For the last week or so I have had a lot of trouble sleeping. I lay in bed and can’t seem to settle down my body and mind enough to relax. This is a common thing with cancer patients, and I have had trouble from time to time. No matter what meds I take, sleep just does not come. My mind races, I think about my treatment, if it’s working. What is in store for me with my next round of chemo. Will I feel good this time? Will my blood counts be low again? Will I need another transfusion? It’s really hard to turn all those questions off in my head. I think about why I got cancer, was it my fault, something I did wrong? Was there anything I could have done to prevent my recurrence? How is it all effecting my kids? Will it change who they are who they were supposed to be? Why me? Why not someone else, I am not tough enough for all of this! It goes on and on and on.
I know deep down inside that cancer happens to people, good people. It does not discriminate, but my emotions get thrown into the mix. Cancer does not just scar your body it scars your mind and your self confidence. When I look in the mirror I see my mastectomy scars, my port sticking out like a sore thumb in the middle of my chest. I see the 10 pounds I have gained, I see my thinning lifeless hair.
Tomorrow I start my chemo cycle again. As I sit in my recliner and talk to my husband who takes care of my every need, we will talk about the kids and read trashy magazines. I make small talk with the nurses who are all so wonderful. I like to tweetwith friends who keep me company at every treatment, keeping me smiling. The infusion center is a very quiet place, with quiet chatter and the sound of twerping infusion pumps going off. It’s actually a pretty relaxing place. After my 3 hours of infusion we head home and I nap all afternoon. we have meals delivered and people call to see how I am doing.
I don’t know when my treatments will end, my doctor keeps an eye on my scans and tracks my progress. My first time through chemo I had a set time of 8 treatments and a goal to look forward to. This time I don’t have that and it makes it harder I think. I try very hard not to feel down, I am grateful that I am here and grateful for the time I have to spend with the people I love. Living one day at a time and making every moment count. Feeling lucky to be a Mom to my girls and lucky to have such a wonderful husband who loves me no matter what. They keep me going, reminding me everyday why I am doing all this in the first place.
I totally get this – except not to the full extent. The sleeplessness, counting the days until the end, the wondering and what if’s… I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this again and this time the wondering is magnified, the counting the days until the end is impossible because you don’t know – that’s the worst! The not knowing.
I’m very thankful, though, that you have such wonderful support. It makes such a difference.
*sends you virtual strength* …keep on pressing on…
Hi Sara- Just wanted to offer my encouragment to you. I can’t say I know how you feel, since I am still in round one. But I do understand all those thoughts you have and the wondering about your kids…I had and have those too. I will keep you and your family in my prayers….it’s good you can reach out and be honest on your blog, honestly that is what helped me get through it. My rawest posts, brought forth the most comments and support and I am sure that happens when you share as well. You can beat this Sara…remember you are gonna kick it’s ass! Just keep reminding yourself that so your body will fight even harder and not feel defeated!!! Be strong girl, you are a very strong woman. Believe in that!
Love, Heidi Zeigler
Thank you ladies! It helps knowing I have you standing with me!
Sara-for whatever reason, I felt compeled to read this post again…I know I read it before, since I see I also commented on it before. I just wanted to mention one other thing…you are so incredibly blessed to have a husband who loves you for you and cares for your every need. My husband has been absolutely horrible during my breast cancer. I had my 5th surgery in 7 months last Friday night and he started in on me on the way home from the hospital. It went from bad to worse the next day and so on. So not only am I fighting this battle, I have to battle the one person I thought I could count on during this really sucky time in life. So God bless your husband! The world needs more guys like him!
Oh, Heidi, that sucks. I’m truly sorry you’re not getting the support you need from him.
Recurrence is a different experience in so many ways than going through treatment the first time.
For me, one thing that helped was realizing I could accept the uncertainty about tomorrow, instead of trying to know something I couldn’t know (i.e. how long I’d need the treatment). Saying, “I don’t know how long it will last, so I’m not worrying about that now” freed me to focus on today.
I must emphasize that it was easier for me to say, “I want to accept the uncertainty about tomorrow” than to actually do it with my heart as well as my head. At first when issues about tomorrow came up, I’d say, “I’m not worrying about tomorrow right now.” I wanted to believe it, too.
Over time I did learn to shift into that mindframe and genuinely not worry. In fact, it’s become my default setting.
I hope this helps. With hope, Wendy