Friday, November 5, 2010

The Balancing Act

I'm finding that dealing with breast cancer and chemo is an enormous balancing act.  

My emotions run up and down depending on the day and on how I am feeling.  Last week I was so relieved to be feeling well; to be "normal" again.  Yet, that very feeling was balanced precariously by the fact that I knew a crash could be happening this weekend.  So far, this time is not quite as bad as last time.  I am feeling like I have the "flu", that my body is dragging 20 pound weights, I have a bad headache, and not feeling quite right in the stomach; but I don't have the severe stomach gas pains and heartburn that I had last time (thank you, Prilosec!).  But...this morning, I needed to wash my hair and afterward, brushing it I could see bunches of hair coming out of my scalp.  It's hard to see that happen, even though I knew this was coming.  I am ready with all the items needed to cover my head, but I am feeling more and more exposed by the loss of each strand.

When I feel very down, I just go to all the cards that I have received to be reminded of the goodness of family and friends.  I have kept every one of them and they are an enormous comfort.  They  remind me that I am not alone (and you do feel alone in your suffering even when others are sitting there with you); and that I can pick up a phone to talk to someone who will help me through the low point....who will balance my sadness with a reminder of their caring and allow me to climb just a little higher for a while.

Physically, for every symptom that is experienced, there is a counteracting medication...a balancing of wellness of various degrees.  When there is too much of one thing, a pill will help it but you have to watch that you take the meds in moderation...too much can also tip the balance so that the relief you want is not what you get.  And it is hard to find that balancing point when you are not comfortable during this "crash time".

I don't know how others do this without faith.  I know I would just be a puddle on the floor if I didn't know with all my heart that God didn't want this for me and that He also is trying to help me get some balance in my life right now.  I am so grateful for the children in preschool with their smiles and their innocent waves and delight when they see me.  I am relieved to have my sister-in-law with me for the weekend both to have someone to share this with and talk to...and so my husband has some relief himself.  And I actually do feel all the prayers that are being said for me in many different churches and places and sometimes I know for sure that it is these very prayers that are helping me to walk that one more step. 

This is not easy.  I knew it wouldn't be, and when it is called a "fight"...that is exactly what is experienced.  You fight everyday for the normalcy in your life, for a spot of "feeling good" in the day, for the ability to rise above the disease in your body so that you continue to see all that is good and wonderful in the world.  And every step is hard to take and needs all your concentration.  Whenever I thought of the worst things that could happen to me, this was one of them.  But I really never thought it would happen to me!  And now it has, and I must deal with it and there is still much more to go through in the future.  I can't look that far ahead, so I just look at today and I am thankful that this "crashing weekend" is somewhat better than last time.  And I balance this relief with the awfulness of last time and know I will get through this weekend and be able to see that I am strong and I can do this!  I will continue to "Fight Like a Girl" and not let this overtake me.     

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