Everyday continues to be a struggle. I have fabulous days – on these days I feel like I can conquer the universe. Other times, I just can’t seem to get it together. I can’t focus, I am sad, mad, and self-deprecating. It feels like the fabulous days are so few and far between any more. I hate when I talk about feeling sad or depressed or mad or whatever and people undermine my emotions: “It’s the weather – it’s gloomy;” “the holidays are always stressful;” “you just beat cancer – you are BLESSED;” or “you’ll snap out of it – you’re so strong.”
I should be so excited about completing chemo, getting the “all clear” (cancer is in remission FABULOUS news), and having a second chance at life – but I just can’t because I don’t feel like my old self and I feel so alone. Like, when I had cancer a few people at least checked in with me from time to time and offered a word or two of encouragement or sent a funny joke, but now that I have beat cancer, everyone just expects me to be normal – the old Dana – again. Then I try to hard to be the old Dana – I do entirely too much and then I end up sick or exhausted for the next week or so. It’s frustrating and it’s been this vicious cycle for almost 3 months now.
I have established a Facebook page for young(er) women in my area – Southern Maryland – breast cancer survivors. I recognize my need to just have someone who is there for me who understands what I am going through/went through. It’s hard to be found when you’re competing with a billion pages, but I am hopeful that I will be able to meet women in my area who I can talk to, who understand what I am feeling without saying “you beat cancer – you should be happy you’re alive!” I mean, c’mon, I am thankful to be alive – but I am allowed to have other feelings – even if they’re not positive.
I just feel like I am never going to snap out of it – I am never going to be that same person ever again. I feel like I am going to just go through life putting on pretend smiles and acting like everything is ok when in fact that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Almost everyone I know always tells me how strong I am … but even strong people have times of weakness and it makes it that much harder to stand up and say HELP! I need someone … but I don’t need anything … I just need someone to be here without it having to be a big party or an event. I am not married, I am not dating anyone, my kid is that age where he is finding himself and doing his own thing, my friends are all busy doing their stuff, so I just sit for hours alone.
This week has been super bad – I have been literally exhausted and unable to focus. The good news is that I made it to work every day of this short four-day work week, the bad news is that I’m falling back into bad habits of eating and sleeping when I feel sad. I’ve only worked out once this week and I feel like a complete failure because of it.
I don’t know why I can’t just accept a win without making it negative. My week:
Tuesday – 4 a.m. wake up, arrive at work at 5:30 a.m. work a 9.5 hour day, go straight to orthopedic appointment, go home, change, go to gym, go to WalMart, get home by 7 p.m., eat dinner, relax, bed.
Wednesday – 4 a.m. wake up, arrive at work at 5:30 a.m. work a 9.5 hour day, go straight to primary care appointment, pick up new prescription, home by 6 p.m., eat dinner, relax, bed.
Thursday – 4:30 a.m. wake up, arrive at work at 6 a.m. work a 6.5 hour day, pick up Aiden from school and take him to the orthodontist, go home, change clothes and head to my doctor’s appointment – home by 5 p.m., shower and fall asleep on the couch until almost 8 p.m., go upstairs watch a program on TV and back to sleep.
Friday – 4:30 a.m. wake up, work all day, and then I just want to shower and rest. I am so tired.
Instead of looking at this week and saying – wow! I made it through the entire week at work, I’m working at a new client site and I’m learning so much every day, I’ve followed up with all of my doctors and accomplished a lot this week. Instead I look at and this list and it reminds me of everything I DIDN’T do this week. I only went to the gym once, I didn’t meal plan and I made some bad food choices, I didn’t get my errands ran and my house is a mess.
I am my own worst enemy at times.
The weekend is here and I should be excited – an opportunity to rest! Instead, it just means I will be sitting in my house for the next 2 days without adult interaction.