Disclaimer: This blog post is going to have a different tone than the others. I am not depressed or discouraged by any means but I feel like all of my posts are super positive and may be misleading for people who are struggling with cancer or any lifelong/potential terminal illness which deeply effects their families/friends as well. I want this blog to address the true struggles and not just ‘I’m so blessed and everything’s amazing’ because no one feels that way all the time, no matter the circumstance. While I am 90% positive, I definitely have bad days. I’ve been told from day one that a positive attitude will likely provide better results. My doctors, nurses, and even scholarly articles all agree. The mind is literally the only thing I have control of so it is so important to keep it in check.
I’ve said before that I try my best to make potentially bad days just bad moments. Cry it out, feel it to your core and move on. While this works for me majority of the time, sometimes it’s all too much. It makes me feel weak or like I’m giving into the cancer but that is not the case!! This is essentially like a death; a death of a previous life because truth be told you’re never exactly the same person after going through this, and as a result you will go through phases or grief, denial, anger, etc. Totally natural which needs to be addressed and not bottled up. Easier said than done. While I am extremely open in this blog about my life now, in my core I’m a pretty private person. I can cry it out but actually communicating my ‘darker’ feelings does not come easy to me. That’s why I felt the need to write this. In addition to being a poor communicator, I am a pro at rationalization which can backfire because you can go back and forth ALL DAY LONG. Being in and out of the hospital, cancer centers, etc. I am constantly surrounded by people who definitely have it worse. Worse outcomes, worse side effects from treatment, no support… you get the idea. So whenever I feel down, my mind goes to those people and I essentially make myself feel like my feelings aren’t validated or I’m being a baby but that is not productive for anyone. On the same rate, I can scroll through social media and especially at my age, everyone is getting married and having babies, excelling in their jobs or traveling the world and my life is at a standstill right now. I also need to remember that social media is a small part of a person’s life and is only what they want to show which is usually the positive. Another reason I felt the need to write this. In any scenario there will always be someone in a better or worse off situation. You need to do your best to not compare to others.
In typical fashion, I was supposed to be admitted on Tuesday to start chemo but it was delayed to Wednesday so I’m only one night in. Yesterday was really tough for me. I usually am solid until the last day or two then I get super anxious to go home but not this time. I think part of me is just over treatment, it’s been 6 months already (!!!), and the other part of me is just scared. Treatment has been pretty smooth sailing until the last round when I ended up in ICU and now I know bad things can get. Fear is just a feeling and anyone can overcome it. It’s there, lingering in the back of your mind, but you cannot let it drive your daily emotions! Being scared isn’t going to help anything… It’s not going to keep me from getting sick or delaying the inevitable. So I really try my best to not give into fear, the unknown, the future, etc. Personally, when I start thinking like that it really is detrimental for me. Take one day at a time! And today, as I’m writing this, I already feel so much better than yesterday.
- Journal, blog, write on post its! My journal doesn’t even make sense half the time because it’s all over the place. But once I get writing, so many things will come up, positive and negative, that I wasn’t acknowledging. If you’re struggling and can’t pinpoint why, start writing. I’m certain the culprit will come up! Sometimes it’s not one specific thing, because hey! you’re fighting cancer or some other illness and it sucks no matter how you try to rationalize!!!
- Allow people to comfort you! Even if you don’t talk, just having company to take your mind off of everything is such a relief. But I do suggest you find at least one person to confide in. I see a therapist because some things I don’t want to say to my family and friends. Going back to fear, a therapist is a good place to discuss that without freaking out all of your loved ones!
- Walk or get fresh air if possible! There are times when I cannot do either, but if you can it will make you feel so much better! Some fresh air and vitamin D is mother nature’s best medicine for the mind, body and soul.
- Know that you’re not alone! I’ve always heard the statistic that throughout your life, you will either get cancer yourself for know someone with cancer. Well I’ve never believed that more! The amount of people who have reached out with their stories is insane. While cancer is terrible and I wish it on no one, you should know that you are not alone in this fight! It can feel extremely lonely because even if you have all of the support in the world, no one truly knows until they go through it themselves. I may not be the quickest to respond or have all the right answers since each case is so unique, but I’m happy to be a resource and hope this blog helps some of you!
T-Minus 4 days until I’m back home. Sending lots of love to anyone fighting their own battle right now. You’re rockstars and have an undeniable strength. Keep kickin’ ass!! I know I am 🙂