The way words hit you when you hear “I’m sorry, you have breast cancer” is hard. The emotions that come after- hard, the hurt in your families face- hard, the surgeries/procedures/treatment- all hard. But the aftermath cancer leaves is devastating. The change is mentally draining.
I have major survivor guilt. How come I got out alive with no chemo but someone out there just lost their mother/daughter/sister to this stupid, crappy, dumb breast cancer…it doesn’t seem right. I am no better than any other warrior battling cancer, yet here I sit. Sometimes, I don’t want to see anyone, or even get out of the bed! WTF! I am an extrovert, I will really be pissed if cancer changed me into a hermit!
Sex, well, that’s a joke right now. I know you are reading this saying TMI but the reality is that this is a common issue with cancer survivors. If you can’t stand to look at yourself, why would you feel comfortable with some one else seeing you naked. Plus the drugs…changes occur that just make it painful. And some one lying on the foobies or rubbing their chest on them flat out hurts. Let’s just say its unchartered water and I am in need of boating lessons…..
The truth is, all that is easy, the physical change can leave you filled with hate. I have days when I can not stand looking at this body. It makes me sick at me stomach. I have gained weight…over 60 pounds to be exact. And if one more person tells me how they are loosing weight and getting tone from working out, I’m gonna either drop kick or throat punch them. I want to be that badass work out bitch I was one 3 years ago, but my joints ache endlessly and push ups put my chest muscles in convulsions and feel so incredibly weak it makes me feel deflated. I know it will take time but this has got to stop.
The scars are just, well, they are there. Sometimes, I’m all badass and hardcore like “ya, my scars show I kicked cancers ass, I rock!”. Then other days I just want them gone. I don’t want to feel the scar tissue build up, the way my body keloids, the way my breasts are inanimate objects that mean NOTHING now. And…I want to actually have feeling in my chest!
I was talking with a friend today. She is having a nudgy little problem that is driving her crazy. She doesn’t like nudgy little problems that drive her crazy. She asked me how I do it and cope with everything.
My reply after that, with some deep thought, is:
A bowl of cereal
Chocolate (preferably dark with cashews or pecans)
Substance abuse (just kidding with this one)
I admit last week was not my best but I’m still here. Monday, I was exhausted and my feet were in a lot of pain. Tuesday, more pain. Wednesday, I was okay until it was time to sleep (didn’t get much). Thursday, woke up with my tummy rumbling and diarrhea. Friday, I was pacing the floor when I should have sleeping because of the foot cramps. Saturday, the same as Friday.
Pain is no fun and its been way too popular these past couple of weeks. So, I will refer to my list of options above on how I will cope. But in the meantime, I might need an ice pack and/or a pain pill, or maybe an extra potassium and magnesium pill.
This isn’t a whine or a “woe is me cry”, it is the truth. I want to make cancer awareness a loud yell, not a whisper. I want it heard, seen, understood, treated and CURED! The only way for this to happen is to keep talking about it. Just cause you are told you are NED or your chemo ends or you are 3 years out of radiation doesn’t mean you just go on with life. Cancer changes you to the core: physically, mentally, emotionally!