After writing the most recent post this morning I realized that I had wanted to try to express some of my frustrations around communication. Since I myself find it difficult to articulate how I am feeling hour to hour, day to day with so many conflicting emotions and thoughts, I have to wonder how it is for those close to me. I suspect there has to be some "breast cancer fatigue" given that this has been going on for so long. I am certainly caught up in it and though I am assured that a few years down the road, much of this will be distant memory, this is not the case for now.
I have tried to write some of the myriad of thoughts down and it does help to post on this blog too, if only to force myself to make some sense of what goes through my mind most often. I am often short tempered and when I try to understand why, I sometimes think that I do not want to be asked yet one more time how I am. What am I to say? If I actually am in pain, I feel sick, I am not coping well, what will be the response? What can anyone really do about it? Of course everyone is concerned but there is a limit on what is helpful. Of course I appreciate the concern of my friends but I just get so tired of the constant reminder that I am not part of "normal" anymore; at least what was my old normal~~that is gone forever. Often I would just like to retire off to some hermitage for the duration. But of course that is not going to happen.
Next week I have 6 different appointments and the following week I will start radiation which means I will go daily, Monday to Friday for several weeks. I will hope that my reconstruction will not break down, this possibility being in the range of 40%. "The Intelligent Patient Guide to Breast Cancer," given to us at the beginning of our breast cancer treatments, says 50% but my wonderful plastic surgeon says 40%. I will go with his numbers!
But at the end of radiation, treatments will come to an end, barring the exchange surgery months down the road. Maybe by late spring, I will feel that I can in fact say that there is "no evidence of disease" which is the closest thing to cured as we get.
Meanwhile I hope that I do not alienate my friends and my family as I struggle to weave my way through my emotions and come out on the other side a better person. I know how lucky I am to have so many people rooting for me all over the world and though it may not always seem that I appreciate it, please know that I do. It is not always so easy to show. And I often feel guilty for not showing or voicing my appreciation.
But I definitely appreciate your thoughts and words whether by email, cards, Facebook postings or the occasional phone call. There should be a "new me" to face by summer!