Sunday, April 28, 2019

Living in ‘My’ Moment



Some people say I need to enjoy life more and get out and experience life first-hand, not hide in my make-believe worlds. And I say what’s wrong with escaping to an alternate world where I can be someone else for a moment? If it helps me forget the ugly side-effects of cancer and chemo and from an unrelated stem-cell transplant, then that is my choice. It’s what works for me. It’s what makes me happy. It’s what keeps me somewhat sane (when I’m not having some form of flare-up). What may make you happy, may not be the same for me. I don’t judge you, so don’t judge me. 


Living in the moment for me is with my family, my friends who are rockstars and put up with my quirky introverted ways, it’s my books and enjoying the boat life on the water with my family. 


That’s all I need. That’s all I want in this thing called life. I want simple because the things I can’t control are chaotic enough and the last thing I want is chaos.


 #iwillbeme #youwillyou #livinginmymoment #cancersucks #lifeinremission #eightyearslater



Tuesday, February 5, 2019

My TSUNAMI



I’m back! For how long? I don’t know.

 

Maybe I need just a little blogging therapy? Or maybe I need a whole lot of blogging therapy!

 

A friend shared an article and tagged me on Facebook. The article is from www.GoodTherapy.org and speaks to “Life After Cancer: The Emotional TSUNAMI of Being a Survivor”.

 

While reading the article, many emotional chords were struck, and it seemed as though someone actually dissected my brain and examined all of my thoughts, my viewpoints, and emotions as if under a microscope.

 

One of the first things that struck me was the title of the article. I’m not sure why but I hate the word ‘survivor’. I think it infers that someone has been through a battle they have won and can begin to move forward and begin living as though not a lot has happened. But I truly don’t believe that is the reality.  Especially for those affected by cancer or any other life-threatening disease or circumstance. I believe ‘warrior’ would be the best term when describing someone who has fought a huge battle between life and death. Even though the warrior has been through hell and has fought the battle there are still many battles ahead. The article speaks of these many battles and uses the acronym TSUNAMI to identify those battles.

 

T – Trauma

S – Significant Distress

U – Upregulated

N – Negative Thoughts and Mood

A – Avoidance

M – Month

I – Intrusive memories and symptoms

(Note: read article for more of a description of each term)

 

I admittedly can identify with all of these. Even before this article, at times, I had asked my husband or family if they have noticed a difference in me. 

I am laying bare my inner most thoughts with how I can related to the TSUNAMI post cancer. 

 

TRAUMA is most definitely the first symptom with the initial cancer diagnosis. It’s a shock to the system. It’s a whirlwind of emotions of fear of the unknown. But your warrior mentality does kick in and so begins the battle of life and death. After my first diagnosis and battle, I think that I had been coping well. I was happy and enjoying life and a much different person. I can honestly say I was a happy, forgiving person. My oncologist had been very optimistic with how I responded so quickly to treatment and how my body adjusted. I felt as though I had beat it.  Then the day came when I was told I relapsed. I believe at that moment is when my optimism took a nose dive. That’s when my ultimate warrior surfaced. And since then, I have never fully recovered. Many people always say to me ‘be happy you’re in remission’. Well yes I am but I feel as though I’m living on borrowed time.

 

Not knowing if a relapse will be in future again, or if something will occur due to the poisoning of chemotherapy, you begin feel SIGNIFICANT DISTRESS. Things that you thought were important are not so important anymore. You begin to take things day by day, moment by moment.  You appear to become less functional in your life and relationships. You begin to feel UNREGULATED with your sleep. There are many night’s where my mind is going a mile a minute over something stupid like an innocent bruise or symptom that was a warning to my cancer diagnosis. These sleepless nights and constant worry over new or old symptoms can wreak havoc on the body. It’s like you’re preparing yourself for that something you have been dreading which is where all of the NEGATIVE THOUGHTS AND MOOD begin to unleash. I find that I can be completely euphoric in my emotions in one instant to feeling completely numb and shut off in the next. Since my relapse, I have wondered if I were normal? What has happened to me to be this happy, loving person one minute to someone who doesn’t feel at all? I realize that I don’t put up with crap from anyone. If someone brings me down or I consider a negativity in my life, I am very quick to dismiss them. I don’t have the time or patience to deal with someone that makes me feel less than. But also, I can go from that moment of not giving a crap, to giving a crap too much. I try to make others in my life feel loved and to appreciate the time we have together. These are the moments we will miss if something were to happen. We need to appreciate our time together and not to miss out on an opportunity for a hug, a kiss, or an ‘I Love You’. It’s definitely a seesaw of emotions. Because of the overwhelming emotions and health problems post cancer, you begin to feel less human which is where the AVOIDANCE of social settings kicks in. I really don’t care to socialize or be out in public all that much, even though I miss it. I find that I want to be out there socializing and hanging out with my friends but find myself feeling awkward and a loner, not quite feeling as if I fit in anywhere. I find that I prefer the comfort of my home and family. These feelings have been persistent since my relapse and have been a lot more than a MONTH, try eight (8) years! Even though it has been so many years, many INTRUSIVE MEMORIES AND SYMPTOMS still exist. I can’t even explain it. It could be something that has nothing to do with doctors, hospitals or cancer, but something happens or is said, it triggers a memory or a moment during my battle. It sometimes freezes me in my spot and I’m instantly taken back to that time. Sometimes I can quickly escape those flashbacks where no one even has a clue and I can push it to the side to deal with later. Or I end up breaking down with an escaped tear or I excuse myself for a mini-breakdown. 

 

It really is all overwhelming. Some would say I am depressed. Some would say it’s post-traumatic stress. I say it’s the human condition of survival and the warrior in me fighting daily to just be.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Eight years later...







Eight years ago since my relapse. 
Nine years since my initial diagnosis. 

Who I was then and who I am now seem a world apart and I’ve learned a great deal. 

I’ve learned to take each day as it comes and not be in such a rush because you will miss moments you can never get back. 

I’ve learned to love myself no matter what and it’s none of my business what other people think of me. 

I’ve learned that it’s best to keep quiet and air your opinions in private with your spouse because no one else really cares and he ‘gets’ me.  

I’ve learned that each new day you can fall more in love with your spouse and appreciate all of who they are. Fortunately for me, I married quite an amazing guy who has stood by my side through it all. 

I’ve learned that being a mom is truly a gift that should never be taken for granted because those children don’t stay small forever. 

I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what religion you are but that you trust in God and his divine power. 

I’ve learned that each minute and each moment are so precious and to embrace everything that each day offers.

I’ve learned to live for the simple things and for the love of family because when it really comes down to it, they are what matter. 

Some of these things are just a natural way of aging and maturing but for me cancer has heightened my awareness of all of these things and more. 

There’s so much more to learn and I’m so ready for another eight years plus many, many more. 

God Bless 🙏🏻 and Keep Rockin’ On 🤘🏻






Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day


Well, this will be my fifteenth Mother's Day. There was a moment in time where I was unsure if I would make it past my 6th. I am so thankful to be alive celebrating it with my husband and children. I am so completely proud of them. Each day they are becoming more mature and slowly transforming into miniature adults.

I am so thankful for them and thankful to God for giving me this chance to be a mom!

Happy Mother's Day🌷❤️

Thursday, December 21, 2017

God's Beauty


This morning I am, yet again, in awe of the natural beauty that God has created. Looking past the barren landscape, I am captivated and enamored by the frosted winter wonderland before me. Accompanied with the radiant glow from the rising sun, tingeing the sky in hues of light blue and yellows with added brilliance of pink reflecting upon the flowing river alongside my commute to work, I am spellbound. I have never seen the river look so pink. It took me so much by surprise and took my breath away. It became a reminder that we choose the beauty in our lives. Instead of focusing on the lifeless barren landscape and unclean roads, I focused on the beauty greeting me this morning. And boy, what a BEAUTIFUL morning it is. God Bless and Have a Blessed Day!

Quoted source:
www.philipchircop.com/post