Here it is National Survivors Day and all I can think about is how I’m aging out.
I’m aging out of the AYA community.
I’m aging out of the dating game.
I’m aging out of this post-cancer body.
I’ve been in medically induced menopause since 2017. Going through breast cancer definitely aged my body but being medically induced into menopause shoved me all way into serious aging both internally and externally. The only part of my body that has never changed is the shape of my eyes. Everything else is no longer even close to what I used to know.
I posted a video on my Instagram earlier this week about my menopausal hair. I finally threw in the towel and got it severely chopped off after a year of trying to grow it out. I truly thought once the chia pet tight curls fell away, that I would look like myself again. Instead, my hair began to look stringy and thin. It literally stopped growing on the right side and in the back. I was beginning to look lopsided because the left side of my hair was going back beautifully. Getting this radical cut was an uncomfortable decision for me but needed to be done.
There’s an illusion that we’re in control of our bodies. When going through cancer and having a chronic illness, it is plain to see I have little control over anything, especially my body. I had gotten back into exercising but suddenly stopped due to fibromyalgia pain in my back. It was so bad that I couldn’t sleep or move without wanting to cry. Now I’m back to trying to get motivated to workout. The belly fat is my nemesis. I don’t even want to take any full-length pictures because of my whale shaped body.
So, I’m aging out of many categories that used to feel somewhat natural and supportive. Instead of being one of the “young” ones in a group, I am often the oldest person in the group. Making friends as an adult is hard. Making friends as a single adult past a certain age feels impossible. I’ll be checking a new age box on my birthday which is July 3rd. This thought has thrown me into a complete panic and despair. The bulk of the people I know are married or living with someone and have kids. The few single people I do know already have a strong friend group. The wish to hang out with friends on a consistent basis is over. No one has time anymore.
Aside from having zero sex drive, I’ve become way to set in my ways to make room for a relationship. Heck, I had hard enough time when I had the hot body to find someone who didn’t look at me like an alien because I’m difficult to classify and don’t fit any typical categories. I continue to straddle between the black and white world without fully fitting into either.
I am five years no evidence of disease (NED). It just hit me this is the longest relationship I’ve ever been in. Will NED be with me forever? Do I want to live with NED with such a low quality of life? While my brain is sharper than it was five years ago, my body has yet to catch up. How much of this aging is natural? I think zero because I feel like a 544-year-old on a daily basis. I just don’t necessarily show it in selfies or on zooms because of acting. I win daily Oscars, Emmy, Golden Globe, and Tony awards.
Can anyone even tell when I’m faking and when I’m being real?
Until next time,
8 thoughts on “Aging Out on National Cancer Survivors Day”
What a great post. Seems so odd to write that because we often think great means happy. I mean great content, raw truth, deep insight that is beautifully put into words that you have the talent to deliver in a manner that makes one say, “wow,” after reading. Although I hope you find a wonderful relationship with a compatible companion, I also hope you have a lifelong relationship with NED! I love you
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Thank you, girlie! I had started writing something totally different earlier this week and completely changed it last night to this. I never thought getting older would be so isolating. Then add events out of my control, it becomes harder and harder to be ON all the time. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and comment. It means more than you know. Love you, hun!
I hear you about aging out and attaining new age categories. It’s so very demoralizing and throw in cancer or cancer meds side effucks and it’s just too much to handle at times. I’m so sorry for how much you have been struggling. Sending love and hugs to you, my friend. ❤️
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Thank you so much for the kind words. I had a difficult time with it being national cancer survivors day because I think about my metastatic friends like you and those like me who are not physically thriving. Being in the cancer space is way more complicated and difficult than people think. Love you, sweet Abigail!
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I hear you, this is one of those days where I feel left out and sidelined yet again. It’s such a weird space where I’m happy for others to be able to celebrate and yet am crushed yet again by the reminder of where I’ll never be. I’m learning to live better with this ambivalence but I still get ambushed at times with reminders. And yes, “being in the cancer space is way more complicated and difficult than people think,” if they even actually think about it. Love to you, my dear friend. ❤️
Thank you for sharing. Cancer is the gift that keeps on giving for some of us. Covid made it so hard. Prayers for you
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Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post, Kathy. The prayers are deeply appreciated. 🙂