Finding myself in my “New Normal”

Last year shortly after I completed my treatment and surgeries, I packed my car with the things I wanted to take with me into my new life, and my daughter and I hit the road from Florida to Colorado. With my Madison in the back seat watching the country whiz by, we listened to nostalgic music and talked about life in Colorado.

My new life here started out bright and adventurous- then a breast cancer mentor with the same diagnosis as I passed away. Then another with MpBC…then another. In a span of just over a month we lost 5 sisters to this aggressive beast. It punched me in my chest and brought me to my knees. Rather than pushing me to live life fully, it pushed me into a dark place. Unfortunately all this brought on a wave of depression and anxiety. I managed to crawl out of it with meds, meditation and love of my family. I wasn’t as bright and happy as I initially was when I landed here but it was better.

Fast forward to April-exhausted from the Cancer Hamster’s running’s I fell into another depression where all I thought about was dying, about the “what if’s” and the “why’s”. I reached out to my oncologist for help. This time she referred me to a cancer therapist and adjusted my meds. Seeing a therapist who understands the fear, anxiety and depression from a cancer diagnosis, one with true empathy and the ability to give you manageable coping skills is a truly an important resource to have-at diagnosis, during treatment and beyond. I started to feel better emotionally even though physically I still have issues-that adds to the mental fatigue.

During all this I found a mass in what’s left of my right breast. The terror is indescribable. I couldn’t eat, sleep or think of anything but ITS BACK. An office visit was scheduled-I thought I was calm going in, reasoning with myself that there was nothing until I’m told it’s something. Well, by the time I checked in, I was having a full on anxiety attack. I nearly hit the ceiling when my oncologist knocked on the door to come in. She examined me stating it felt like fat necrosis but she would order imaging ASAP. Going to imaging I managed better. Finding out it was indeed fat necrosis left me sobbing with relief. I sat in my car, tears running down my face while I messaged those who knew that I was being imaged. All I could think was – it’s so good to be alive.

Something happened that day with dealing with all that. It flipped a switch in which I suddenly felt alive and I stopped dwelling on the what if’s and death. I felt like I really wanted to feel- alive and happy despite all the physical crap and memory/cognitive issues.

The point to this post? Please my sisters, I know it’s hard as hell but don’t dwell on the crap. Don’t wait till you’re, in my case, 15 months post treatment to finally figure out that even with all the bullshit we’re left to deal with as survivors, we are still here. Alive.

Be. Here. Now. Not in the future and definitely not in the past. I’ve pulled my head out of the dark and into the light. I don’t know what the future brings- regardless of what those damn statistics say.

Living here and now-I made some very necessary changes to my life. I’ve booked those adventures I have put off for too long.

Be here now. We only have this moment.

As always #FuckCancer



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  1. Well fuck that shit. You’re a warrior queen you are. There’s no darkness through which you can’t find a candle to light your way. Our paths are not rosy but full of thorns and thistle yet we walk them together, sometimes barefooted. It’s painful but I know I’m not alone, and unfortunately so do you. By getting out of Florida – I spent 25 years of my precious life in Miami Beach and Gainesville – you’ve achieved something akin to escaping an asylum. If you need a good laugh look up “a Florida man” on YouTube and select the one with the black silhouette puppets. It’ll tickle your funny bone. Especially the single mention of a Florida woman, who’s doing just fine, thank you. While I cannot say I’ve not experienced the same depression I can also say I’ve longed for the same kinds of mentors you’ve had, but I’m afraid to lose more people in my life. My family is gone and Craig still suffers to a small degree from depression. You have an open invite as long as I am in here should you want to explore Northern California. We are considering a move to Texas, but barring that we are waving goodbye to the suburbs and heading to the trees I hope very soon. I’m longing for the healing powers of nature’s fresh breath as mine is on borrowed time. But we all are on borrowed time. Some of us just know it and others kid themselves into believing it’s never going to happen. It’s the one thing we all share as a human species besides birth. We aren’t, then we are, then we aren’t again. While we are, we just do the best we can to be you’d people – begining with ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just came back from the Monterey area. Wandered the Big Basin Redwood forest, explored the bay. Soaked up nature. Fucking cancer -I know I’m on borrowed time. No more will I live to 70 unless there’s massive advances in cancer. My cancer type is just too aggressive and my response now is Fuck You Cancer I’m living my life on my terms. I hope to die on my own terms as well. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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