Keeping it “Together”

I have another sleepless night. Having cancer has completely consumed me. Its even consuming my dreams. I literally can not escape it. Most days are spent at the hospital seeing doctor after doctor. When I am not at the hospital I am home with mental torment about what treatment plan is going to give me the best life possible. My phone continually rings from doctors, social workers, breast nurse navigators, concerned friends and family.  I feel trapped and scared and just want a break. I want to be able to think about absolutely anything other than this. I look forward to the weekends so that I don’t need to be seeing doctors, so I am not being bothered by work, and that my phone stops ringing so that I can at least try to get a break. Sadly, these moments are few and far between. Why won’t everyone leave me alone. Don’t they get what I am going through? Why is everything overcomplicated. I get bombarded with new information, new tests, different doctors I need to see, social worker nonsense, pressure on which doctors I will choose and which treatment plan I want to go through with, and I am supposed to maintain all of my job duties at work, be the perfect partner to my boyfriend, listen to my friends problems, and be a present member of my family. I go through the motions but it just doesn’t seem natural.

I have my boyfriend’s grandmother’s birthday dinner tonight. I will have to pull it together and put on a smile so that no one questions my emotions. I hate socializing when I feel like this. I pride myself on being a genuine person and smiling just doesn’t feel genuine. I keep struggling to put together any sense of normalcy and I feel the need to escape. I find myself hiding upstairs to keep away because the sadness, fear, and anxiety have overcome me. I have trouble communicating but I knew that me hiding was only going to make my boyfriend sad and nervous. I come down and pour a glass of wine and open up to his family a little bit about what I am going through and how clearly bent out of shape I am about it. The problem is, talking about it is only making it worse and I can barely see straight. Once again my frustration is twisting me up. How can anyone possibly understand what I am going through or how I am feeling? My life is the furthest from “normal” right now and I would give anything to snap my fingers and have it all back. I would give anything to have my old problems be my biggest problems. Somehow stress at work, nothing to watch on TV, not enough hours in the day to focus on stupid meaningless things, not being able to find a parking spot, being tired, feeling fat, all feel like bullshit. How did I ever stress out about those things?

I find myself getting mad at the people around me because they don’t get it. I am starting to feel less and less like myself and I know that I can’t keep doing this on my own anymore. I want answers, I need guidance, I need support. I know that it is time to utilize my 12 free therapy sessions at the hospital but I am stubborn and all I really want is for someone to make the treatment plan decisions for me. I feel like retracting but I know that will do me no good. The only person that I know understands my struggle and pain is Erica and I feel a sense of solace when I can vent to her but I don’t want to bombard her with my issues everyday. She has her own battle and sometimes I feel silly complaining. My family is so supportive and even though they don’t get how I feel, they try and give me total love and support and for this I am grateful. My sister in law has created a team in my honor for a breast cancer run that she does every year. I didn’t know if I would ever publicize my struggle but this seems like the perfect way to do it. If I could help raise money for families in need that maybe don’t have the same support that I do or maybe don’t have medical insurance, than that would make me feel like I was helping make a difference. I was so fortunate to have everything that I needed in this process. I think about how lucky I am again and feel a strong duty to help others. I start to draft a Facebook status. It feels awkward as I type the words and I still can’t believe it is reality. “You never think it will happen to you but the reality of it is, it can and it has…”

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