I’ve been quite distant and MIA the past few weeks, especially in regards to writing. I have been so angry by how a situation was handled at work by the higher ups, that I didn’t even realize that as I stewed and fumed with anger, that it was actually my way of grieving and PTSD rearing her ugly head.
It has officially been a year since I “resigned” from what I thought was the dream job and dream money. I thought I had healed and moved past all the events leading up to that moment, but now clearly see I am still flooded with grief and PTSD. The whole situation was completely out of my control.
Cancer stole my so-called professional career and financial security.
I’ve repressed much of what has happened in my life since entering the post cancer club, especially after the hysterectomy/oophorectomy. My body wasn’t ready for that kind of major surgery only eight months after my final breast cancer treatment/surgeries. My body had already been through so much physically. Then add all the experimenting with Tamoxifen, Evista and Lupron injections in the hopes one would work without having to undergo another life changing surgery. It all equates to a perfect storm of overwhelming and painful grief and the distress of PTSD.
I can’t seem to grasp that I truly am IN medically induced menopause. I also can’t seem to grasp how that tiny pill Arimidex could cause so much harm that I could barely function during the bulk of 2017. I couldn’t comprehend any information. It caused horrific bone pain, like chemo. I had developed large black bruises on my left leg (cancer side). My face started breaking out like a 14 year old thanks to the drastic drop in estrogen. My skin became so dry. I developed these deep lines that look like layered necklaces around my neck.
How does one handle the complete physical loss of self? Will I ever stop grieving for ME? Will I ever stop wanting my pre-cancer straight hair? Will I ever stop wanting to feel like I had more time and choices with my treatments? My cancer treatments literally caused me to lose my mind, my strength, my body parts, my confidence, my job and my financial cushion. I had NO control over any of it.
Yes, I have found my writing voice again.
Yes, I’m involved in the young adult cancer community locally and nationally.
Yes, I’ve found an awesome church home, lectoring and singing in the choir after years away.
Yes, I have made fantastic new friendships and rekindled old friendships.
Yes, I’m still alive…
It’s fabulous and amazing, but it came at such a huge cost. I’m incapable of “pretending” to tolerate bullshit and ignorance, especially in the workplace. My anxiety and stress has reached a new level of intensity.
Cancer took away many choices professionally and so much time that I will never get back.
The amount of inner strength it takes to push through the fatigue, the grief, the PTSD, the anxiety, the depression and the daily pain to work full time just for the insurance and ultimately “survive” weighs heavily on me.
The fear of recurrence and what all these emotions and stressful environmental situations are doing to my body makes me feel like I am being tossed around in a rabbit hole.
Damn you, grief and PTSD.
Damn you, breast cancer.
Until next time,