One thing I have to say - is that I was not prepared for the INSOMNIA that would plague me all most every single night since I was diagnosed with cancer. Yes I do take naps, but honestly I would like a good 9 hours of sleep at night. Tonight, I think I fit in a good 3 hours. I have a doctor's appointment to attend all the way in freaking Henderson today, and I planned on being productive in getting all my image studies in order for North Carolina, but I don't see the part where I get all my imaging studies actually happening today. I guess I do have time - so I can call all the offices today and pick up all imaging studies on Monday. This may be what I have to do so I can at least get a nap in at some point during the day today since I will be spending 2 hours in the car to get to and from my actual appointment.
I guess since I am running on fumes here I can be completely candid in this particular post. I am scared shitless. The waiting game is just - well - horrific. Honestly, most breast cancer patients end up waiting quite a bit trying to coordinate chemotherapy, surgeries, and other important health matters like pain management, and so on. Trying to find your team of doctors is also a chore as well. I mean there is my actual Breast Doctor and surgeon, the oncologist, your PCM, your pain management specialist, your therapist, and the list goes ON AND ON. Each person needs their own copy of your medical records, which Vegas is notoriously bad about getting those studies to the correct physicians. Honestly, they rely on the patient to get all imaging studies as well as interpretations of those studies. Usually I stay extremely organized by having my own personal records and making several copies of them to send out to various specialists that need them so I am not playing the damn waiting game with all these imaging specialists and pathologists. It gets mighty frustrating, especially since I am so tired that I am not going to have the most productive day I was hoping for.
I do my best to stay as positive as possible, but when I am the most vulnerable is when I am working out. Yes, you read that correctly. I haven't cried much since the diagnosis, but the times I have are mostly in the middle of my workouts. I am extremely tired, so I am not going to go over the hormonal response that tends to happen when we exercise (maybe after a nap?) but what I can tell you is, when I exercise I allow myself to be unrestricted because I am working as hard as I possibly can when I am exercising. Another reason - I can hide it much better when I'm working out.
A lot has crossed my mind recently, and even though I have been TRYING to live as if nothing is changing, EVERYTHING is changing. My plans may have to be put on hold in regard to my MLS program that I worked extremely hard to get in to - the teaching position I was given at the community college is up in the air depending on how I handle treatment - I mean, everything that was going RIGHT went completely sideways when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am not saying my life is over, but it seems like time just STOPS completely and you hit the pause button on life. This is incredibly difficult to deal with in that I tend to plan as far in advanced as possible. Right now, I can only plan what I can see in front of my face. Like, when I was a muay thai fighter, usually I could see the punch or kick coming based off the individual's micro-movements and eye contact. Right now, I feel like I can't see any of those movements and I only notice it when I have been hit and kicked in the face several times over. My spirit isn't broken, but everything I know about myself is really being put to the test, and in many ways, I feel like I am completely failing.
I spoke about death in my last post, and I tried to be as lighthearted as possible about that subject, but now I am going to get real with you. No, I am not afraid of dying. What I AM AFRAID OF is dying with regrets. There were things I wanted to do in my life that I have yet to have done. Getting into the MLS program was pivotal in one of my life long dreams to travel for 6 months with Doctor's Without Borders. I wanted to travel to Thailand and Cambodia to help women that were victims of human and sex trafficking. The thought of dying before doing this really does hurt me on so many levels. I have already traveled a lot of the world, but I wanted to give back to the world so badly that it makes my heart ache. Secondly, I was really focused on my career for the longest time that I never stopped to have children with the one person I love most on this earth, my husband. What scares me the most is that I may have lost that window to have a child of my own. There is a possibility I may lose my ovaries, uterus - everything. If the BRCA genes 1 and 2 come back positive, I may have lost my window to have a child - to actually carry a child. I never thought about really having children - until the possibility of not having the option has come to the table. Honestly, what hurts me more than anything is leaving my soulmate behind in this life. Jim has been my partner in life for over 11 years. The thought of losing him to deployments was so painful that I hated to face it. Now the roles are reversed, you never really realize how much you love someone until the possibility of dying way before your time hits you in the damn face. Even though in my heart I know I can beat cancer, it doesn't stop you from thinking about your own mortality - especially when your doctor tells you people have died from the type cancer you have. I don't want to leave the one person I love more than anyone behind and alone. If you wanted to know what really runs through the back of my mind? This is it. It's leaving my husband Jim, my sister Ashley, my mother, my father, my brother Kevin, my stepmother, and my stepfather behind. Leaving my family and friends behind. This is what truly hurts me on the inside.
I am not afraid of treatment, but I know this road will not be an easy one. Chemotherapy and surgeries - I honestly have no idea what this will do to my body. If I had to make a choice I'd rather lose body parts than my life. I know that my husband will love me no matter what I look like, and I know my family and true friends will stay by my side no matter how sick I look or how deformed my chest may seem if I have to undergo a mastectomy. I know these things to be true, but the future really is unknown to me and at this point in the game, I have no idea what to expect either.
I know some of you were wondering what was truly in my heart and mind. As positive as I try to remain, you have those silent moments when these thoughts creep into your mind. The fear, the sadness, the anger, the unknown - all of this enters your mind, and there really isn't anything you can do to stop that.
I just want to say to my friends and family - that I love you. I feel like sometimes we never say it enough as corny as that sounds, but I do love you. I am not religious by any means of the imagination, but what I can say is that I am thankful that those of you who entered my life changed it for the best. You have given me the best memories, the best advice, the purest love, and unending acceptance.
....I love you....