday, May 29, 2020

Processing emotions

It's almost the end of May and I'm feeling emotional. It seems this has happened every year for the past five years. As it draws closer to June 6, the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I start to feel overwhelmed. You'd think those feelings would have dissipated by now, but they haven't.

Breast cancer isn't a once and done kind of thing. It's a life long trauma. Daily I deal with some sort of post cancer PTSD. Whether it's overwhelming anxiety or debilitation insomnia, the after effects of cancer are always with me.

I've done my best to process things on my own. When I feel overcome with emotion, I talk it out either with myself or one of my children. I know it's not healthy to keep things inside but I don't want to seek professional help. Surely, I can handle this on my own.

Cancer does a number on a person. It comes in like a wrecking ball and destroys a life. The pieces have to be slowly put back together but they don't always fit properly and no matter how hard a person tries, there will always be shattered or missing pieces that can never fit back into the puzzle.

I've been working on a book chronicling my breast cancer story. I had hoped to have had it completed before now but life has gotten in the way. I'm thankful I thought to blog each day from diagnosis forward otherwise, many of my thoughts and feelings would have been lost by now. As I re-read those posts and relive each moment, I find myself working through a variety of feelings.

I'm still dealing with self esteem issues and body image issues. I'm still dealing with feelings of grief and loss. I'm still dealing with the lack of physical intimacy between my husband and I and all of those things hurt.

Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if cancer had never come into it. What would I have done? How would I have felt? Would I have been stronger or weaker than I am today? As I ponder those thoughts, I think I have to be grateful to cancer for so many things even though, I still hate it with all my heart.

But cancer has been a good teacher. It's caused me to focus on daily gratitude. It's caused me to live in the moment. It's caused me not to take a thing for granted.

So even though the emotional stress can be consuming, I'm still here and I'm still working through it. I'm extending myself grace and I'm moving forward. Daily I fight to survive. I.AM.STILL.HERE. I'm still standing!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Corona, Corona, Corona

Wow. I'm so tired of hearing all the news about this darn coronavirus and to top that off, I'm really tired of hearing all the fantastical fake news. Lately, when my husband flips on the TV to watch our local news station, I beg him to turn it off. It's too overwhelming and I just can't take it any more.

You may think I'm being an extremist - ignorant and unintelligent in my choice not to partake of the daily news feed but I don't think so. I think I'm enacting my right to self protect. I don't have to listen to all the boring statistics and fear mongering if I don't want to...so there.

Yes, I know. People are dying. I'm not making light of the situation and believe me, my heart goes out to all those people who've lost their loved ones. It does. I'm just tired of hearing the depressing, overwhelmingly discouraging news that I have had to take drastic measures. If I didn't, my post cancer PTSD would flare up so drastically I'd have to pull out the anti-anxiety meds or even worse, the anti-depressant ones.

We're all tired of Covid-19. We want it to be gone. We want our lives to return to normal, or what we used to know as normal, anyway. But will we ever see any semblance of normal again in our world? I don't think so. I think this is all part of the grand scheme of moving us toward a new normal. A new, new normal, because the phrase new normal belongs to a life post cancer. One I'm well familiar with as a breast cancer survivor.

So what can we do to help ourselves return to a safer world? We're all washing our hands, keeping our distance, and being good little Americans obeying the new rules for existence. But what if it's all a bunch of malarkey? What if Bill and Melinda Gates, along with Anthony Fauci have cooked up this great plan to force worldwide innoculations so they can get rich and implant a teeny little device into all of us transdermally to keep track of our movements....what if?

It almost makes a person want to grab a tall glass and pour a cold Corona (we're talking beer here, not viruses) and suck that baby down right fast, doesn't it? At least if we were soused, we might not care so much about what news broadcasters are feeding us. But there's an easier way to take back the power, just turn it off. Just say no. Do your own research and don't be so gullible. And that's all I've got to say about that.

Choosing Joy even when it's difficult

Being cooped up in the house during the pandemic has been challenging. Until a few days ago, I'd done reasonably well but realized I was...