I pulled up the blog and noticed a few stunted attempts to write, but the words have been trapped. I guess that’s as good a definition of writer’s block as any. It’s not that I don’t have things to say, it’s the fact that even I get sick of hearing about cancer. The reality is no matter how much I try to not make my life about cancer it takes up a major portion of it. Whether its scans, doctor appointments, labs, treatment days or recovery days cancer is running a lot of our family life right now. Sometimes it makes me feel guilty. So many cancer patients say “I’m not going to let cancer take over my life.” I don’t think I know what that means, not really. Does it mean I pretend I don’t have mbc? Do I pretend this isn’t having an effect on my ability to function? It was depressing me trying to figure it all out because no matter how hard I try cancer is slowly taking over a lot of my life. This is what I’ve decided, cancer and I have to try and live together. It takes too much energy for me to push it out entirely. I find myself fighting back valid emotions like fear, depression, anger and sadness. Cancer is here to stay. I’m going to have to adjust to the fact that it is taking up a bigger and bigger chunk of my life. I actually feel better acknowledging that. It doesn’t mean I’ve given up living. It does mean that when I have those moments of grief over the loss of something in my life I can acknowledge it, feel the emotions and then move on without fighting to hold them in. There are these small, poignant, so sad times when I realize that I’ve lost another inch in hanging on to the old me. There were times last August when even though I pulled it together and went on the boat there was more discomfort than joy. I missed a lot of beautiful sunsets. I was out late last week and realized it’s been a very long time since I’ve even seen the moon. I’m usually in my pajamas by 5 or 6.
The holidays have been hard. It’s been difficult to not compare where I was last year with where I am this year and then of course, wonder about next year. Will I have the energy to cook and host next year? Should I label ornaments before I put them away? Take pictures of how I decorate and put them in the boxes before I pack the stuff?? I was worn out like crazy this Christmas, but I was grateful, grateful, grateful that I could do what I did. I learned that instead of a good nap helping me feel better, now it takes more like two days in my pjs. I’ve said this so many times, but it’s true; I have to keep finding my balance while my center of gravity keeps moving. It seems every month brings a “new normal” for me and I have to adjust my expectations once again. ” Live in the present, live in the present, live in the present.” That’s the only way I’ve found to have peace with stage IV cancer. Do what I can when I can and don’t beat myself up if I can’t do more. There are times when I have to acknowledge that my body is tired, oh so tired and I have to give in. Cancer fatigue stinks! You don’t get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling better. You wake up still feeling tired. You take a shower and rest before you can get dressed. It takes you an hour to do something that once took 30 minutes and you consider doing laundry a good workout because there are stairs involved.
As 2015 leaves us and 2016 arrives I still have hope for the new year. I’m learning that hope means different things while living with mbc. This year I hope that I’ll have more good days than bad. I hope I have more time with the friends and family I love. I hope for more laughter, and more great memories. I hope I don’t get my inaugural hospital stay, that I won’t need a blood transfusion and that the cancer stays out of my internal organs. I hope Abraxane keeps working and that I can take a few months off from it and enjoy the break and regain some energy. I hope I can keep finding my balance when I fall and that I have the grace to lay down and rest when I need it. I hope for strength and courage and the ability to stay grateful for all the wonderful moments I still have in my life. I hope I’ll laugh more then I’ll cry. I hope I keep having hope.