I can’t even begin to layout the amount of times I’ve started writing this blog and simply stopped. It’s not that I don’t have the energy or the time, it’s just that everything that I have to go over is so mentally taxing. Nevertheless, you guys have ridden with me so far and have always been understanding and patient and i’ve been fortified by left over Christmas dinner and sorrel… here goes nothing.
Praise God, I have successfully completed chemotherapy and radiation and now only have targeted therapy every 3 weeks for year. So, based on when I began I should be finished with that around April, May ish. There are very few side effects with targeted therapy, however, I am still feeling some effects from radiation and chemo. Things like insomnia, hot flashes (the absolute pits), nerve damage in fingers and feet, joint pain, skin damage, brain fog, and tiredness are the most immediate and blatant ones. All in all, these really aren’t bad, what I mean is the joint pains could be worse and although I sound like a 85yr old every time I get up from the couch, I am managing. The skin damage is also not that bad, compared to some that I saw when I was researching for reference. So, in true Jamaican fashion I say, “Things coulda worse”
What I will tell you, is that what is kicking my ass like a kung fu masterclass is what you can’t see i.e. The ANXIETY, the paranoia, the loneliness. Let’s break it down, I am consistently anxious, there are moments of reprieve but if things get too quiet my brain starts to work over time and yes, I pray, yes, I meditate, I listen to singing bowls, and my CBD oil just finished. I’m learning to work thru it and not be too hard on myself. This brings me into paranoia, the saying you are what you eat bounces around my head every single time I enjoy something that’s not healthy. I think this is my hardest battle and I know it’s trauma but whew child can I enjoy a slice of cake?! I have spoken to other survivors and even my doctor tells me to not be paranoid and that I can enjoy in moderation. However, for a chronic over-thinker like me ,what exactly is moderate? I’ve decided i’m going to have an indulge calendar that outlines when I can have the things I shouldn’t lol. Now to touch on the loneliness, I am LOVED, my family and friends are there and that is never a question. However, there’s a feeling of alone that comes with this experience and all the vocabulary in the world won’t help me to articulate it the way that would make others understand. It’s the little pieces of you that you know are missing after such a fight. It’s the quiet panic when you wonder if you’ll ever find those pieces again.
Each day I take pride in the small things and these are really simple things, such as allowing myself to plan for NEXT Christmas, using the hashtag #CancerSurvivor and believing it. To others that’s no big deal but to me, it’s whole heap. The biggest battles are never from the ones that others see, you know your strength from the fights when you have to cheer yourself. That is when you learn your true power.
Faith and Love,