Sunday, 24 July 2016

Passed The Halfway Point

14 months gone... 13 more? Less? Or am I going to luck out and get more?

Living with stage four....

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Shouldn't Be Surprised...But I Am

There's a lot that goes on in even the average day-in-the-life-of-Julie.  I go through a tirade of emotions and levels of pain.  I have lots of dips in the mental strength area.  I have a lot of moments of weakness.  It's the new normal.  I have a normal.  So there's things that are not normal for my everyday, and they surprise me, but for some reason I keep being told they shouldn't.  They do because they are not my normal.

What surprises me?  People actually being nice to others and not wanting something in return.  This includes people taking the time and effort to make meals for my family, taking a moment to call/text/msg me or Mike to see how we are actually doing and not assuming, people that follow through, now that really surprises me lately.

It's come to the point that I see people that understand how the shadow of death looms over the future of people with late stage cancer and I am in awe.  I have seen some friends get things they so justly deserve: family vacations, help with child care, and even help with paying off debts that got out of whack with their diagnosis.  Cancer happens.  None of us did anything to deserve it, like you insinuate when you tell us what diet will cure us, like when you tell us of all the things to stop because you saw a hoax video that you now take as the Gospel truth, when you look through us as we tell you we are still trying to live.  You might mean well with your pseudo science, but you're making a bad situation worse.

Then there's the other side, those that refuse to admit we're deathly sick.  This is why I'm so shocked when I hear about people that "get" what it's like to live with ailments and don't judge a single ounce.  They just act like we should be able to do everything, we're making a mountain out of a molehill, or compare us to people without terminal/permanent illnesses.  First off, no one person is the same, and we all have our difficulties in life.  Now, remembering that we all have issues we're dealing with, start envisioning some of the complications that illnesses add to that.  The constant appointments, the tests, anxiety waiting for the results, the defeat when things are worse, the brief breath when things are okay knowing that could change in a heart beat, the pain, the mental confusion, the exhaustion, the constant questioning of self, and so much more.  As much as one tries to convey what reality is for these people to understand, they don't get it, and likely never will.

I am also surprised when someone doesn't turn the situation to about themselves.  Trying to make the victim be the cause of their pain, trying to make the patient be the fault in their life.  It's common... all too common.  People would rather point out "all you have to be positive about" instead of admitting you might have a reason to be as depressed, sad, angry, upset, etc.  They also like to start fights when there is no reason for one other than that they want the focus on them and not one second on someone else.  They're more important, the world must bow to them.

So, yes, I am surprised when people are nice to me and my family.  Especially those that do not know us that well.  I'll be thankful every time I'm surprised, and try to not wallow in the times that my "normal" surrounds me for long periods of time.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Anniversary of sorts

It's been a year since I started my chemotherapy for stage 4 breast cancer, today. 12 months. At least I'm here to say that. I'm able to say my med team works very hard and looks at all possibilities for my treatment. My kids don't fully understand but they know mama is trying to be here for them.

Soon, I'll find out if I get a slightly longer break from treatment or if we're starting right back up again. I've still got a few friends that the longevity of my diagnosis hasn't chased off. They understand this isn't a one month, one year, one decade thing... I hope I get a decade or six.

I think that's one of the most annoying things (other than the cancer/treatment itself). Trying to explain to people that this is a lifetime thing, like my back/shoulder injury. I'm not being negative in saying that, and telling me I'll beat this isn't a positive response. I am thriving. I am living. I'm not curling up in a ball and stopping my life. I am giving cancer a middle finger and doing my best to have a life. And I have many reasons to: my husband, my kids, my friends both alive and gone, and especially because of a promise to one friend. He's gone but he was so scared when he heard of both my diagnoses. He knew what it was like growing up without his mother and it hit him in a different way than other friends. I promised him I'd stick around. I just wish he was he to see me keep it.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Tired: I'm lost

I'm mentally exhausted. I lost another friend today. Too many good hearts being lost, too many bright flames being doused. It makes my heart and my eyes ache.

I need to ask that my friends do their best to stay alive from now on. I don't know how much more bad news I can take

Monday, 4 July 2016

A Glimpse

For a second I'll let you into my mind, here's my daily thoughts:

I'm so tired, why can't I feel normal today? I actually slept all night for once, why can't I get more energy?

I love my kids...but they're assholes at times...but I love them to bits.

I feel so bloody lazy, why can't I stop hurting long enough to get (insert basic household chore here) done.

Why does that hurt? Is the cancer spreading?

I hate you, idiot that caused the car accident in '08.

I love Mike, why the hell does he put up with me?

I wish I could draw more.

I wish I could work.

I miss being really active and fully independent...

I wish there was some way I could help us financially.

And finally:

What if I need to go back on iv chemo? I won't be able to watch the kids for days, Mike would need time off work that we can't afford, can I mentally deal with the way it makes me physically feel again? Would it be better to just let the cancer run its course?..