I thought I would write a blog post because I am in a shitload of pain right now. Cancer is funny sometimes - some days you are asymptomatic, and other days you feel like you're dying - which is a weird choice of words but hey I don't really care right now. I know many of you have wondered how I keep such a positive attitude much of the time. Well, the truth is, I don't always have a positive attitude. I do my best to stay positive, but there are days where positivity is so incredibly difficult, and I can't do anything but cry it out (or punch it out). I try to think to myself, you know Amber, you could be a stage 4 patient which is, well, bad news. But you can't help but think in the back of your mind that you have something inside you that is trying to kill you. A bullet didn't do it, a knife, a fight - no - my body was invaded by cancer cells and it found a capillary source to supply it nutrients for growth and replication. The next logical step for something invading your body is to spread to other areas and attach itself near another capillary source (which it did in my lymph nodes). For those of you wondering, capillaries area an exchange area of nutrients to different areas of the body including organs. Okay enough about the biology lesson (sorta). I am just writing information on the fly here.
As I write this, I am in an intense amount of pain, and usually during these moments are when I feel the saddest. It reminds me that something is inside me killing me slowly. My cancer is located in a weird position, the 11:00, which makes it near my heart. Much of that is incredibly scary. I have no idea how I will feel during and after the surgery - I have no idea how I will handle Chemotherapy. Those things are incredibly scary. As much as I try to stay positive about the situation, all of this is unknown to me. It doesn't really help much that I have been alone most of my time in North Carolina except for times when I go to the gym and shop for things I need for the house. I don't know anyone here in NC that has faced similar challenges (yes, people I know they exist). I just want to survive all of this intact - physically and mentally. I know it will be a long 8 months to a year - but I want to eventually go into remission. The fear still remains: what if the cancer comes back somewhere else? I know I shouldn't think that far, and just be here right now, but that is incredibly difficult. Everyday I notice my health is slowly beginning to fail me. I am constantly tired, I have more days in pain than I do not, I am losing weight rapidly, and I have resorted to protein shakes at this point because I can't get the nutrients I need. All of these things are really starting to play into my psyche a bit.
I guess what I am trying to explain is that it is nearly impossible to stay positive everyday. There are days that you wonder about your life, and the fact is - it is hard to plan just about anything because you have no idea what the future holds for you. All you can really do is take everything one day at a time. I would be lying if I said I wasn't afraid - yes I am afraid. Everything that I know to be is changing and I am completely different from what I was, physically. I am doing my best to accept and embrace those changes, but it is incredibly difficult. So, in this blog, I wanted to be truthful to you that I don't always stay positive everyday. There are days where I am seriously struggling to maintain my own sanity. This is my own show of vulnerability to you that is legitimate. As things get closer to treatment, the more fear I feel inside of me. I go in for the double mastectomy in less than 2 weeks, and yes there is fear there. I know I will never look normal again, and I have come to terms with most of that - but I never expected to go through this type of change at 31.
I just have to continue to believe that I can do this - and put one foot in front of the other everyday.
I just thought I would write what a rollercoaster cancer can damn well be. I also wish they had darts somewhere. I do enjoy playing darts. I guess throwing things at an object can be quite cathartic.
Much love guys.