I’m writing this as I am on the treadmill, out of breath, talking into my phone.
But before I write anymore, can I just very nicely say that I am not looking for suggestions of things to do or try at this point. I am just being transparent on this journey. Thank you so much for understanding that.
I’ve been debating on whether or not to even write a post, but I keep coming back to the reasons I started this blog in the first place… Keeping friends and family up-to-date with my cancer journey, being transparent so others can know what it’s like to battle stage 4 breast cancer (as I know I had absolutely no idea before I started this journey), and letting others know that they are not alone on this journey.
The reasons that I’ve been stalling to write… well I guess there is only one… I don’t want to be a complainer or downer.
So in the interest of full transparency…here we go.
I started a Bible study with a friend about contentment. I didn’t really think it was something I struggled that much with, until I started this study. I guess I always thought about contentment as just being content with the things you have. But what I find I am struggling with is contentment with my health and how things run in our home, because I am not the only person that lives in our home. I have found that I get so frustrated, so easily, and instantly lose any joy or happiness that I had when something goes wrong, and with three kids, that happens quite frequently. It also happens quite frequently with my fabulous 44 year old, post chemo, radiation and multiple surgeries body.
It’s so hard to not be discouraged when I am working so hard to take care of myself and I still have ongoing issues, whether it be parts of my body that hurt or injure easily, or side effects from medicine that are supposed to be helping me, or at least help with pain which is a result of chemo or radiation.
Earlier this week I wrote about the severe onset of depression from Lyrica, which I was hoping would help with the neuropathy in my feet. One of the side effects of that medication is suicidal thoughts. And while I did not have those, I did have thoughts of death and questioned as to why the Lord didn’t just take me from the cancer if I was just going to have to deal with side effects the rest of my life.
This week in our school district, two young people took their lives by suicide. I didn’t know them, nor do I know the circumstances, but I do know that those thoughts, and thoughts of just wanting things to be over, are very hard to dismiss even at the age of 44, and even with the knowledge that the thoughts are only there because of the medicine you took for 4 days.
I’m 44, and I knew the thoughts of wishing I had died were from the medication. (And again I wasn’t thinking about killing myself, so no one freak out and call me on the phone… well you can call me if you really want to, but I am totally fine.) I also knew they would be pretty short-lived, and I also had a husband with me who understood what was going on, and was willing to do whatever I needed, even if it did not make sense to him. I also knew I have a huge network of people nearby who could be here in an instant, or others that would talk for as long as I needed on the phone. And most of all, I knew that I am never truly alone and that my hope is not in things of this world, but in Christ, and the hope of Heaven one day because of my relationship with Him…a healthy body, no sickness, no death, no tears, you get the picture… Heaven!
My heart aches for the families of those two young teenagers who felt that suicide was the only way out. My heart aches for the young people in our community who struggle to continue on in life, knowing those two friends will never be in class with them, or able to hang out with them again. My heart aches for the teachers at the high school who have to somehow attempt to teach with all of those emotions and hormones going crazy in the classroom. But most of all, my heart aches for those young people who do not know the Lord, and who do not know that there are so many who truly love them and care about them, no matter what they are going through.
So that’s the reason for my blog post…total transparency…and not just for myself as someone that was in need recently, and unfortunately continues to be in need off and on, but also as someone that needs to make sure to do everything I can to keep the lines of communication open between my children and Tom and I and to make sure I am touching base with my friends and family to see how they are doing.
Each day is a gift. Sometimes the gift feels like a gift Other times the gift feels like pain, physical or emotional. Other times the gift is a bag of all things combined. But whatever each day brings, it is the chance to strive to delight in the Lord and to find joy in the things that truly matter, Christ, family and friends.
So as I fight to have a decent quality of life while doing everything I can to help prevent cancer from recurring, here is what’s going on…
I am not taking anything for the neuropathy in my feet. I tried capsaicin,which is basically the hot part of a pepper, which I think helped a little, but ended up causing my feet to feel like they were on fire, even when using a pretty small amount. Fortunately I had a prescription for lidocaine burn gel, and that relieved that burning pain. However, that’s not an option for me if it feels like my skin is burning. I’ve also tried rolling my feet on a massaging ball with little spikes. It doesn’t feel very good, and I don’t really seem to notice a difference in the neuropathy pain either. Currently, the pain is pretty tolerable, so I’m just kind of taking a break from thinking about it as much as possible and will deal with it again when it starts to interfere with life.
And wouldn’t you know it, my bone pain came back from my hormone-blocking pill over the weekend, so I stopped taking that. That was always the plan, to stop taking it and then when the bone pain went away, to start up the next pill. Still I am taking a break.
Can you see how I feel like I’m complaining? I’m really not. I know there are so many people that deal with chronic pain all the time, much worse than mine. But I decided to not worry about if someone thinks I’m complaining. If so, they could have stopped reading a long time ago, or just unsubscribed from my email list. No hard feelings if you have done either of those or would like to. Moving on…
I’m trying to up my exercise routine as I know strengthening my muscles will help overall, but everytime I try to lift any sort of little weight, or use my body weight, something seems to hurt worse. I’m still on the treadmill, 50 minutes later. That doesn’t make things hurt, so I guess I will stick with that. I think I’m going to break out the Wii this morning and do some yoga and I will continue to stretch each day.
Discouragement and discontentment with my health are what I am really struggling with. I would appreciate it if you would pray for me in that area. And as always, if there is a specific way I can pray for you, please send me a message.
Thanks for reading. And thank you again for not offering advice at this time. 🙂