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I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend.
I've learned that who you have in your life matters more than what you have.
Thank you for stepping in to my world!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Kicking cancer's ass - day 883

Insomniac blogging....

So I'm wide awake at almost 1am.  This time it's not because I can't fall asleep.  It's because I DID fall asleep.  I had a headache and felt "off" this afternoon, so I slept like the dead for about three hours.  Rest I needed, sure, but waking up at 7pm means I'm still awake in the wee hours.

Hubby teased me about sleeping "all day", and even made the comment "who are you?" when he and K came home from basketball practice.  I know he was just giving me a hard time, but I also know there's a part of him that meant it.  He's probably so sick of my drama.  He has to be, because I'M so sick of it.  If I'm not at a doctor's appointment, I'm worrying about a symptom that's prompting me to make an appointment.  I'm not sleeping at night, I'm tired and napping during the day, I have no energy to do the stuff I used to do.  My back hurts, my knees crack, my left arm swells during the night.  I can't even joke "Not tonight, I have a headache" because most of the time I DO have a headache!  Who wants to live with that 24/7?

Honestly, he got the short end of the stick when he married me.  I've forced the "in sickness and in health" vow on him to the millionth degree.  So on top of all of the other post-cancer crap, I'm dealing with worry and guilt over not being the wife I want to be, and not being the mom I want to be for my kids.  It has been 883 days since my first chemo treatment.  That's a lot of freaking days.  I've been through a lot, no doubt about it, but I'm here, I'm alive and well and I'm blessed with family and friends.  So why is everything so incredibly hard???  Sometimes I feel like I was stronger, happier and more together in the middle of chemo than I am now.  I am a cancer survivor.  I tell myself I should be treasuring every day and just be happy I'm alive.

Yet I'm constantly overwhelmed.  My former perfectionist OCD multitasking expert self is nowhere to be found.  The shelves in my living room are still empty of our belongings two weeks after the carpet guy finished.  One of these days I would like to reclaim my laundry room, but I just can't seem to summon the energy to open the storage tubs full of knick knacks and photo albums.  More often than not we eat out because I either can't remember to plan ahead or can't find the energy to cook.  I stress over making healthy choices about eating because there are so many things I love that are bad for you.  I'd love to lose the thirty pounds I've gained, but it's hard to find motivation when fatigue is my constant companion and every joint in my body hurts.  I want to be the fun, spontaneous mom that makes childhood a magical time for her kids, and yet I'm just not her.  I want to be the sweet, caring woman that my husband fell in love with all those years ago.... not the tired, grumpy, complaining person I am now.  I haven't talked to my BFF in months.  Not because I don't want to, because I forget to call.  I want to do more.  I want to be more.

I found a great blog by Debbie Woodbury called "Running on Empty - Coping with Cancer Stress"
She describes everything I'm feeling so perfectly.  It's worth a read.

She says:

But the transition from patient to cancer survivor is not an easy one and the new normal brings its own cancer stress. Even for prisoners, the re-entry phase into normal society is usually gradual, but such is not the case for most cancer survivors. Family and friends want to return to normal life as soon as possible, and who can blame them? The cancer survivor wants that too, of course. But what we want is not always what we are capable of achieving, which causes even more cancer stress (and often, full-blown cancer anger.) After all we have been through, we are running on empty and only capable of so much.  

Who I am right now is unacceptable to me.  And yet.... what can I do?   I'm on antidepressants to help keep my mood even.  I'm taking supplements to help me stay healthy and to combat the side effects of the medicine I'm on.  I try to exercise at least 30 minutes a few times a week, which is the best I can do right now.

But it doesn't feel like my best is enough.  *I* don't feel like enough.
I feel like I'm letting my husband down.  I feel like I'm letting my kids down.  Even after 883 days, cancer is draining me.
I'm running on empty.

1 comment:

Simplelife4Real said...


I hear you.

It makes sense that you are running on empty because your life is so FULL. So much stuff going on. Do you remember the old "Calgone Take Me Away" commercials? You [and hubby] could use a break big time!

I wish I lived closer and could help you out with getting your house back in order and staying with your kids so you and hubby could have some time to just chill out.

Honestly, raising children is exhausting all by itself....then throw both working AND a major illness on top of it and it becomes overwhelming very quickly. [I know because I was hospitalized for months at a time from ulcerative colitis when my children were very young and I was working as an attorney. Been there, done that.] There is no doubt in my mind that you are maxed out right now (physically and mentally) and have been for the past couple years.

I just wish I could wave a magic wand and make all the hard things go away for you.