A friend of mine called me the other day. She shared she’s been reading my blog. She said while she enjoys reading it, she often feels like she didn’t experience the moment with me after reading my stories. This is probably true. I don’t always share the whole story. I have a tendency to leave out the bad and focus on the good. That includes my feelings, emotions etc. I’m like a warrior. I always have my guard up.
The past few weeks have been a challenge. I’ve been in so much pain. My body hurts, my muscles hurt, my hands and toes not only hurt but my toes have even turned purple. My stomach hurts all the time and my heart hurts. My last chemo was on Halloween but the effects from the drugs have still lingered and may linger for 6 months to a year. I’ve been going to acupuncture every other day for the past 2 weeks. Acupuncture is helpful in eliminating some of the pain. It also gives me an entire hour where I have to lie on my back with my eyes closed and have to force myself to relax. The room is dark and very warm. Meditation music plays softly as I lie on a heated table with needles in my hands, arms, head, forehead, legs and even my feet. I have a heat lamp over me to keep me warm. I usually start by closing my eyes and I focus on my breathing. I take a deep breath in filling up my chest and stomach and then a deep breath out. I try to imagine myself on a beach feeling the hot sun on my body, my feet in the sand and the peaceful sound of the waves. It’s not much longer that I begin to feel relaxed and in a dream like state. At that moment, my head is free from all the worries, fears and anxieties that seem to clutter my mind every day. For one hour everything in my life is good.
The past 2 1/2 years have been the most humbling years I’ve ever experienced. I never in a million years thought life could be so bad. I’ve faced many challenges in my life but despite everything, I never lost my drive to persevere. I always had my dignity and more importantly I still had a sense of humor. I was happy!! Yesterday as I laid on the bed with my eyes closed I tried to remember the girl I used to know. I tried to remember what it felt like to feel good, happy and confident about myself. I tried to remember that feeling I had when I was in sales and had a job. That exuberant feeling I got when I was at the top of my game. I even tried to remember what it was like to have money. I wanted to feel like myself again. I wanted to feel like a mom again but I couldn’t. I realized that girl is gone. That life is gone. It’s merely a long lost memory and like all memories it’s beginning to fade.
My reality today is much different. Everything I once knew has been taken away from me and for the first time in my life I’m the most humbled I’ve ever been. Yesterday was my sons 18th birthday. A milestone in his life and I wasn’t even home to share it with him. It made me feel so sad. I also found myself feeling so angry. Not only at missing my sons birthday but angry about everything including myself. I’m angry about what my life has become. I hate it!! I suppose I’ve been angry for a very long time. I’d give anything for that miracle to happen and for my life to be restored.
I was at a luncheon the other day. I was talking to a woman. She asked me what it was like to have cancer. I replied “it sucks!” I went on to ask her if she had ever read the book of Job in the bible. She said “yes”. I explained that’s how I feel. I feel like Job. I feel like everything I once knew has been taken away from me. Not just my material things but my vanity and self esteem also. I’ve completely lost my identity.
Up until 6 months ago I had thought life couldn’t get any worse but it did. I was diagnosed with cancer. As if I hadn’t lost enough until then, fighting cancer has only added fuel to the fire. Job lost his family, his home, his money, his looks and his health. Ring a bell? That’s me. The good news is God stepped in and restored Jobs life and blessed him with double what he had before enduring the painful challenge he went through. I’m hanging on to the hope, that very soon God will step in and do the same for me.
I am so grateful for all of my friends who have offered their prayers and encouragement as I’ve travelled this difficult journey these past 2 years. It’s been rough. I can honestly say, if it wasn’t for the prayers and encouragement, I’m not sure I would have made it this far. In the past 2 years I’ve been so depressed at times that I’ll admit, suicide has crossed my mind on occasion, but the lord works in mysterious ways. Every time the thought has entered my mind, he’s brought someone in to my life that has stepped in and erased those crazy thoughts out of my head. I’m so grateful for that. I have felt so alone and often times very angry. I’m angry at myself. I’m angry at my circumstances. I’m angry every morning I wake up and look at myself in the mirror. I hate the way I look. I wish I was pretty again. I’m angry I don’t have a job. I’m angry I can’t work. I’m angry every month I struggle to pay my bills. I’m angry I’m not the mom I need to be. I can’t even provide for myself let alone my kids that mean everything to me. I’m angry I’m not home to help my mom. I’m angry that my dad died. I’m angry at the situation he left behind and I’m even angrier at members in my own family who haven’t been there for me, especially in the past 6 months! I’m so pissed I want to kick their ass!!! A couple of days ago, I was angry at the receptionist at the hair salon where I spent so much money prior to losing my hair. She wanted to charge me $15 to buzz the nape of my neck!!! Are you kidding me?!! I was furious! I’ll never go back!
Yesterday after acupuncture I received a text from one of my girlfriends. She texted me this quote: “one of the most courageous decisions you’ll ever make is to finally let go of what is hurting your heart and soul.” She couldn’t have sent that to me at a better time. The quote not only hit home, I realized it was time to finally let go of all this anger and hurt that I’ve been feeling for a very long time. I need to accept my reality for what it is. It sucks but it is what it is. I really need to forgive those who have hurt my feelings or made me angry. In other words, I need to let go of everything that has been hurting my heart and soul. Hanging on to the hurt and pain has brought nothing positive in to my life. On the contrary, it’s brought more hurt and has really hurt my soul. I’m tired of it and I’m eager to let it go. I want to be happy again.
As I write this, once again I find myself alone on the couch while Ron sleeps all day. My mind is cluttered and I’m lonely. I dread another day of being by myself with no one to talk to. No one to laugh with. I’m not happy and I haven’t been happy for a very long time. I heard this song by Triumph yesterday called “world of fantasy”. As I listened to it I thought “my world certainly is a fantasy…not a very good one at that!” The good news is I’ve survived the past 2 years. Don’t ask me how. Even I can’t figure it out. I’ve survived 6 grueling chemotherapy treatments and all the negative side effects that have come with treatment. I’m sure I’ll survive radiation, infusions, hormone therapy and in the end I’ll have a pink tattoo on my wrist as a reminder that I survived cancer too. I’ll some how survive this lack of employment and one day, like Job, I’ll look back and see how far I’ve come and be able to praise God for seeing me through this. Until then I don’t want to waste any more energy being angry, being hurt or feeling sorry for myself. I’m flying home on December 17th. I’ll be home with my mom and kids for Christmas. I can’t wait. I haven’t told Ron I won’t be home for Christmas. I guess because I feel guilty that he will be home alone but as I sit here on this couch, all by myself, alone with no one to talk to, I realize there’s nothing to feel guilty about. He will probably sleep right through the 11 days I’m gone and not even notice I’m gone anyway.
I’m not going to waste my time on being angry anymore. I just need to accept my life for what it is and hope for the best. I read somewhere in the bible where God says he has a plan for all of us. A plan for good. I think I’ll start focusing on that. Focusing on finally seeing his plan for good coming to fruition. Life’s too short to focus on those people or things that don’t matter. My mother in law used to say “everything always comes out in the wash”. With that said things will work out the way they’re supposed to. In the meantime I’ll have to look for the things that make me happy, like Pharell…..this song makes me happy!! I guess that’s why he titled the song “happy”. Listening to the song can do only one thing. Make me happy. So clap along if makes you happy too!!