How to cope with the FEAR of reoccurrence?
Ya, I have no idea, kinda.
Musings with some proper sentences and some not. I am struggling with my brain today. It feels all dis-organized and tired. So I am writing and napping and not paying much attention to small details…
I live with the fear of reoccurrence everyday. Some days are easier than others.
I didn’t even realize just how stressed with fear I was until I started meditating this summer with the intention of exploring some of these big fears. I felt I was ready to face these cancer related fears. Um, wow. I had no idea about the lingering side effects that include Mental Health and Trauma with this disease. I am out of the bubble of survival mode and now able to reflect on the experience of Breast Cancer, illness, side effects and so on. This is not easy. I can now see clearly how much harder this disease is on our mental health and emotional well being.
I am not obsessed with it. Reoccurrence I mean. But sometimes I can’t turn “the fear” off. Its hard to explain. Sometimes its just a feeling, sometimes its a reminder to not get too comfortable because the tables can turn so quickly and disrupt any form of comfort I am working on getting back.
I am afraid to get comfortable in my surroundings because “if” cancer was to come back, it will mess EVERYTHING up.
I am afraid that I am not giving enough as a Mom, Wife, Daughter, friend, because “if” cancer was to come back - everything will change, would everyone only remember me as being sick? I worry that I won’t have left enough of myself with these special people. Then I get sad thinking about missing everyone.
I am afraid that if I push myself too hard with any task, or allow too much stress in my life, I will be risking that cancer could come back and if it did, it would be my own fault.
I am constantly reminded that every ache in my body could be cancer.
I am constantly reminded that my world is different now.
I get so close to feeling freedom from this fear and I am getting stronger and doing the hard work to get passed living in fear. I get excited these days when I feel hunger:) Because although I may have gained a bit of weight lately(says me with zero judgement), I have no appetite at all. When I DO feel hunger, I know my nervous system is in balance.
I work actively to change my mind-set. Reminding myself to sink into each moment with gratitude. Stay present and in the moment and practicing mindfulness is key here.
Some days, I have the confidence to charge forward and bring my inner light to the world. Other days tho…well, curling up into a ball, or spending the day between a hot bubble bath and Supported Childs Pose, with calm music is my go to. Music therapy (Davis and Coltrane), Yoga, meditation, walking, cannabis, sleeping, reading, napping, learning new skills (with an intentionally slower pace), water, coffee - these are my go to’s.
I practice restorative Yoga every freakin day (well almost, lol).
I actively use breathing exercises whenever I have stress.
This disease has changed me. Trust me, I would love to say it didn’t. However, I have had to look at it like change is good. It is the current of SELF and a constant reminder that nothing stays stuck forever. However, man I could really use some help with the transitions! My sister and I constantly share how difficult transitions can be. Change is always coming. Self is like the seasons. Change is growth, if we can only let ourselves see it this way.
My kiddos and Hubs…
Usually, my kids walk in the door after school and they are lucky if they get to the bathroom before I start asking them a million questions about their day. I am seriously too excited to see them ha ha ha! Then I feverishly tell them about my tiny(not to me) accomplishments; like how I got groceries, or had a shower and did some Yoga. LOL. My days are NOT glamorous. I sit somewhere between the desire to get so much done and organized to the crippling overwhelm of fear. I hesitate on decisions because I want to always make the most of my energy. I pause when asked to visit, I pause when booking appts., so that I don’t overwhelm my schedule. I fill my days with as much of the things I love as possible.
That is why I miss my kids when they are at school, and I hate it when my hubby is working late.
Blackey, our cat is who I spend most of my time with all day. I don’t think she minds:). I don’t either. (Pic above-cause really how could I not!!!)(Thanks to my SIL for this photo!)
Planning adventures has become a passion because I want some of my bucket list items to include my three peeps. I am grateful for this life every single day. However, that also may mean being grateful for fear, lol, I am still working on that one!
The only way forward is LOVE.
I will save this for the next post, because I am pushing myself to continue writing and journaling and pushing to share all that I can in order to even give one person hope. The hope that we need to get through hard things.